OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Trainer Linda Rice has won three of the last five runnings of the Broadway Stakes and, on paper, brings a pretty strong hand into Saturday’s 40th renewal of the $100,000 sprint for New York-bred females at Aqueduct.
However, both of Rice’s entrants, Startwithsilver, winner of last year’s Broadway, and Holiday Disguise, a four-time stakes winner, are coming off significant layoffs, making them perhaps a bit vulnerable.
Startwithsilver has not been out since a last-place finish in the Regret Stakes at Monmouth last June. Holiday Disguise, who won the Grade 3 Distaff here last April, has not been out since a sixth-place finish in the Iroquois Stakes on Oct. 20 at Belmont.
Both have been returned to Rice’s care by owner Sheila Rosenblum after having been moved last fall to Jonathan Thomas in Florida.
Asked if she felt Startwithsilver was fit enough off an eight-month layoff, Rice said: “I felt like if it was a muddy track, I did, and if it was a dry track, maybe not. She excels in the mud.”
Holiday Disguise won last February’s Biogio’s Rose Stakes off a 255-day layoff. However, Rice noted that Holiday Disguise had been ready to run six weeks prior but missed a few races due to one not filling and then a quarantine that had been placed on Rice’s barn in January 2018.
Holiday Disguise enters Saturday’s race with works on dirt at Bridlewood Farm, one on turf at Gulfstream, and two breezes at Belmont. She is 0 for 2 at the Broadway distance of six furlongs.
“Coming back off a long layoff, I felt like three-quarters – which might be too short for her – is a place to start,” Rice said.
Palladian Bridge is a potential upsetter. She has had a history of following a bad race with a good one, and her last race, a sixth-place finish in the La Verdad Stakes, was awful. Trainer Ray Handal said Palladian Bridge bled in that race. After incrementally decreasing the amount of Lasix that Palladian Bridge had been racing on, Handal said he is increasing it somewhat for this race.
“She’s been training lights out,” Handal said of the mare, who has nine wins from 30 starts. “I think we’re going to see the real Palladian Bridge. Her good race puts her right there with these fillies.”
Handal also will send out Absatootly. The stakes-winning filly was previously trained by Charlton Baker and was beaten double-digit lengths in all three of her starts in 2018. Handal said Absatootly has lived up to her billing as a solid work horse and he is adding blinkers to her equipment for the Broadway, Absatootly’s first start since Aug. 16.
“I’m hoping the blinkers are the missing link to get her back to that old form,” Handal said.
Filibustin is coming off a second-level allowance win in what was her first start for trainer Gary Contessa. Completing the field are Pauseforthecause, who just missed second behind runaway winner Kathryn the Wise in the La Verdad Stakes, I Still Miss You, and Queeb.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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