Meet the Contenders: 2023 Gotham Stakes

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

March 4th, 2023

Meet the horses running in the 2023 Gotham S. (G3) over one mile at Aqueduct. For each horse, we're listing a pro, a con, and a rating of potential. The star rating of 1 to 4 represents opportunity to perform well in the Gotham field.


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Clear the Air wins maiden at Turfway Park (Photo by Coady Photography)

Pro: Posted an impressive maiden victory sprinting six furlongs at Turfway, winning by 5 1/4 lengths.

Con: Faltered to fourth place in a $50,000 allowance optional claimer racing one mile at Turfway, his route debut and first try against winners.


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Howgreatisnate wins the Future Stars Handicap at Parx Racing (Photo by by Barbara Weidl/EQUI-PHOTO)

Pro: Undefeated gelding boasts a 4-for-4 record highlighted by a romp in the Future Stars S. at Parx Racing.

Con: Has yet to race farther than six furlongs and is stepping up in class for the Gotham.


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Mr Swagger wins at Aqueduct (Photo by Coglianese Photos)

Pro: Beat a next-out winner when winning his debut sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs at Aqueduct.

Con: He’s stretching out in distance and facing winners for the first time.


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Uncorrelated wins at Aqueduct (Photo by Coglianese Photos)

Pro: Cruised by 2 1/2 lengths in a six-furlong maiden special weight at Aqueduct, his lone start to date.

Con: He’s stepping up significantly in class and distance.


Pro: California raider finished second in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) last fall, earning a 102 Brisnet Speed rating tied for the highest in the Gotham field.

Con: Faltered in his only previous start outside of California, finishing 13th in Keeneland’s Breeders’ Futurity (G1).


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General Banker wins the New York Stallion Series Stakes (Photo by Joe Labozzetta/Coglianese Photos)

Pro: Exits third-place finishes in Aqueduct’s Jerome S. and Withers (G3) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Con: He finished 7 1/2 lengths behind Lugan Knight in the Jerome and needs improvement to turn the tables.


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Transect wins at Turfway Park (Photo by Coady Photography)

Pro: Unbeaten colt is 2-for-2, most recently winning a $50,000 allowance optional claimer at Turfway Park.

Con: He’s yet to race on dirt and is stepping up in class for the Gotham.


Pro: Stoutly bred California shipper won his debut sprinting and then finished third in the seven-furlong San Vicente (G2). Stretching out in distance should help his chances.

Con: He was beaten 10 1/4 lengths in the San Vicente.


Pro: Aqueduct maiden winner exits a runner-up finish in the six-furlong Jimmy Winkfield S. over this track.

Con: His career-best 89 Brisnet Speed rating looks a little light compared to the Gotham favorites.


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Lugan Knight winning the Jerome S. at Aqueduct (Photo by Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photos)

Pro: Led all the way to win the Jerome S. racing one mile at Aqueduct, counting the multiple graded stakes-placed Arctic Arrogance among his beaten rivals.

Con: He’s making his graded stakes debut and may face more pace pressure than in the Jerome.


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#1 Slip Mahoney (inside) narrowly wins over #7 Crupi (outside) at Aqueduct (Photo by Coglianese Photos)

Pro: Stoutly bred son of champion Arrogate broke his maiden racing one mile at Aqueduct, earning a sharp 98 Brisnet Speed rating.

Con: He’s facing proven winners for the first time.


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Raise Cain wins at Keeneland (Photo by Coady Photography)

Pro: Finished second in the Gun Runner S. at Fair Grounds, a Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifier.

Con: He risks a wide trip while starting from an outside post position.


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Eyeing Clover wins at Oaklawn Park (Photo by Coady Photography)

Pro: Unbeaten colt is 2-for-2 sprinting, most recently wiring a $100,000 allowance optional claimer at Fair Grounds by 9 3/4 lengths.

Con: He’s yet to run farther than six furlongs and may have trouble securing the early lead from post 13.


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Recruiter wins the Parx Juvenile (Photo by Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

Pro: Two-time stakes winner boasts a perfect 4-for-4 record and owns fast Brisnet Speed ratings of 99 and 98.

Con: He’s stretching out over one mile for the first time and seems likely to race wide from post 14.


Pro: Threw down a powerful 102 Brisnet Speed rating when winning an Aqueduct maiden special weight for New York-breds by 4 1/2 lengths.

Con: He’s yet to face non-state-restricted competition and is unproven beyond six furlongs. He’ll also need a scratch in order to draw in off the also-eligible list.