January 29, 2023

Meru stretches out to a mile in competitive Nashua

Meru #2 ridden by Jevian Toledo won the $75,000 Smoke Glacken Stakes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, NJ on Saturday September 21, 2019
Photo By Ryan Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

Several promising juvenile debut winners will vie to remain perfect in Sunday’s $150,000 Nashua (G3) at Aqueduct, but Meru will look to outrun them all in the one-mile prep for next month’s Remsen (G2).

Meru stretches out off a pair of convincing wins over six furlongs at Monmouth Park, including the $75,000 Smoke Glacken. The son of Sky Mesa zipped the distance in 1:08 4/5, earning a 100 BRIS Speed rating.

Also among the starters with multiple runs so far is Famished, a Saratoga graduate who returns to the dirt after a respectable fourth in the Pilgrim (G3) on turf. The form of Lebda could receive a boost in Friday’s Breeders’ Cup as he was a distant third behind Dennis’ Moment and Scabbard in the Iroquois (G3) last out.

The remainder of the field are all coming off debut victories. Kiaran McLaughlin, whose trained three of the past five Nashua winners and five overall, sends out Ashaar, who will breaks outside in post 10. Godolphin, which captured the Nashua the past two years with Hemsworth and Avery Island, will be represented by Spycraft, who drew the rail post.

“He’s definitely been on his game and has been sharper since his last race. He’s been training forwardly,” Albertrani said.

“This race could separate a few horses. A lot of them are in the same position where they have only ran once. Hopefully, Spycraft can run the same way he did in his maiden win.”

Chase Tracker won convincingly first out at Parx for Todd Pletcher. Independence Hall, fittingly, also won on debut at the Philadelphia track. The cleverly-named colt is a son of the hot freshman sire Constitution.