Two stakes get top billing on Aqueduct card
By NY Hot List Staff
A week after the Wood Memorial conjured visions of the spring classics and the warmer days ahead, Saturday’s featured races at Aqueduct Racetrack bring back that winter-time feeling.
The two stakes attracted a total of 12 horses, and one is a main track only starter.
The richest of the two is the $200,000 Top Flight Invitational for fillies and mares at a mile-and-an-eighth.
Forever Liesl is the 2-1 morning-line favorite and is reflective of a wet winter. In her last five starts, the 5-year-old mare has raced on a wet track. Included in those starts are a third last time out in the Heavenly Prize and before that a 4 ¼-length victory in the Ladies Handicap. Both races were on sloppy racetracks.
Trained by Michelle Nevin, Forever Liesl’s last race on a fast track was a third in the Summer Colony at Saratoga.
Frosty Anne (5-2) figures to be the one to catch in the stretch. She’s coming off two front-running wins at a mile. One came in a starter race and the other in the Biogio’s Rose Stakes for state-breds.
My Miss Lilly (7-2) has the kind of back class that makes her a major threat. Last year as a 3-year-old, she won the 1 1/8-mile Grade 2 Gazelle at Aqueduct and started in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks without much success, finishing 11th.
She was third in the Mother Goose Stakes in what proved to be her final start in 2018.
Off a 7-month layoff, My Miss Lilly was third in a Feb. 15 optional claimer at Gulfstream Park in her most recent start, and should move forward off that effort.
“She probably needed the race,” trainer Mark Hennig said. “We figured that it might be a little short for her, but she’ll appreciate more distance. She probably needed the race off the bench. She likes Aqueduct and is familiar with it. She’s run well there at the distance.”
Midnight Disguise (6-1) was also a stakes winner at Aqueduct in 2018, taking the $200,000 Busher as My Miss Lilly was third.
In her two 2019 starts, Midnight Disguise was second to Frosty Anne in the Biogio’s Rose and fourth in the Heavenly Prize.
Also in the field are Jump Ruler (9-2), trained by Rob Atras, who was winning races at a 42% clip at the start of the week, and Another Broad (8-1), who was fourth in the Grade 3 Royal Delta at Gulfstream Park.
The $100,000 Bridgetown Stakes, a turf sprint for 3-year-olds, drew six starters, though one of them (Majid) will run only if the race gets switched to the main track.
The main contenders are Wonder Stone (7-2), a filly trained by Wesley Ward who is taking on males, Skole (5-2), a winner of his last two starts at Tampa Bay Downs, and Regal Irish (8-5), who won an allowance race at Tampa Bay in January.
The Bridgetown will be the third race on a nine-race card. The Top Flight will be the eighth.