Aqueduct Wrap Up and Look Ahead

December 8, 2019

Aqueduct Racetrack Notes

  • G1 Cigar Mile champ Maximum Security in good shape; possible for Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup
  • Spun to Run to get much-deserved break after capping stellar sophomore campaign with G1 Cigar Mile runner-up effort
  • G2 Demoiselle winner Lake Avenue has options
  • Shotski earns cheers with G2 Remsen win; will be nominated to Jerome and G3 Withers
  • Clement stable relishes 1-2 finish in Winter Memories
  • Aqueduct Winter Week 1 Stakes Probables

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security was a little bit tired but no worse for the wear on Sunday morning after earning his third Grade 1 victory of the season in the $750,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The 3-year-old son of New Year’s Day, trained by Jason Servis, bolstered his bid for Champion 3-Year-Old with the wire-to-wire win, which garnered a career-best 111 Beyer Speed Figure. After breaking sharply under jockey Luis Saez, Maximum Security set swift opening fractions with Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile-victor Spun to Run pressing the pace while a close second. At the top of the stretch, Maximum Security shook away to a 3 ½-lenth victory.  

A winner of the Grade 1 Florida Derby and Grade 1 Haskell Invitational, Maximum Security crossed the wire first in seven of eight starts this season, including the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby where he was subsequently disqualified to 17th for interference around the far turn.
“He looks good. He’s just a little tired,” said assistant trainer Henry Argueta.
Plans call for a possible start in the Grade 1, $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on January 25 at Gulfstream Park. Maximum Security’s first four career starts, including a maiden claiming score for a thrifty $16,000 tag, took place at the Hallandale Beach oval. All were victories.

He will now likely ship to Servis’ primary winter stable at Palm Meadows Training Center in South Florida on Tuesday.
“I would have to think about it. He’s undefeated, four for four at Gulfstream,” Servis said. “We’ll probably give him two or three days and if the weather looks good temperature wise, then we’ll probably ship Tuesday.”
A Kentucky homebred, Maximum Security is out of the Anasheed broodmare Lil Indy, who produced a full-sibling to Maximum Security in Korea earlier this spring. Currently in foal to Quality Road, Lil Indy was acquired by Jane Lyon’s Summer Wind Equine for $1.85 million at this year’s Keeneland November Sale.

*         *         *Spun to Run to get much-deserved break after capping stellar sophomore campaign with G1 Cigar Mile runner-up effort

Robert P. Donaldson’s 3-year-old Spun to Run came out his impressive runner-up effort in Saturday’s Grade 1 Cigar Mile tired but in good order, trainer Juan Guerrero said Sunday morning.
The desire to sleep in was understandable as Spun to Run challenged Maximum Security for the entire race, as the two Grade 1-winners ran 1-2 through every port of call before Maximum Security powered to the wire for a 3 ½-length victory.
But Spun to Run, coming off a 2 ½-length score in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita, garnered a 105 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort, marking his third consecutive triple-digit number following his 109 in the Dirt Mile and a personal-best 110 for his win in the M.P. Ballezzi Appreciation Mile on October 12 at Parx.

“He was a little tired but he came back good,” Guerrero said. “It was very exciting. My horse tries so hard. But Maximum Security is just a beast. Once he gets to the front like that, he doesn’t like to get beat. My horse, he likes to run, too. We ran after them.”

“He came back good. The track was heavier than I expected. I thought it’d be heavy, but not as heavy as it was. But he did everything he good. He’s a professional racehorse. He loves his job. He doesn’t act up. He makes it easy. I like to let him have fun out there and he’s just a great horse.”

Spun to Run has been active since starting his career in October 2018, compiling a 5-2-3 record and earnings of more than $1.6 million in 12 starts. The Hard Spun sophomore colt raced five times since September, starting with a win in the Grade 3 Smarty Jones in September at Parx. He twice finished in the money in races won by Maximum Security, including a third-place effort in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational in July at Monmouth Park. That heavy workload has

Guerrero looking to give Spun to Run time off before he commences his 4-year-old campaign.
“He came back good but I think he really needs a break,” he said. “I’m trying to decide if I should send him to the farm and give him some time off or just keep him at the track and just keep him happy. I’m going to talk to my owner and decide what to do.
“My horse has been running so hard the last five races, and earning triple-digit Beyers, and we’ve been running hard,” he added. “I think with a bit of a break, he’ll come back stronger. I’ll try and keep his races a little further apart this year and I think he’ll even be a better horse and have a better year. We had a great year in [2019], but he came back every 20, 25 days, and you don’t see that too often with stakes horses. He held his races together like that, and that’s amazing to me.”
Guerrero said the travel, including a cross-country trip for the Breeders’ Cup, as well as earning black type in stakes held at four different states, also has necessitated a break for the Kentucky bred.

*         *         *G2 Demoiselle winner Lake Avenue has options

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott is keeping all options open for Grade 2, $250,000 Demoiselle winner Lake Avenue, who was victorious in her two-turn debut, which garnered an 82 Beyer.

Breaking to the outside in the field of 10 under Junior Alvarado, Lake Avenue broke a touch slow but made a quick recovery and placed herself right on the front end where she proceeded to lead at every point of call and drew off to win by four lengths.
The chestnut daughter of Tapit, out of two-time Grade 1 winner Seventh Street, picked up 10 qualifying points for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on May 1 at Churchill Downs.

While she will likely ship to Payson Park in Indiantown, Florida, where Mott is primarily stabled during the winter months, her next start could take place in a wide range of places as she continues to pursue qualifying points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
“They have races in Arkansas, Louisiana and New York. We’re not locked in anywhere,” said Mott, who previously saddled Ajina (1996) and Mushka (2007) to Demoiselle scores. “It would make some sense [to keep her at two turns] but she’s certainly tactical enough for a mile. I don’t think that’s an issue.”
Lake Avenue arrived at the Demoiselle off a highly impressive seven-furlong maiden win at second asking, where she displayed similar frontrunning prowess and drew off to win by 12 3/4-lengths.

“She won so easily at seven-eighths, but it was the fact that she was going down the backside and looked relaxed enough to get the distance,” Mott said. “I’ve had horses look like that and then get to the eighth-pole and surrender. Just to see her go on; they ran to her a little bit leaving the quarter pole and she just found another gear. It was certainly gratifying.”
Lake Avenue was bred in Kentucky by owner Godolphin.

Mott said no plans have been made yet for Forza di Oro, a distant eighth in the Grade 2 Remsen, and Summer Wind Equine’s 2-year-old maiden winner Moon Over Miami. Both colts are likely ship to Payson Park.
Owned and bred by Jane Lyon’s Summer Wind Equine, Moon Over Miami was a five-length winner of his second career start, where he recorded an 82 Beyer.Moon Over Miami is out of the Smart Strike broodmare Zimzay, whose dam Music Room is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1-winners Music Note and Musical Chimes.

*         *         *Shotski earns cheers with G2 Remsen win; will be nominated to Jerome and G3 Withers

Trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer picked up his first graded-stakes win when Shotski, sent to post at 8-1, led gate-to-wire in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen at Aqueduct.
Owned by Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable, Pantofel Stable and Blue River Investment Partners, O’Dwyer wisely decided to scratch out of a sloppy renewal of the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs and instead found a fast Big A main favorable to Shotski’s versatile style.
Shotski, who broke sharp and never looked back to pass his first two-turn test, earned a career-best 86 Beyer Speed Figure for his front-running win over well-regarded Ajaaweed.

“It was a great day,” said O’Dywer. “This horse is not one dimensional. He can run from behind or go to the lead as he proved yesterday. We studied the race as best we could and opted to let him break good and see where he wants to be placed.
“He’s an easy going horse,” continued O’Dwyer. “He just coasted along there and when the horses came to him, he kept pulling out. He opened up a nice lead midway down the stretch and was a little leg weary getting to the line, but a mile an eighth is a long way for 2-year-olds this time of the year. I’m very proud of him.”
In victory, Shotski earned 10 qualifying points towards the 2020 Grade 1 Kentucky Derby along with runner-ups Ajaaweed (4), Chase Tracker (2) and Informative (1).

O’Dwyer credited Saez, who partnered Maximum Security to a front-running victory one race later in the Cigar Mile, with a sharp ride.
“I gave Luis free rein,” said O’Dwyer. “He did a super job. At three-and-a-half out, he gave him a little niggle but he was just making sure he had him there when he needed him. They’re the top riders in the country up there in New York. Luis just hand rode him most of the way and I like riders that hand ride as much as they can and not just rely on the stick. Luis really grabbed a hold of the horse and helped him along to the line.”

O’Dwyer said Shotski will be nominated to both the one-mile $150,000 Jerome on January 1 and the Grade 3, $250,000 Withers at nine furlongs on February 1 at the Big A. Both races offer 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-four finishers.
“We’ll take a look at them all and he’ll definitely be nominated,” said O’Dwyer. “There’s plenty of these 3-year-old races around the country and I’m not afraid to ship. The horse is a good shipper and traveler. We’re happy to take him to whatever may be the most suitable spot for him. I think there’s more to come from him and hopefully he’ll continue to develop and be a lovely 3-year-old.”
Shotski, a bay son of Blame, graduated at second asking when sprinting six furlongs on the Laurel Park main track on October 3 and followed up with a good fourth in the Street Sense at one mile on October 27 at Churchill Downs.O’Dwyer said Shotski, who shipped home to his Laurel base last night, came out of the win in good order.

“He jogged up sound and ate up last night. He’s full of himself here this morning,” said O’Dywer. “I’d like to give him five to six to six weeks after that race if we could. We’ll let the horse do the talking. I don’t like to train them off the paper; I like to train them off what I see in the morning. I’ll let him tell me how he’s feeling.”

O’Dwyer also saddled Needs Supervision to a fourth-place effort in Saturday’s Grade 3 Go for Wand. Owned by Barber, Wachtel Stable, Madaket Stables and Mike Karty, Needs Supervision provided the conditioner his first stakes win when taking the Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds in January.
The 3-year-old Paynter filly raced in fourth position throughout in the Go for Wand won gate-to-wire by Spiced Perfection, a race which O’Dwyer said failed to set up for his talented filly.

“I was happy with the filly’s performance. The race wasn’t run ideal for her,” said O’Dwyer. “It was very slow, and I knew that would hurt us a bit when you’re sitting fourth. Those other fillies were quickening and running to the line and we had to quicken to get to them and quicken again to go by them. It’s very hard to do against that caliber of horses. I was hoping she’d get her head down for third. It didn’t happen yesterday, but it will. She’ll be back for her 4-year-old year.”

*         *         *Clement stable relishes 1-2 finish in Winter Memories

Saturday’s Winter Memories featured a 1-2 finish for Christophe Clement stablemates Feel Glorious and Sorrentina Lemon.
Clement assistant Christophe Lorieul said both runners came out of the race in good order.
“We are very delighted with how they both ran yesterday,” said Lorieul. “They both seem to have come back out of the race in good shape and will look to Florida soon.”

Owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and Tango Racing, Feel Glorious was making her ninth start of the year and first since running second in the Grade 2 Sands Point on October 12. The win marked her second career stakes victory and win at Aqueduct after capturing the Memories of Silver last April.

“It was nice to close out the year for her with a victory and the owners as well who were here to watch yesterday,” said Lorieul. She had an extensive campaign and if you look at her record she really showed up and was game in every race she ran.”
Sorrentina Lemon came from off the pace in her stakes debut and was just shy at the wire to finish second by three-quarters of a length, netting a career high 88 Beyer Speed Figure for the Lemon Drop filly.

“We thought it was a good effort from her making her third career start and to be able to handle the jump up in class like she did,” said Lorieul. She’s shown she can compete at this level and who knows with a bit more distance in yesterday’s race she may have even ended up winning. It’s exciting we can move forward from here with many options.”

Via NYRA Press Release

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