The Demoiselle, which offers 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to the top-four finishers, is slated as Race 9 on Saturday’s 10-race program, which is headlined by the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile and also includes the Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen, which offers 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, and the Grade 3, $250,000 Go for Wand. First post is 11:50 a.m. Eastern.
Trained by Christophe Clement, the Tapit bay rallied from last-to-first to win her debut by a head travelling a one-turn mile on November 7 at Belmont Park.
A $1.25 million Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, Tap the Faith is out of the Super Saver mare Embellish the Lace, who captured the 2015 Grade 1 Alabama at the Spa.
“She is very well bred, so it’s very exciting for us. She won well first time out,” Clement said.
Bred in Kentucky by China Horse Club International, Tap the Faith has breezed back twice out of her maiden score, including an easy five-eighths in 1:03.21 Saturday over Big Sandy.
Clement said he is hopeful Tap the Faith can impress again while returning on relatively short rest.
“I’m running back a little bit quick in the Demoiselle, but she’s been working too well so I’ve got to go,” Clement said. “She’s sound and she looks good. I would have liked an extra week or two, but that’s the way it goes. She’ll get a rest after this.”
Joel Rosario has the call from post 6.
Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle a pair of strong contenders in Nest and Miss Interpret as he looks to secure a record-extending seventh Demoiselle win.
Pletcher has previously won the Demoiselle with Smok’n Frolic , Ashado , Disposablepleasure , Unlimited Budget , Stopchargingmaria , and Malathaat . Of that group, Ashado and Malathaat went on to win the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.
Owned by Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House, Nest has posted a pair of starts over the main track at Belmont Park, including a five-length debut score traveling 1 1/16-miles on September 25 ahead of a close third in the one-mile Tempted last out on November 5.
The Curlin bay, out of the stakes-winning A.P. Indy mare Marion Ravenwood, was purchased for $350,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale and is a full-sister to Grade 1-winner Idol.
Bred in Kentucky by Ashview Farm and Colts Neck Stables, Nest has breezed back twice over the Belmont dirt training track since the Tempted, including a half-mile effort in 49.79 seconds Saturday.
Pletcher said Nest will appreciate the stretch out in distance.
“She should love the mile and an eighth. She had a good work on Saturday morning so she’s right on course,” Pletcher said.
Laurie Wolf and Glen Hill Farm’s Miss Interpret, by Street Sense, was purchased for $100,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
A maiden winner at third asking sprinting six furlongs over a muddy track at Saratoga Race Course, Miss Interpret rallied to a 1 1/2-length score in her stakes debut in the seven-furlong P.G. Johnson on September 2 at the same track.
Last out, the Kentucky-bred bay failed to fire when eighth in the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades on October 8 at Keeneland.
Nest will leave from post 5 under Irad Ortiz, Jr., while Miss Interpret will emerge from the inside post under Luis Saez.
J.W. Singer’s Magic Circle registered a field best 82 Beyer Speed Figure for her second-place effort in the Tempted, finishing a half-length back of Gerrymander.
Trained by Rudy Rodriguez, the Kantharos chestnut graduated by 4 1/2-lengths on debut, after exiting post 2 to best a field of nine maiden fillies sprinting seven furlongs in September at Saratoga.
She followed with a distant fourth in the Grade 1 Frizette, a one-turn mile on October 3 at Belmont won by Echo Zulu by 7 1/4-lengths over Gerrymander. Echo Zulu exited the Frizette to win the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 5 at Del Mar.
Rodriguez said he instructed jockey Manny Franco to sit back and try to close late in the Frizette.
“I wanted to be far back and make one run with her, but sometimes plans don’t work out the way you wanted,” Rodriguez said. “When Manny went outside it looked like she would finish second against Echo Zulu, but she got a little tired. I want to blame myself a little bit, I don’t think I had her as tight as I wanted to. She still ran good and maybe if she had finished third, I could have taken her to California.”
Rodriguez said the sizable Magic Circle should appreciate her first two-turn test.
“She’s a big filly and I don’t think it will be a problem for her to stretch out another eighth of a mile, but you don’t know until they do it. Hopefully, she’s good enough,” Rodriguez said.
The veteran conditioner, who won the 2014 Demoiselle with Condo Commando, said Magic Circle is likely to utilize a stalking trip.
“I think she can settle. She’s not the type that needs the lead,” Rodriguez said. “When she broke her maiden she was on the inside and she settled and then made the lead pretty comfortable. So, I know she can take dirt behind horses.”
Bred in Kentucky by Manitou Farm, the $110,000 OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training purchase will exit post 7 with Franco aboard.
NY Final Furlong Racing Stable and Parkland Thoroughbreds’ New York-bred Venti Valentine will put her undefeated record on the line when stepping into open company for the first time.
Bred by Final Furlong Racing Stable and Maspeth Stable, the Firing Line chestnut, out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Glory Gold, is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Espresso Shot.
Trained by Jorge Abreu, Venti Valentine rallied from 6 1/4-lengths off the pace to win her debut by a nose in a six-furlong maiden sprint in September at Belmont. She stretched out to a one-turn mile last out on October 30 to capture the Maid of the Mist by 3 3/4-lengths over a sloppy and sealed Belmont main track.
Venti Valentine will emerge from post 3 under Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez.
Godolphin homebred Nostalgic will make her stakes debut from a 7 3/4-length first-out maiden score traveling 1 1/16-miles over Big Sandy on October 22.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the Medaglia d’Oro bay garnered a 48 Beyer in her debut score. She will exit post 4 under returning rider Jose Ortiz.
Rounding out the field are maiden Full Count Felica [post 8, Tyler Gaffalione], who switches from turf to dirt after hitting the board in two of her three career starts for trainer Chad Summers; and Golden Essence [post 2, Dexter Haddock], a maiden winner at fourth asking last out on November 8 at Parx for trainer Uriah St. Lewis
America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.
NYRA Press Release
Photo: Tap The Faith (NYRA photo)