The Gotham Stakes Tipsheet

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 4th, 2021

A quartet of stakes races highlight a strong Saturday card at Aqueduct, led by the $300,000 Gotham S. (G3). The 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series showdown will reward the top four finishers with qualifying points on a 50-20-10-5 basis towards the Run for the Roses on May 1.

Gotham Picks

  • #3 Highly Motivated
  • #7 Freedom Fighter
  • #5 Crowded Trade
  • #6 Capo Kane

Gotham Wagers

  • $20 Win and Place #3 Highly Motivated
  • $1 Superfecta 3 with 5,7 with 2,5,6,7 with all

Gotham Contenders

#1 ATLANTIC ROAD showed a lot of heart in graduating second time out on the oval for Pletcher. Quality Road colt draws well inside, but he has to get faster to run with the top contenders in this field under Vargas.

#2 THE REDS broke through with a tally going 1 1/8 miles on the course in his latest venture for Kimmel. Son of Tonalist has a versatile running style and good experience on the local strip, and I could envision him rallying for a minor award late with Morales in the stirrups.

#3 HIGHLY MOTIVATED displayed an abundance of talent at two and gets top billing in his sophomore bow for conditioner Chad Brown. The $240,000 weanling purchase capped his 2020 campaign with a sharp tally in the Nyquist S. at Keeneland, and he stretches out off the bench for a potent layoff conditioner. Regular rider Castellano keeps the mount.

#4 WIPE THE SLATE invades from California for the always dangerous Doug O’Neill. Nyquist colt graduated in style two back, prior to being outrun late in the Robert B. Lewis S. (G3) most recently. Speedy chestnut will be a forward presence from the break under Kendrick Carmouche.

#5 CROWDED TRADE is the second from the Brown shedrow and enters off of a visually impressive debut tally on the oval. Chestnut son of More Than Ready made good on his even-money status at first asking when running down a clear leader late, and he will be a contender from off the pace with expected improvement on Saturday. Eric Cancel inherits the ride.

#6 CAPO KANE romped home in the Jerome S. two back before finishing third in the Withers S. (G3) last time out. Talented and fleet Street Sense colt lands in a field with considerable early foot, and he might have to rate early in order to have a winning chance inside the final furlong.

#7 FREEDOM FIGHTER rates as the one to beat exiting a fine second in the San Vicente S. (G2) for Baffert. Violence colt is very quick, but he has also proven to be capable of carrying his speed, making him especially dangerous from a fine post slot that aids his running style. The Kentucky-bred has been training in rapid fashion as of late and will be forcing the tempo from the start beneath Manny Franco.

#8 WEYBURN was a smart graduate third time out for Jimmy Jerkens, but he faces a tall task from the outside post in the Gotham. Well-bred son of Pioneerof the Nile has improved since adding blinkers and will appreciate the added distance, but he has to prove himself with stakes horses before being backed in a field with this kind of depth.