Kentucky Derby Hopefuls in Saturday's $150,000 Count Fleet Stakes

Rob Gregorka

Las Vegas, NV -- A field of seven Kentucky Derby hopefuls will go a mile and 70 yards over the inner track at Aqueduct on Saturday in the $150,000 Count Fleet Stakes. Three horses that were in November's Breeders Cup are in the field including Alpha who is the 4-5 favorite on the morning line.

Saturday's Count Fleet Stakes is the first route stakes race in New York this year and will be a lead-in to the other big races coming up in the next few months as the Withers is on Feb. 4, the Gotham on March 3 and the Wood Memorial on April 7.

Alpha 4-5
The odds-on favorite for Saturday's race is Alpha who won easily in his debut at Saratoga but then finished second to Union Rags in the Champagne and 11th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The horse had an excuse in the Champagne as he had a troubled trip and in the Juvenile he acted up in the starting gate before the race.

Bet the Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct with

"It wasn't a good day for him on Breeders' Cup Day," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "He was terrible in the starting gate. I don't think he liked the track that much either, but he's trained very well since the Breeders' Cup. He's behaved great in the gate; hopefully that's not an issue anymore. We have Ramon [Dominguez], which is great. He's doing well, and we feel like he has a good chance."

Il Villano 4-1
The second choice on the morning line at 4-1 is Il Villano who has won three straight races. The question mark for this horse is whether he can handle the distance as this will be his first race beyond six furlongs.

Stephanoatsee 6-1
The half brother to Preakness winner Shackleford is coming off a seventh place finish in the Remsen for trainer Graham Motion. "He was only beaten four lengths. They went very slow early, and he was all the way out the back," Motion said. "I envision a little different trip this time."

Speightscity 8-1
This horse probably should be listed at double-digits in the off-track betting odds as he was well beaten in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and eighth in the Remsen. He did get an allowance win last month but he doesn't seem to have the talent to win against this field.

The three horses with double-digit odds are Shkspeare Shaliyah at 10-1, How Do I Win at 12-1 and Whistleblower at 20-1. How Do I Win has been working well leading up to this race. This race also shapes up for great horse betting at - add in the best rebates and enjoy the Count Fleet!

The field for the $150,000 Count Fleet Stakes, Saturday at Aqueduct.





ML Odds


Il Villano

J. Flores

S. Crowell



How Do I Win

C. Velasquez

T. Pletcher




A. Smith

K. McPeek




J. Alvarado

H. Motion




R. Dominguez

K. McLaughlin




D. Cohen

G. Contessa



Shkspeare Shaliyah

J. Valdivia, Jr.

D. Shivmangal


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