Las Vegas, NV - Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York will play host to the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap this Saturday, November 16. Horses three years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 3/8 miles on Aqueduct's turf track for a purse of $200,000.
The Red Smith has attracted a large field of 13 plus one Main Track Only entry to go in race 7 on Aqueduct's Saturday card. Post time is 3:14 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all 14 possible combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.
Hyper - Chad Brown entry has 22 career starts with 10 wins, six seconds and two third place finishes. He has been scorching hot of late placing in all eight of his starts in 2013. Last time out was a good second to Joshua Tree in the prestigious Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International October 27 to follow his best career performance - a win in the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont Park September 7, a win in the minor John's Call Stakes at Saratoga July 31 and a very nice second to London Lane in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Colonial Turf Cup in June. He also had a good second behind Teaks North in the minor Good Reward Stakes at Belmont Park May 14, a third in the Dave Stakes at Aqueduct in April and an Allowance Optional Claiming score in March. He has two wins and three seconds in his last five starts and will carry the top weight of 120 pounds. Hyper will leave from the 11 hole with Javier Castellano aboard as the 5-2 morning line favorite.
Imagining - won two straight races last summer - both at Belmont Park including an Allowance Optional Claiming and an Allowance after a very good second in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in November 2011. He was out of racing for nine months before returning to an Allowance score at Keeneland April 13. Last time out was a win in the minor Bowl Game Stakes at Belmont Park October 17 after a sixth in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic September 28, a win in the minor Idle Rich Stakes at Saratoga August 25 and an ugly tenth in the Grade 2 Dixie at Pimlico in May. He has six wins and three second place finishes in 12 career starts for trainer Claude McGaughey and has won three of five starts this year. Imagining is the 7-2 second choice and departs from post 2 with Joel Rosario in the saddle.
Tannery - has raced six time in 2013 and is coming off her best career result - a nice win as favorite in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine October 27. Other results this year include a fourth in the minor Owsley Stakes May 1, a nice win in the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Stakes at Belmont Park May 25, a good second behind Laughing in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park September 28, an OK fourth against males in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer and a colossal letdown - an eighth in the Grade 2 New York Stakes June 29. She has participated in some huge races against the boys in the past and has fared well. Tannery has 19 career starts with six wins, four seconds and a third place finish and is an intriguing 5-1 Saturday under new jockey Alex Solis.
Sky Blazer - Barclay Tagg trained gelding is winless in eight starts this year but does have a trio of seconds and a third place finish. Last time out was one of the seconds - behind Imagining in the minor Bowl Game Stakes at Belmont Park October 17. The other seconds were an Allowance Optional Claiming August 15 and in the minor Three Coins Up stakes at Belmont Park June 14. He was third in the Grade 3 Elkhorn at Keeneland April 26 for his best result of the year and has a pair of fourths and three seconds since. Sky Blazer has four wins, three seconds and three third place finishes in 21 career starts and leaves from post 5 at 6-1 odds.
Howe Great - He had an impressive streak of four straight wins last year and had some good results after that to go along with some poor efforts - a pair of sevenths in the Grade 1 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park October 6 and in the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes at Gulfstream February 23. He enters this week having placed in four straight races - a third last time out in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker October 12, another third in the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger and a pair of seconds - the Grade 3 Oceanport July 28 and the Grade 3 Poker Stakes July 4. How Great will line up in post 9 at 8-1 odds.
Exclusive Strike - has eight starts in 2013 and had two straight wins heading into the Man O' War and two other seconds. He was third in the Man o' War July 13 and followed that with his worst career result - a ninth in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer August 18. Last time out was an OK third behind Imagining and Sky Blazer in the minor Bowl Game Stakes at Belmont Park October 10. The Jason Servis gelding is a true veteran - 37 career starts with 12 wins against mostly lesser competition and despite his effort in the Man o' War, the Sword Dancer result may be more like what we can expect Saturday. He will have Jose Lezcano in the saddle from post 3 at 12-1 odds.
Quick Casablanca - Christophe Clement trained Argentinean trained entry had 11 career starts in Argentina with three wins, six seconds and two third place finishes. He won two of his last three starts in Argentina before shipping to North America including a Grade 1 race at Hipodromo Argentino De Palmero last March and has three starts in North America with OK results. Last time out was an OK fourth in the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont Park September 7 after a third behind Hyper in the minor John's Call Stakes at Saratoga July 31, an eighth in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap June 7 and a third in the minor Good Reward Stakes in May. Junior Alvarado gets the mount from post 13 at 15-1 odds on the morning line.
Nutello - made his North American debut August 18 and finished a very good third right behind Twilight Eclipse and Big Blue Kitten in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga August 17 after 13 starts overseas resulted in five wins and two third place finishes - one of those thirds being in last year's Prix du Jockey Grade 1 Club-French Derby. Last time out was a disappointing eighth in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park September 28. His last win came in April at Toulouse. Nutello is also 15-1 on the morning line and departs from post 12.
Arctic North - Peter Miller trained gelding has just four career starts but has two wins - both coming in his last two starts overall. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Santa Anita October 10 after a MSW win at Del Mar in September. He leaves from the rail at 20-1 odds Saturday.
Hangover Kid - raced in graded stakes company for the first time and finished a decent third in the Grade 1 United Nations July 6 after 16 career starts produced five wins, four seconds and two third place finishes. He had an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Belmont Park May 30 and a win in the minor West Point Stakes at Saratoga in August but was sixth last time out in the minor Ashely T. Cole Stakes at Belmont Park September 15. Hangover Kid has 19 career starts with six wins, four seconds and three third place finishes. He will have Irad Ortiz aboard from post 8 at 20-1 odds.
Slip and Drive - finished third at this time last year in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf at Keeneland but has placed in three of six starts since. He enters this weekend having won two of his last three races however - the minor Japan Racing Association Stakes last time out at Laurel Park November 9 and an Allowance on that same track in September but has a sixth in the competitive With Anticipation Stakes at Delaware Park sandwiched in there. He has 17 career starts with six wins, four seconds and two third place finishes. Slip and Drive is listed at 30-1 odds.
Mission Approved - was out of racing nearly two years before returning to an eleventh in the minor Mohawk Stakes at Belmont Park October 19. He has raced and succeeded in some top company in the past - a win in the 2011 Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap and a second in the Grade 1 2010 Man o' War Stakes highlight what had been a good career before the injury issues. Mission Approved leaves from post 10 at 30-1 odds Saturday.
Sandyinthesun - makes his graded stakes debut Saturday after a seventh in his stakes debut last time out - the minor Idle Rich Stakes at Saratoga August 25. Before that was an Allowance Optional Claiming score and six straight off-the-board finishes. He has just three wins and a third place finish in 23 career starts. Sandyinthesun is a huge long-shot at 50-1 odds.
Percussion - Main Track Only Todd Pletcher pupil raced 11 straight Allowance Optional Claiming races and had two straight wins both at Aqueduct in March and April. He stepped up and finished a decent fourth in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 20 and followed that with his first ever stakes score - the minor Albert the Great Stakes in May over Fast Falcon and Birdrun. He followed that with a good second in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap in June but slipped to a fifth in the Grade 2 Suburban in July. Last time out was an OPK fourth in the minor I'm a Banker Stakes at Belmont Park October 14 after a third in the minor Alydar Stakes August 22. He has nine starts this year with three wins, two seconds and a third place finish.