Remsen gives Takaful a chance to stretch his speed

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

November 23rd, 2016

Takaful surprised at odds of 12-1 when he landed his October 29 debut at Belmont Park by eight lengths. The Shadwell Farm homebred will be a far shorter price to repeat in Saturday's $300,000 Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct, a race that rewards 10 qualifying points toward 2017 Kentucky Derby (G1) eligibility to the winner.

The Kiaran McLaughlin-trained son of Bernardini set a swift pace in that 6 1/2-furlong maiden, cutting out early fractions of :21 4/5 and :44 4/5 before finishing up in 1:15 4/5. A more measured pace will be required for Takaful to take the Remsen, contested around one lap of Aqueduct's 1 1/8-mile main oval.

Mo Town, who rallied from slightly off the pace to register a seven-length maiden win going a mile at Belmont on September 24, is also expected to attract plenty of support. In a race where only one of the 10 juveniles has won more than once, other recent graduates that figure to be looked at closely include Hookup, a four-length debut scorer over Aqueduct's one-turn mile earlier this month, and the Chad Brown-trained You're to Blame, who bested Newman by a half-length at Belmont in mid-October.

The only multiple winner in the field, No Dozing, won on debut at Delaware Park and then took an allowance at Laurel going six furlongs. Last time, he finished only fourth lengths behind presumptive juvenile champion Classic Empire in the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland (G1).

Takaful (30-1), Mo Town (30-1), Hookup (50-1) and No Dozing (50-1) are all individual wagering interests in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW), which will be held Thursday through Sunday this week.

The $300,000 Demoiselle (G2), the filly counterpart to the Remsen and a Kentucky Oaks (G1) qualifier, has three of its nine entrants hailing from the Rudy Rodriguez barn. Jamyson 'n Ginger won third out in the slop by more than 15 lengths, but endured a troubled trip when fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). His others are Libby's Tail, second by a head in the Frizette (G1) last out, and Bonita Bianca, undefeated in two starts versus New York-bred company.

Other likely contenders include Miss Sky Warrior, who landed the one-mile Tempted (G3) earlier this month, and dominating Belmont graduates Elandess and Ladies Day.

(Robert Mauhar/Adam Coglianese Photography)