Wet conditions don't deter a huge Saturday of racing at Aqueduct

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

April 13th, 2016

A huge Saturday of racing topped the action at Aqueduct this past week.

Wood Memorial (G1): Repole Stables’ homebred OUTWORK (Uncle Mo) tracked in second, took the lead in midstretch and held on gamely late in securing a head victory with John Velazquez. The Todd Pletcher pupil got his 1 1/8 miles on the muddy ground in 1:52 4/5 to stamp his Kentucky Derby ticket.

Carter H. (G1): Southern Equine Stable and trainer David Jacobson’s SALUTOS AMIGOS (Salute the Sarge) was last turning for home but made an eight-wide move in the lane to get up by a neck late under pilot Cornelio Velasquez. The six-year-old gelding finished up seven muddy furlongs in 1:23 to earn the Grade 1 trophy.

Gazelle S. (G2): Alpha Delta Stables’ homebred LEWIS BAY (Bernardini) took a small edge at the top of the lane and easily proved best, posting a 1 ½-length victory with Irad Ortiz. The Chad Brown trainee clocked nine panels in 1:52 3/5.

Bay Shore S. (G3): Centennial Farms’ UNIFIED (Candy Ride) took the lead shortly after the start and never gave way en route to a three-length tally under Jose Ortiz. The Jimmy Jerkens-trained three-year-old finished off seven-eighths in 1:22 4/5.

Excelsior S. (G3): Black Swan Racing et al’s KID CRUZ (Lemon Drop Kid) took a short lead in early stretch and stayed on gamely to post a half-length win for trainer Linda Rice. The five-year-old endured 1 ¼ miles in 2:04 2/5 with Jose Ortiz up.

Top Flight H. (G3): Phipps Stable’s homebred CARRUMBA (Bernardini) overtook the pacesetter in the lane and fought gamely to post a half-length win for conditioner Shug McGaughey. The four-year-old filly stopped the teletimer in 1:50 1/5 for nine furlongs beneath Jose Ortiz.

Track Stats

A total of 48 races were held over the main strip at the Long Island, New York venue, with favorites winning at a 42 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 75 percent of the wins during the week. From 43 races on the dirt, 13 animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (30 percent), while two of the five races on the green were taken all the way on the front end (40 percent).

Speed on the main oval got better as the surface received more moisture and was best on Thursday when five of nine winners led at every call. We once again witnessed a high number of well-backed runners coming home successfully, so we still won’t call the track biased.

Meet Totals












34 (46%)

2nd Choices:


25 (34%)

Dirt Wire:


20 (29%)

Turf Wire:


2 (40%)





Wednesday (4/6)

2ND – BLARNEY STONES (Bustin Stones) was overtaken in early stretch but never wavered, fighting on with a nice runner-up showing for conditioner Gary Contessa. The sophomore colt has now been solid in second in two straight and surely makes sense next out.

3RD – WELCOMING (Tapit) didn’t set the teletimer on fire in this allowance tally, but the Christophe Clement trainee was much the best and looked good visually pulling away late. The sophomore lass surely could have improvement in her going forward as a nice prospect.

Thursday (4/7)

5TH – EYE LUV LULU (Pollard’s Vision) dueled through some fast early splits but still had a lot left in the lane in pulling away to a big score in this dash. The five-year-old gelding might be with stakes foes next time for conditioner David Jacobson.

Friday (4/8)

3RD – SAMRAAT (Noble Causeway) was not challenging the top pair in his comeback race in this spot, but the Richard Violette trainee needed the run in the first start since summer and should be a lot tighter in his subsequent outing.

5TH – JOY DRIVE (Quality Road) came wide in the lane and nearly upset this field in a fine closing run beneath Jose Ortiz. The sophomore colt is in good current form right now and should be applauded for the big finish behind the slow pace he was chasing.

8TH – The Rudy Rodriguez-trained SIOUX (Awesome Again) took the lead soon after the break and proved much the best in the lane with a fine closing run to win going away. The Laurel shipper earned a lifetime-best 101 BRIS Speed number in his first outing for this outfit and could be in line for a class rise next time out.

Saturday (4/9)

4TH – Euro import HAPPYNESS (Verglas) was well-backed in the U.S. debut and showed why in a powerful allowance tally for conditioner Chad Brown. The four-year-old filly could be any kind the stateside and will be facing stakes foes next time.

7TH – Robert Falcone’s MIND YOUR BISCUITS (Posse) swept to the lead in the lane and cruised home an emphatic 7 ½-length romper under the guidance of Jose Ortiz. The three-year-old colt finished up with great energy and could easily be a player with winners in his return.

10TH – ADVENTIST (Any Given Saturday) is still one we have our eye on as he continues to do just enough to be considered a good sophomore. The Leah Gyarmati trainee found his best stride inside the final furlong after looking to be done in early stretch and the colt surely has quality to him.

Sunday (4/10)

7TH – TOLEDO EDDIE (Ministers Wildcat) continued his superb current run with a fourth straight tally, and second in succession since coming to the Empire State. The Jacobson charge has posted triple-digit BRIS Speed figures in three straight and likely will be back in with stakes foes next time.

A Look Ahead

Sunday’s $200,000 Distaff H. (G3) is the lone graded race this weekend at Aqueduct.