Las Vegas, NV - Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens New York will be the scene of the Grade 1 Carter Handicap this Saturday, April 4. Horses four years old and upward will be featured as they go seven furlongs on Aqueduct's dirt track searching for the winner's share of the $400,000 purse.
A field of eight older entries will take to the track in the Carter Handicap - race 11 on Aqueduct's Saturday card. Post time is 6:04 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all eight combatants for this Grade 1 stakes.
The Big Beast - Anthony Dutrow trained colt made his stakes debut in August and won the Grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga after four career starts yielded two wins and a second place finish. He enters this week on an impressive four race win streak including a first level Allowance score March 1 and 6 1/2 months away due to an ankle chip directly after his King's Bishop score. Javier Castellano will be in the saddle of the 5-2 morning line favorite Saturday from post 3.
Wild Dude - Jerry Hollendorfer trainee enters off a nice win in the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes at Santa Anita March 7 which followed a third in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Stakes January 31 and a decent second by a nose in the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Stakes back in April. He raced in stakes company for the first time in the 2014 Palos Verdes and won over Street Circle after two straight Allowance scores as well. After his Palos Verdes win was a bit of a hiccup however - a fourth in the Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes at Santa Anita March 8. He has 12 career starts with five wins, three seconds and two third place finishes - never worse than fourth. He has placed in his last three starts overall and looks good ahead of this weekend. Irad Ortiz gets the call aboard the 3-1 morning line second choice from post 7 in Wild Dude's first start outside California.
Clearly Now - Canadian Invader has 16 career starts with five wins, three seconds and five third place finishes. He had eight starts in 2013 and placed in all but one including a great win the Grade 3 Bold Ruler, a second in the Grade 3 Gallant Bob at Parx and an impressive win in the Grade 3 Swale Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths at Gulfstream. Clearly Now had five starts in 2014 with two third place finishes -the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes May 3 and in the last year's Carter Handicap in April and one win - that coming by an uber-impressive 6 1/4 lengths over Palace in track record time in the Grade 3 Belmont Sprint Championship July 5. Last time out was a disappointing eighth however in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes way back in August. He has been in the money all but three times in his career - competitive virtually every time out and will be looking to avenge an ugly outing in his last start - seven months ago. Joel Rosario has been tabbed to ride from gate 2 at 4-1 odds.
Dads Cap - last year's winner in this race has two runner up finishes in 2015 - the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap behind Salutos Amigos March 7 and the Grade 3 Toboggan Handicap February 7 also behind Salutos Amigos. He has just one win in the last 16 months however (in this race) but does have seven seconds including the Grade 1 Vosburgh behind Private Zone and ahead of Palace and the two starts this year to go along with a third place finish over that span. Dads Cap has placed in 13 of 17 career starts - competitive almost every time out and will be happy not to see Salutos Amigos in this one. Jose Ortiz has the mount on the 7-2 shot from the rail.
Palace - Linda Rice trainee had three wins and two seconds in eight starts last year but makes his 2015 debut this weekend. He was last seen running sixth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint after a third in the Grade 1 Vosburgh and consecutive wins - the Grade 1 Forego Stakes in August and the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap four weeks earlier. He also had a second behind Clearly Now in the Grade 3 Belmont Sprint Championship July 5 and a win in the Grade 2 True North Stakes in June. Palace has 11 wins, five seconds and three third place finishes in 23 career starts overall - impressive indeed but will be looking to snap a two race losing streak Saturday. He has three wins, a second and a third place finish in his last six starts but posted a career worst effort last time out. Cornelio Velasquez will be in the reins of the 121 pound highweight and 5-1 morning line fifth choice from post 6 Saturday.
Dream Saturday - Michelle Nevin trained colt will race in stakes company for the first time Saturday having recorded four wins and two seconds in nine career starts. He enters on the heels of a two race win streak - an Allowance Optional Claiming February 28 at Laurel Park and another Allowance Optional Claiming - on this track in November. Dream Saturday has won three of his last four starts and looks ready for his step up in competition. Manuel Franco gets the call from the outside post.
Green Gratto - David Smith trainee has 25 starts with just three wins, four seconds and four third place finishes but has placed in his last four starts overall. Last time out was a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming March 26 which followed a third in his only graded stakes start - the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap March 7, a third and a second in a pair of Claiming races - all results at Aqueduct. He knows this track well having made nine straight starts here and a third in graded stakes action two starts back showed that he isn't scared of top company. Fernando Jara has been tabbed to ride from gate 4.
Street Shark - makes his graded stakes debut Saturday after 18 career starts produced seven wins, three seconds and two third place finishes. He enters off a twelfth in a Starter Stakes March 21, a third in a Claiming January 22 and a ninth in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track December 15. Not a whole lot is expected Saturday when Street Shark lines up in post 5 with Andre Shivnarine guiding him.
Race 11 on Aqueduct's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:04 PM.
||The Big Beast
||I. Ortiz, Jr.