New York racing resumes a five-day schedule Wednesday at Aqueduct that will continue through the end of the month before the track cuts back to fewer days in December. The nine-race card includes two first-level allowance races for fillies and mares – a New York-bred turf sprint and a 1 1/8-mile open event.
Jockey Luis Saez comes into the program three wins shy of 2,000 career victories and seems poised to move closer to the milestone. He is scheduled to ride in six races and has live mounts for trainers Brad Cox, Bill Mott, and John Terranova. If race 4 comes off the turf, he’ll have a seventh mount on main-track-only entrant Missle Bomb, who would be favored for trainer Joe Sharp.
Saez, 26, is having another excellent year and has won Grade 1 races on Promises Fulfilled, Hi Happy, and Magnum Moon. He has already surpassed 200 wins for the fourth straight season.
A native of Panama, Saez came to the United States in 2009 and began riding in South Florida. He has won the last two riding titles at the Gulfstream Park Championship meet.
In race 8 on Wednesday, a six-furlong turf sprint for statebred fillies and mares, Saez will be aboard Mama Mary for Sharp. Mama Mary comes into the race off a three-length off-the-turf maiden victory and is one of a handful of horses with a chance in a wide-open event.
Six of the 10 horses in the body of the race and two also-eligibles come out of the same six-furlong grass race on Oct 6. Run over a good course, that race slowed down through a 13-second final furlong with the late-runners Saratoga Treasure and Spa Treatment finishing first and second at 6-1 and 13-1. Spa Treatment has post 9 on Wednesday for trainer Tom Albertrani.
Something Joyful was sent off the 2-1 favorite but was bumped at the start and was second to last away from the gate. She was forced to move early, was fanned wide, lacked the needed rally, and finished sixth. She has a right to improve Wednesday for trainer Jeremiah Englehart.
Hollywood Cat, the 5-2 second choice, ran a solid race for trainer Jason Servis to make the lead from just off the pace but was outfinished by the two deep closers.
Late-running Dream Passage has finished second at this level in her last two starts and won a $50,000 starter race for Cox.
In race 2, a 1 1/8-mile allowance with a five-horse field, Tigalalu appears to be the lone speed for Mark Hennig, who will add blinkers to the lightly raced daughter of Curlin’s equipment. She finished third in her first two tries at nine furlongs, but her jockey, Jose Ortiz, will likely be able to control the tempo of this race.
Trainer Mike Maker tried Naples Legacy on turf in her last start but returns her Wednesday to the main track, where she has run her best races. A $40,000 claim three starts ago at Saratoga, she has tactical speed and may get first run at Tigalalu.
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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