Mohaymen impresses in stakes bow; Marking & Spooking a couple of horses to watch from Aqueduct's opening week

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

November 12th, 2015


A trio of graded stakes races headlined the first week of racing at Aqueduct.

Nashua S. (G2): Shadwell Stable’s MOHAYMEN (Tapit) swept to the front with a big move nearing midstretch and powered home a 1 ½-length winner beneath Junior Alvarado. Unbeaten in two starts, the Kiaran McLaughlin trainee sped one mile on the fast main oval in 1:36 in his stakes debut and could return for the November 28 Remsen (G2) over the same track.

Long Island H. (G3): Bradley Thoroughbreds et al’s GOLD ESPONY (Vespone) went to the lead as the gates opened and was never headed on her way to a 1 ¼-length tally for conditioner Chad Brown. The talented four-year-old traveled 12 furlongs on the firm turf in 2:31 with Kendrick Carmouche in the silks.

Tempted S. (G3): Maggi Moss’ BIG WORLD (Custom for Carlos) took the lead soon after the start and fought off a few foes en route to a half-length victory under Jose Ortiz. The two-year-old filly went one mile on the fast main oval in 1:37 for conditioner Anthony Dutrow.

Track Stats

A total of 53 races were held at the Long Island, New York venue, with favorites winning at a 41 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 55 percent of the wins during the week. From 32 races on the main oval, 10 animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (31 percent), while four of the 21 grassy races were taken all the way on the lead (19 percent).  

Of the 10 wire jobs on the main oval, four came in route runs and the latter six occurred in sprint races. 30 of the 32 winners this past week on the dirt broke from posts 1-through-6.

From just a week’s sample, we imagine both ovals played pretty fairly. Four runners led at every call on the turf but all types had a chance from our view.

Meet Totals












22 (41%)

2nd Choices:


7 (13%)

Turf Wire:


4 (19%)

Dirt Wire:


10 (31%)





Wednesday (11/4)

5TH – LYRICAL MIRACLE (Miracle Man) easily ran one of his best races, posting a huge score at big odds for trainer David Donk. The four-year-old gelding swept to the front nearing the top of the lane and was much the best while coming home well for this level.

7TH – Kiaran McLaughlin’s MARKING (Bernardini) took a short lead at the head of the stretch and poured it on late in a fine 5 ½-length romp under Jose Lezcano. The interesting sophomore colt has dusted a pair of fields in succession to kick start his career and looks to be a fine prospect heading into 2016.

Thursday (11/5)

4TH – GIGI’S KITTEN (Kitten’s Joy) was last behind a very slow pace but still closed best of all to get up in a race that we thought might have been better than appears on paper. The Bill Mott trainee got her final five-sixteenths in a rapid :28 3/5.

Friday (11/6)

2ND – The Michelle Nevin-trained BEATING HEART BABY (Eskendereya) showed no rust from the 10-month layoff, putting in a strong late run to dominate this field late off the bench. The three-year-old filly will be dangerous right back with even slight improvement.

7TH – ABSATOOTLY (Mineshaft) had a tough rail post at first asking, but the two-year-old filly overcame it and finished up well to be a good second behind a sharp winner. The Charlton Baker pupil shouldn’t be a maiden for long with performances like this one.

Saturday (11/7)

1ST – Joan Scott’s DANZIG STORM (Distorted Humor) was headed in deep stretch but gamely came back to get the money in a brave showing. The four-year-old ran fairly swiftly for the level and we like the form cycle he is in right now.

7TH – SEND IT IN (Big Brown) did everything right but win the bob late in a nice runner-up performance behind an odds-on favorite for Pletcher. The former claimer has been mostly consistent this season and has room for improvement going forward.

9TH – SPOOKED OUT (Catienus) left little doubt in this maiden dash, dominating his foes with ease under John Velazquez. The Pletcher trainee has run a pair of nice ones to kick start his career and the juvenile is one to watch.

Sunday (11/8)

8TH – GOLDEN GEM (Wildcat Heir) made a fine run in the lane, and while the filly couldn’t catch the winner, she finished a clear second under Javier Castellano. The Richard Violette trainee has now run third and second in her last two and appears to be sitting on a win.

9TH – INTENSITY (Eskendereya) went four-wide in the lane, and closed best of all, securing a very sharp debut tally with Castellano in the irons. The gelded two-year-old beat what might have been a decent field and looks to be a very interesting prospect going forward.

A Look Ahead

The $150,000 Discovery H. (G3) highlighted the November 11 Veteran’s Day program and the $250,000 Red Smith S. (G3) tops Saturday’s card.