Aqueduct: How to bet the 2023 Franklin Square Stakes
A total of seven three-year-old fillies will run 6 1/2 panels on the Aqueduct main surface in Sunday’s $100,000 Franklin Square S. The affair for New York-bred ladies is led by Barry Schwartz’s #7 Stonewall Star (8-5) who looms large in the heat. Trained by Horacio de Paz, the sophomore daughter of Flatter has never run a bad race in her lifetime and has done her best work on the Aqueduct dirt with a 2-for-2 local mark.
Stonewall Star graduated in fine fashion here in September, and she further proved her affinity for the oval when cruising home a superb, four-length heroine of the Key Cents S. here two races prior. The bay miss draws well outside of the field for this endeavor and has the gate presence to be in the mix from the opening bell in a field lacking an abundance of pace. Third in the Gin Talking S. in her latest venture, the top selection will be prominent from the outset with Kendrick Carmouche inheriting the mount.
#1 Starry Midnight (5-2) was a most impressive debut winner on the course in November and has since been transferred to conditioner Linda Rice. The Connect dark bay broke from the tricky rail post and was left behind early on, only to put in a powerful late burst to graduate at first asking while overcoming adversity. Dark bay filly has trained well in the interim, led by a snappy bullet half-mile gate drill over the Belmont training surface on Wednesday.
The intriguing prospect is short on experience but appears to have a high ceiling, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see her in the hunt approaching the turn for home with expected improvement in this tilt. Jose Lezcano inherits the ride atop the contender.
Steve Asmussen’s #5 Banterra (3-1), who has recorded a pair of daylight wins over off tracks, rates as the wildcard in the field. The $210,000 juvenile purchase lacks overall consistency, but the Empire State-bred filly is obviously talented and can surely make an impact in the contest with something resembling her top performance. And if the surface has moisture in it, then she obviously moves up, too. Dylan Davis will be in the stirrups.
Franklin Square Wagers
- $5 trifecta 7 with 1,5 with all ($40)
- $5 trifecta key 7 with 1,5 ($10)