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Las Vegas, NV - Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park, New York will play host to the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap this Saturday, November 15. A purse of $250,000 will be in the line for horses three years old and upward willing to go 1 3/8 miles on Aqueduct's turf track.
A field of 11 have been confirmed for the Red Smith - race 7 on Aqueduct's Saturday card. Post time is 3:14 PM. Here is a glance into the past performances of all 11 combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.
Big Blue Kitten - two-time Grade 1 winner won the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park last July 6 and went on to a disappointing eighth in the Breeders' Cup Turf after a good second behind Little Mike in the 2013 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and a win in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga August 17 of last year. Big Blue Kitten returned to the track after nine months away August 2 and won the minor Lure Stakes at Saratoga and followed that with a second in the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger Stakes at Monmouth Park August 24. Last time out was another good second in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International October 19 at Woodbine which followed a close fourth in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic September 27. He has 11 wins, five seconds and four third place finishes in 22 career starts and has placed in 10 of his last 12 races - but has won just one of his last four. Joel Rosario gets the call aboard the 123 pound highweight and 8-5 morning line favorite from gate 4.
Legendary - Niall Saville trained British bred gelding had 13 career starts at home with two wins, four seconds and a third place finish. He has placed in all six starts since shipping - all in 2014 with four wins, a second and a third place finish. Last time out was a win in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes (his graded stakes debut) at Belmont Park October 11 after a nice victory in the minor Japan Racing Association Stakes at Laurel Park September 6, a third in the minor Lure Stakes August 2 and two straight Allowance scores at Belmont Park. He enters having won four of his last five starts overall - steadily improving and as hot as they come with Sheldon Russell in the irons from post 8 as the 7-2 second choice.
Dynamic Sky - Canadian bred Mark Casse trained colt looked very good early in his career - highlighted by a second in the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October, 2012. He went on to a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, a win in the minor Pasco Stakes and a good second in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes in February 2013. He has been OK since. Last time out was a good third behind Big Blue Kitten in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International October 19 which followed a second in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes September 14, a fifth in the Grade 2 Sky Classic, a second in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes July 19, a decent third in the Grade 3 Singspiel July 6 and an in June. Dynamic Sky will be looking for his first graded stakes score Saturday and first ever win on grass. Cornelio Velasquez has been tabbed to ride from post 3 at 6-1 on the morning line as Dynamic Sky's tries for his second win in nine starts this year.
Micromanage - Todd Pletcher trained colt has 21 career starts with five wins, four seconds and five third place finishes. He is coming off an OK third in the minor Bowl Game Stakes in his first turf start - at Belmont Park October 19 which followed a DNF in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, a decent third in the Grade 3 Greenwood Cup at Parx September 1 and a good win by 8 1/2 lengths in the minor Birdstone Stakes August 7. He also had an OK second behind Norumbega as favorite in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational May 7 and a third as odd-on-favorite in the minor Drosselmeyer Stakes in May. He had a career best performance in March - a 4 1/4 length win in the Grade 3 Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream. Micromanage has placed in six of his last eight starts and enters on OK form. John Velazquez rides the 8-1 shot from gate 5.
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Red Rifle - speedy Todd Pletcher trained gelding has four wins and four seconds in 12 career starts and enters off an OK second in the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland October 16 after a win in the minor Yankee Affair Stakes at Belmont Park September 6 and having finished second in consecutive Allowance Optional Claiming races - the last being August 7. He did win the minor Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston in March but as well. Red Rifle has been steadily improving with a win and three seconds in his last four starts overall and will have Joe Bravo aboard from the rail at 10-1 odds.
Calvados - Argentinean bred entry won some big races at home in 2013 and finished second in his last start in Argentina - the Group 3 Porteno on April 19. He made his North American debut August 24 and finished a distant sixth in the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger Stakes at Monmouth Park but followed that up with an OK second in the minor Laurel Turf Cup last time out September 29. He looks for his first win in a year Saturday with Javier Santiago in the reins from post 7 at 12-1 on the morning line.
Unitarian - Todd Pletcher trained colt raced in stakes company for the first time in February and finished a disappointing seventh in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap but bounced back with a nice win at 18-1 odds in the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland way back in April. Last time out he fell back to earth with a fifth as favorite in the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes on that same track October 16. He did have two Allowance Optional Claiming scores at Gulfstream in the winter however. Unitarian has four wins, three seconds and four third place finishes in 16 career starts and has won three of his last five starts. Manuel Franco has the mount from post 10 at 12-1 odds.
Margano - has 23 career starts with five wins, five seconds and two third place finishes but has yet to place in two graded stakes tries. He has just three starts this year - a third in an Allowance at Keeneland October 9 a nice win in the PTHA President's Cup Stakes at Parx September 13 and a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in August. He looks to break through in graded stakes company for the first time from post 2 with Angel Arroyo guiding him from post 2 at 20-1.
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