A small but compelling field of five 3-year-olds will make an appearance early on the Aqueduct card Saturday in the $100,000 Discovery Stakes (G3) over 1 1/8 miles.
Although the most accomplished of the quintet, Shared Sense has been inconsistent at showing tactical foot and might prove to be at a disadvantage depending on the race flow. Nonetheless, the Godolphin homebred is hard to knock following prior Grade 3 triumphs in the Indiana Derby and Oklahoma Derby (G3).
Speed is not an issue for multiple stakes winner Monday Morning Qb, who set the pace in the Federico Tesio S. at Laurel on Labor Day three back and only yielded in the final furlong to Happy Saver, subsequently the winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). It was Monday Morning Qb’s first race in seven months.
“The Tesio was really the race that set him up,” trainer Butch Reid said. “He showed that day how nice of a horse he really is, and I thought it was impressive for him to run like that off a layoff.”
Returning on Oct. 9 from a 10-month layoff and winning an allowance at Belmont was Forza Di Oro, who had been last seen finishing eighth of nine in the Remsen (G2) the previous December. Attachment Rate, who’s placed three times in stakes company including the Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct in March, enters off a dominant victory against allowance foes after running 14th in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Rounding out the field is the seemingly overmatched Florida invader Ralston, who could set the pace.
The nightcap on a 10-race card is the $100,000 Long Island Stakes (G3) for fillies and mares over 1 3/8 miles on the inner turf. Theodora B. might attempt to steal it on the front end as she did in the Dance Smartly (G2) at Woodbine and in a stakes at Kentucky Downs two and three starts back, respectively, but English Affair, Eliade, Mutamakima, and Hungry Kitten are among those who will be doing best from off the pace.
Among the top players in the $100,000 Aqueduct Turf Championship over 6 furlongs are Therapist, Archidust, El Tormenta, Maxwell Esquire, and Turned Aside. The $100,000 Central Park Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile grass test for 2-year-olds, pits two promising debut winners against each other. Never Surprised, a son of Constitution, won by more than three lengths going six panels on the Aqueduct turf on Nov. 8 for Todd Pletcher, while the Kitten’s Joy colt Hard Love prevailed by two lengths going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont for Jonathan Thomas.