Due to post-Breeders’ Cup decompression, Sunday’s national stakes menu is naturally sparse. However, the $100,000 Nashua Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct tends to produce classic prospects that will be talked about for at least a little while, like Independence Hall (2019) and Mohaymen (2015), or horses that will excel over a longer term around one turn, such as 2018 winner Vekoma.
The one-mile test for juveniles includes Ten for Ten and Nova Rags, last-out maiden winners for Shug McGaughey and Bill Mott, respectively, as well as intriguing Florida shipper Isolate. Second in his Saratoga debut, Ten for Ten subsequently romped by eight lengths in the slop over 1 1/16 miles, while Nova Rags proved best by three parts of a length in his debut over 6 furlongs, also at Belmont. Isolate is 2-for-2 after a pair of runs at Gulfstream, including a 10-length allowance win last out over 6 furlongs for Kathy Ritvo.
“He’s one of those that you have to be careful with because he’ll go too fast,” said owner Dean Reeves of Isolate.
Pickin’ Time enters off a photo-finish score in the Smoke Glacken S. at Monmouth, but the colt was well-beaten in his only prior try outside the New Jersey course. Needing to improve are last-out graduates Spectatorless and Irish Honor, and the distant Champagne (G1) fourth Civil War.