Tonalist, Mohaymen among star performers in a stakes-packed week at Aqueduct

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December 3rd, 2015


Six graded tilts led the way this past week at Aqueduct.

Cigar Mile H. (G1): Robert Evans’ TONALIST (Tapit) had just one beat in midstretch but powered home dramatically on the outside to post a neck tally. The standout four-year-old colt finished off one mile on the fast main surface in 1:37 with John Velazquez in the silks and is expected back in 2016 for trainer Christophe Clement.

Remsen S. (G2): An extremely promising prospect for the 2016 Kentucky Derby (G1), Shadwell Stable’s MOHAYMEN (Tapit) remained unbeaten while making his two-turn bow for conditioner Kiaran McLaughlin, rallying to the lead in midstretch and drawing away to a 1 ½-length score. A half-brother to 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner New Year’s Day, the gray two-year-old colt brought a sales-topping $2.2 million at the 2014 Keeneland September auction and is now 3-for-3 after completing 1 1/8 miles in a solid 1:50 3/5 with Junior Alvarado. Mohaymen registered an excellent 102 BRIS Speed rating.

Demoiselle S. (G2): Alpha Delta Stables’ homebred LEWIS BAY (Bernardini) swept to the lead in early stretch and held the edge through the lane in securing a 1 ¾-length victory for trainer Chad Brown. A maiden scorer in her previous start, the bay two-year-old filly stretched out to two turns for the first time and negotiated 1 1/8 miles in 1:53 2/5 under Irad Ortiz Jr.

Go For Wand S. (G2): Michael Tabor et al’s TARIS (Flatter) took the lead in early stretch and finished up well to post a 2 ½-length victory beneath Joel Rosario. The Simon Callaghan trainee clocked one mile on the fast dirt oval in 1:36.

Fall Highweight H. (G3): Grant and Grant’s GREEN GRATTO (Here’s Zealous) shot to the front at the break and held off a stern test late in securing a head victory with Kendrick Carmouche. The Gaston Grant trainee lit up the toteboard as the longest shot in the field at 45-1 and went six panels in 1:09 4/5.

Comely (G3): FOREVER UNBRIDLED (Unbridled’s Song) was never far back and gamely outdueled a rival to record her first stakes victory with a head decision. Trained by Dallas Stewart and ridden by John Velazquez, the sophomore filly is out of 2006 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Lemons Forever and counts this year’s Ballerina (G1) winner, Unbridled Forever, as a full sister. Forever Unbridled completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:50 3/5.

Track Stats

A total of 46 races were held at the Long Island, New York venue, with favorites winning at a 26 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 50 percent of the wins during the week. From 28 races on the main oval, five animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (18 percent), while four of the 18 grassy races were taken all the way on the lead (22 percent).  

The main oval was best for speed on Thursday, with a trio of winners leading throughout. Just two other animals did the same during the other four days of the week from 23 races.

Four went wire-to-wire on the lawn, but all types had success this past week on the green. The turf course has appeared to be fair for the entire meeting to this point.

From a total of 28 races on the dirt, 27 winners broke from posts 1-through-6.

Meet Totals












72 (38%)

2nd Choices:


41 (22%)

Turf Wire:


13 (20%)

Dirt Wire:


34 (27%)





Wednesday (11/25)

2ND – CHAPMAN (Stanislavsky) was ultra game in posting a tally in this spot and could be a nice claim for David Jacobson, with the potential to return instant dividends with any improvement.

Thursday (11/26)

3RD – CONSTELLATION (Bellamy Road) ran to her 1-2 odds dominating this field in the lane for conditioner Steve Asmussen. The talented juvenile filly has put together a nice two-year-old campaign and might have better days ahead in 2016. The Kentucky-bred is bred for more ground, and to possibly thrive on the turf, so we will keep her on our radar for sure.

6TH – CRAFTED (Giant’s Causeway) was all heart in a fine debut try and a bit unlucky not to have won at first asking. The sophomore was in the mix between runners for a long time, and never wavered despite falling a nose shy for trainer James Bond. He should be live in his subsequent outing.

8TH – Grade 1 winner PALACE (City Zip) nearly caught a clear leader with a big late run and could be heading back into a good form run for conditioner Linda Rice.

Friday (11/27)

3RD – JAN’S RESERVE (Ready’s Image) was last early but swept to the lead nearing midstretch and powered home a convincing winner for conditioner Michael Dilger. The juvenile miss came home in 12 second flat and looms a nice sprint prospect going forward.

6TH – Linda Rice’s HALF DREAMIN (Noonmark) showed a big turn around from her last performance, dominating this field with Cornelio Velasquez in the silks. The sophomore filly didn’t run especially fast but still will be a player with winners next time with any type of improvement.

8TH – We like the late energy shown by the talented Taris in this route run and the ultra-talented miss has a lot of options into the 2016 season.

Saturday (11/28)

1ST – We love the way GEHRIG (Ghostzapper) came home after dueling on the lead for trainer Bruce Levine. The two-year-old gelding might be a candidate to stretch out in the near future after this performance.

4TH – ANNALS OF TIME (Temple City) was stuck behind a slow early tempo but came home with a big late run to pick up a nice win at first asking for Chad Brown. The two-year-old colt looks like a fine turf prospect going forward with expected improvement off of this showing.

INSPECTOR LYNLEY (Lemon Drop Kid) just missed and won’t be a maiden for long with runs like this one, finishing more than seven lengths clear of third. The two-year-old colt might also be a nice prospect for trainer Shug McGaughey.

9TH – The classy MSHAWISH (Medaglia d’Oro) ran a big one in our view in this dirt experiment and we are simply a fan of this horse. The brave five-year-old is versatile and might have a fine 2016 season ahead of him.

A Look Ahead

There is no graded racing this week at Aqueduct.