Carter H. (G1) — Race 9 (5:21 p.m. ET)
Already one of the exciting milers in the early part of the 2022 season, Speaker’s Corner will put his sprinting prowess on display Saturday in the $300,000 Carter H. (G1) at Aqueduct over seven furlongs.
Owning a 5-for-6 record around one turn, Speaker’s Corner enters the Carter off back-to-back wins in the Fred W. Hooper (G3) and Gulfstream Park Mile (G2), the latter by 5 1/2 lengths.
“We tried stretching him out, but it wasn’t really what he wanted to do,” said Godolphin bloodstock director Michael Banahan. “We got him back out to one-turn miles and he was impressive in both of those. That’s what it looks like he wants to do.”
Unraced since September, Mind Control nonetheless might prove the most serious challenger. The six-year-old veteran has won four times and finished second twice, including in the 2021 Carter, in six starts over Aqueduct’s main track. Meanwhile, Green Light Go enjoyed a productive winter for Jimmy Jerkens, easily winning twice, including the one-mile Stymie S.
The veteran gray Drafted looks to make it two in a row following a minor upset in the Toboggan (G3), while Grade 3 winner First Captain and multiple Grade 1-placed Reinvestment Risk both exit allowance wins at Gulfstream. Bank On Shea ships back north after taking the Pelican S. at Tampa Bay Downs by a neck.
Earlier in the card, Grade 1 heroine Search Results makes her awaited return to action in the $150,000 Distaff H. (G3) over seven furlongs. The Chad Brown trainee won the Acorn (G1) and Gazelle (G3) last season and was second to Malathaat after a stirring stretch duel in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). However, she went to the sidelines in August after running a relatively dull third in the Test (G1).
Also among the field of six is Zaajel, last year’s Mother Goose (G2) winner, and recent Barbara Fritchie (G3) scorer Glass Ceiling.
Ten three-year-olds will line up for the $200,000 Bay Shore S. (G3) over seven furlongs. Notables in the field include 2021 Sanford (G3) winner Wit, who was last seen finishing third in the Champagne (G1), Gotham (G3) runner-up Dean’s List, and the Chad Brown-trained Highly Respected, who earned that moniker winning first out on Feb. 26 and receiving a 99 Brisnet Speed rating.
“He was putting himself in a compromised position in his last couple of starts,” trainer Todd Pletcher said of Wit’s performances in the Champagne and Hopeful (G1). “Hopefully, he gets away cleanly with the field and not give himself too much to do.”
Also scheduled for Saturday is the first grass stakes of the New York season, the $100,000 Danger’s Hour S. for older horses at one mile.