Aqueduct Holiday Fest stakes probables revealed
Fields are taking shape for next week's Holiday Fest stakes action at Aqueduct, with graded stakes racing commencing on Thanksgiving and culminating on Cigar Mile Day on Saturday, November 28.
On Saturday, multiple Grade 1 winner Private Zone is likely to defend his crown in the $500,000 Cigar Mile H. (G1). The six-year-old gelded son of Macho Uno was victorious in the Forego (G1) and Belmont Sprint Championship (G2) on the NYRA circuit earlier this year, and is coming off a strong second-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), in which he led late before being nailed on the wire by Runhappy.
Consistent miler Red Vine, Bold Ruler (G3) winner Matrooh, the Todd Pletcher-trained pair of Mshawish and Mylute, along with flashy allowance winner Marking are probable to square off against Private Zone. Falling Sky is possible.
Accompanying the Cigar Mile on Saturday are the $300,000 Remsen (G2) for two-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles, the $300,000 Demoiselle (G2) for two-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles, and the $300,000 Comely (G3) for three-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles.
The Remsen is likely to feature a showdown between talented juveniles Mohaymen and Gift Box, along with Donegal Moon, Flexibility, Hunter O'Riley, Runaway King and Sail Ahoy. Marengo Road and Matt King Coal are possible.
In the Remsen's counterpart, the Demoiselle, a competitive field of juvenile fillies is likely to compete, including Disco Rose, Flora Dora, Invite, Lewis Bay, Thrilled and Wild Ridge. Taken By Surprise is possible.
A contentious field is also likely for the Comely, including graded stakes winners Delightful Joy and Peace and War. Carrumba, Fast Retailing, Forever Unbridled, Pangburn, Stroke Play and New York-breds Jc's Shooting Star, Temper Mint Patty and Wonder Gal are also probable.
On Thursday, older sprinters will take center stage in the traditional Thanksgiving Day feature at the Big A, the $250,000 Fall Highweight H. (G3) at six furlongs on the main track.
Leading the probable field for the Fall Highweight is La Verdad, a New York-bred mare who could potentially be making the swan song to her illustrious career. A five-year-old daughter of Yes It's True, La Verdad tasted defeat for the first time in 2015 in her most recent start, finishing second by 1 3/4 lengths in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).
La Verdad is likely to be met by defending champion and multiple graded stakes winner Salutos Amigos, along with fellow New York-bred Captain Serious and Pulling G's. Fabulous Kid and Scarly Charly are possible.
Also on Thursday, two-year-old fillies will compete in the Furlough S. at six furlongs on the main track. The field is likely to include Constellation, Shayna Lady, Tonasah and Wave of Glory. Summer Reading and Town Tart are possible.
The $300,000 Go for Wand H. (G3) at a mile on dirt will highlight the Friday card at Aqueduct, potentially led by Taris, who is exiting a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Taris is likely to be met by America, winner of the Turnback the Alarm (G3) at Belmont Park in her last start; Kiss to Remember, ninth in the Filly & Mare Sprint; Mei Ling, eighth in the Spinster (G1) at Keeneland last out; Spelling Again, winner of the Chilukki (G2) at Churchill Downs in her most recent outing; and New York-bred mare Willet. Checkupfromzneckup is possible.
Joining the Go For Wand on Friday is the $150,000 King's Swan for two-year-olds at six furlongs on the main track. In R Defence, Jan's Reserve, Mo for the Money, Name Changer, Sallisaw and Spooked Out comprise the prospective field.