Exotics plays for the 2022 Gazelle Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

April 8th, 2022

Three-year-old fillies will race 1 1/8 miles on the Aqueduct dirt surface in Saturday’s $250,000 Gazelle S. (G3). The Road to the Kentucky Oaks challenge series affair will reward the top-four finishers with points on a 100-40-20-10 basis. And I think that the race will come down to a pair of New York-bred fillies.

Todd Pletcher’s #6 Classy Edition (5-2) suffered her first career setback when a very good runner-up to Kathleen O in the Davona Dale S. (G2) at Gulfstream Park in her latest assignment. The dual stakes victress has never run two turns but gives the impression of a sophomore who will thrive with more ground going forward. By Classic Empire, the $550,000 purchase is bred for the trip and is working well as of late, evidenced by her bullet morning move at Palm Beach Downs two back.

The once-beaten Classy Edition will never be far back from a moderate early tempo on Saturday, and I believe that she will finish best inside the final furlong with Joel Rosario taking the reins.

Jorge Abreu’s #5 Venti Valentine (7-5) couldn’t have looked much better in a Busher S. romp most recently when making her three-year-old debut. The chestnut daughter of Firing Line is a neck shy from being unbeaten from four lifetime performances, with her lone loss coming in the Demoiselle S. (G2) on the course and at the trip in the fall. The talented filly posted a trio of morning drills in advance of her second off the bench, and she is a must-use with Manuel Franco retaining the mount.

For the lower rungs of the exotics, Busanda S. runner-up #1 Morning Matcha (8-1) has never missed the board from nine lifetime showings and is well-drawn on the rail for Reid. The Central Banker filly has impressed in each of her route events and brings excellent form to the field. Frankie Pennington comes in for the ride.

Recent Guflstream allowance romper #3 Nostalgic (9-2) lacks consistency to this stage of her development, but the Bill Mott pupil has looked like a real good one on a pair of occasions. The well-bred daughter of Medaglia d’Oro uncorked a big late run most recently, and her fourth-place result in the Demoiselle S. (G2) in the fall wasn’t poor as she was stuck rallying into a dawdling early pace. She will have Jose Ortiz in the silks.

Gazelle Exotics Plays

  • $15 exacta 6 with 5 ($15)
  • $10 exacta 5 with 6 ($10)
  • $2 trifecta 5,6 with 5,6 with 1,3 ($8)
  • $2 trifecta 5,6 with 1,3 with 5,6 ($8)
  • .10-cent superfecta 5,6 with 1,3,5,6 with 1,3,5,6 with all ($6)