Log In

The Gotham Stakes attracts a wide-open field of 11

The Gotham Stakes attracts a wide-open field of 11

By New York Hot List Staff // March 6, 2020

The one-turn mile distance of the $300,000 Gotham Stakes (G3) drew eleven 3-year-olds to the Kentucky Derby trail. It’s a wide-open field that has only 2 Derby points between them, but there are plenty of points available at Aqueduct on Saturday as the top four finishers get qualifying points [50-20-10-5.

Mischevious Alex, who is trained by John Servis of Smarty Jones fame, was named the 3-1 morning line favorite based on his recent win in the Swale (G3) at Gulfstream Park. He is the leading money winner in the field and also the winner of the Parx Juvenile last year.

He will stretch back out to the mile distance on the dirt for the second time in his career.

“If you look at his Sapling, he looks like a horse that maybe doesn’t want to go that far, but Trevor [McCarthy] was adamant after the race that he should have won but the horse got to the front and started waiting on horses and pulled himself up,” Servis said. “I think the blinkers have solved that.”

Mischevious Alex has tactical speed which should serve him well at the Big A. He gets the services of jockey Kendrick Carmouche, who is adept with speed horses, for the first time.

“He’s a good horse and has a great mind on him and will do what you want him to do,” Servis said. “I’ll reiterate that to Kendrick and let him know he’s pretty push button and to ride him accordingly.”

The Mark Casse trained Untitled was an 11-length winner in his debut at Gulfstream in December. The 4-1 morning line second choice went right from there to run fourth in the Swale and most recently was second in an allowance at the Florida track.

“He’s been training really well,” Casse said. “He’s a beautiful horse. He’s a big, long, good-moving horse. The problem he has sometimes is he breaks a bit slow. After we bought him, we breezed him from the gate trying to get him to be a little quicker right from there. I always wanted to run him long, and I figure the longer I run him, the less important the start is. But he broke pretty good last time.”

The meeting’s leading trainer Linda Rice has the 6-1 third choice in Montauk Traffic. He dwelt at the start of his first race on December 14 before winning his next two starts in New York. He was the winner of the recent Jimmy Winkfield at Aqueduct with a strong closing move going seven furlongs.

“We like to think that the added distance will only help him,” Rice said. “I was a little concerned around the turn [of the Jimmy Winkfield]. Jose opted to quit chasing faster fractions and just let the horse settle. Around the turn it looked like he was getting some kickback and trying to work his way through that as well. He made a nice move at the end of it, and we believe that the further the better for him.”

The Gotham is the final race of Saturday’s 10 race card and it is also the fourth leg of the Cross-Country Pick 5.

Leg 1 – Tampa, Race 10: $200,000 Florida Oaks (4:55 p.m. ET)
Leg 2 – Aqueduct, Race 9: $250,000 Busher Invitational (5:14 p.m.)
Leg 3 – Tampa, Race 11: Grade 3, $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (5:32 p.m.)
Leg 4 – Aqueduct, Race 10: Grade 3, $300,000 Gotham (5:42 p.m.)
Leg 5 – Oaklawn Park, Race 9: $300,000 Honeybee (6:09 p.m.)

Full card analysis and picks, which includes 10 Hot List horses, along with the Special Saturday Pick 3 from the New York Hot List team are available free of charge on this website.