Remsen S. (G2) — Race 8 (3:14 p.m. ET)
Mo Donegal and Zandon, who closed at 37-1 and 56-1, respectively, in last week’s first pool of the 2022 Kentucky Derby Future Wager, will have a chance to provide their early backers with encouragement on Saturday in the $250,000 Remsen S. (G2) at Aqueduct. Mo Donegal breaks from post 1 and Zandon from post 7 in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen, with Kentucky Derby (G1) qualifying points of 10-4-2-1 on the line for the top four finishers.
A son of Uncle Mo trained by Todd Pletcher, Mo Donegal rebounded from a third-place finish on debut to win over 1 1/16 miles at Belmont on Oct. 21 by 1 1/2 lengths over returning rival Fromanothamutha. Zandon, a Chad Brown-trained son of Upstart, won at first asking by the same margin at Belmont on Oct. 9 going six furlongs.
“He ran one time going six furlongs and he won, but I’ve always thought of him as a pure route horse,” said Brown of Zandon. “The fact that he was able to go three-quarters, I was quite impressed. I thought he would’ve been a late-running horse that would have needed a start, but he won. I was quite impressed by that because I don’t think that’s what he wants to do at all.”
Also stepping up from the maiden ranks is Eloquist, who improved dramatically off of two modest showings in sprints to win going one mile at Parx for Butch Reid.
Among the few stakes veterans in the field are the New York-bred Who Hoo Thats Me, who finished third the Sleepy Hollow S. for state breds last time, and Judge Davis, a distant third in the Nashua (G3) last month. The latter adds blinkers on Saturday for Shug McGaughey, the record holder for most Remsen wins among trainers with four.
Mr Jefferson invades from Maryland with a 2-for-2 record on dirt. He rallied to capture a first-level allowance at Laurel going 1 1/16 miles in his first try wearing blinkers.
Demoiselle S. (G2) — Race 9 (3:43 p.m. ET)
The $250,000 Demoiselle S. (G2), for two-year-old fillies and also at nine furlongs, features a rematch between Magic Circle and Nest, who were separated by a neck last month when finishing second and third, respectively, to Gerrymander in the one-mile Tempted S. at Belmont.
Magic Circle, a Saratoga graduate, had finished distantly behind Echo Zulu and Gerrymander in the Frizette (G1) prior to the Tempted, while Nest won on debut by five lengths in late September.
“She should love the mile and an eighth,” said trainer Todd Pletcher of Nest, a daughter of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin.
Tap the Faith won her debut by a head going a mile at Belmont last month for Christophe Clement. The Tapit filly showed enough potential to command a $1.25 million bid as a yearling.
“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.
Others potentially in the mix include Venti Valentine, 7 3/4-length winner of the Maid of the Mist S. against New York-breds last time, and Miss Interpret, the P.G. Johnson S. heroine who ran a dull race in the Alcibiades (G1) last time.
The Demoiselle offers Road to the Kentucky Oaks qualifying points of 10-4-2-1 to the top four finishers.