Bernardini offspring among solid prospects on Thanksgiving Saturday
After dining on turkey and trimmings Thursday and leftovers on Friday, the bettor in me is ready to feast on the plethora of graded stakes offerings traditionally served on Thanksgiving Saturday.
Here are a few contenders I'll be watching with interest during the course of the day.
LEWIS BAY (Demoiselle [G2], Aqueduct race 3) -- There isn't much depth to this renewal of the Demoiselle, but as always there are several fillies with loads of potential. This 8-5 morning line favorite is one of them. Her dam was a juvenile graded stakes winner over this track in the Tempted (G3) and has already produced a pair of Grade 3 winners in Misconnect and Winslow Homer. Second by a half-length in her debut, this Chad Brown charge aired by six lengths in her maiden follow-up going seven furlongs. One of two Bernardinis I like today, she doesn't figure to have much trouble getting an additional two furlongs in her first stakes attempt.
SAIL AHOY (Remsen [G2], Aqueduct race 5) -- The Phipps Stable homebred is an intriguing 6-1 on the morning line following a sneaky good third in the Nashua (G2) last time. Making a solid rally from last to finish third, two lengths by returning rival Mohaymen, he should relish the additional furlong today while adding blinkers. A Bernardini half-brother to turf star Point of Entry and the ill-fated filly Pine Island, he figures to get even better with maturity and distance.
FOREVER UNBRIDLED (Comely [G3], Aqueduct race 7) -- This filly was probably a tad short in last month's Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland in her first race since the Kentucky Oaks (G1), but it was still one of her better efforts as she finished within two lengths after a slow start and six-wide rally. Like her full sister, Ballerina (G1) winner Unbridled Forever, she might ultimately prove to be more effective as a one-turn specialist, but I'm willing to give her a chance here at nine furlongs given the competition. She has good form lines having futilely chased I'm a Chatterbox last winter at Fair Grounds, and the pickup of John Velazquez is a plus. I'm hoping she'll be slightly higher than her 4-1 morning line price.
MONEY MULTIPLIER (Hollywood Derby [G1], Del Mar race 7) -- One of four in the field trained by Chad Brown, this son of Lookin at Lucky was narrowly beaten in his first two turf attempts in the Kent (G3) at Delaware Park and the Saranac (G3) at Saratoga. He faced much better in the Hill Prince (G3) at Belmont last time and didn't run as well, but encountered plenty of trouble in the race and was running over a very soft turf which he probably didn't like. I'll draw a line through that one and hope he runs back to his Saranac form while gladly taking anything close to his 12-1 morning line price.