Arctic Arrogance, who wound up on the losing side of stretch duels in both the Remsen (G2) in December and Jerome S. last month, will attempt to turn his luck around in Saturday’s $250,000 Withers (G3) at Aqueduct, which was delayed after the track canceled its Feb. 4 program.
Like the Remsen, the Withers will be held at 1 1/8 miles, a distance his five rivals hope Arctic Arrogance might find too long. However, the Linda Rice-trained son of Frosted is the apparent class of the field with recent Brisnet Speed ratings of 94 and 99 adding to his appeal.
“He ran well in the Remsen as a two-year-old, so you would think at this point that the mile-and-an-eighth will be good for him,” Rice said.
Although two other Jerome entrants, General Banker and Adiamo a Firenze, return for the Withers, both finished well behind Arctic Arrogance while losing ground late going a mile. Instead, the primary rival might be Hit Show, a Brad Cox-trained son of Candy Ride who enters off of 3 1/2-length allowance win going a two-turn mile at Oaklawn Park.
Reared by Black-Eyed Susan (G2) winner Actress, Hit Show was entered and scratched from the Jan. 28 Southwest (G3), a race dominated by Arabian Knight.
Ninetyprcentmaddie ships in from suburban Philadelphia where he’s won three of five starts, most recently finishing second in the Jan. 3 Parx Juvenile. The Butch Reid charge has yet to race beyond seven furlongs.
Juddmonte homebred Jungfrau was the only addition to the Withers cast after the race was re-drawn this week. Trained by Bill Mott, the son of Arrogate was elevated to first in his most recent start, a 1 1/16-mile maiden event at Gulfstream on Dec. 31.
The field is rounded out by 11-start veteran Prove Right, who might not have handled the synthetic surface at Turfway Park in a stakes last month.
The Withers will offer Kentucky Derby qualifying points of 20-8-6-4-2 to the respective top five finishers.