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Las Vegas, NV - Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park, New York will play host to the 135th running of Grade 3 Withers Stakes this Saturday, February 7. Three year olds will take to Aqueduct's dirt track and race 1 1/16 miles searching for the winner's share of the $250,000 purse and the 10 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby in three months time.
A field of seven three year olds have been confirmed for the Withers - race 8 on Aqueduct's Saturday card. Post time is 4:13 PM. Here is a peek into the past performances of all seven entries for this intriguing and important Grade 3 stakes - the second leg of the New York Racing Association's lead-up to the $1 million Grade 1 TwinSpires.com Wood Memorial April 4.
El Kabeir - John Terranova trained colt is the most experienced of all the entries and the most impressive - he is the current points leader on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Last time out was a terrific 4 3/4 length win in the Grade 3 Jerome Stakes on this track January 3 with a Beyer Speed Figure of 95 after a nice win in gate-to-wire fashion in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs November 29 - with a 94 Beyer Speed Figure. This after a good second in the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes on this track November 2, a fourth in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes on an undesirable sloppy Belmont Park track in October and an eye-opening 10 length maiden win at Saratoga. He has three wins, a second and a third in six career starts and off two straight impressive graded stakes wins is the one to beat. El Kabeir will have Charles Lopez in the saddle of the steadily improving 8-5 morning line favorite from the outside post Saturday.
Classy Class - Kiaran McLaughlin pupil makes his third career start Saturday. His first start was a good one - an impressive 4 length maiden score at Belmont Park with a 88 Beyer Speed Figure on October 25 and his second was an OK fourth after pressing the pace in the Grade 2 Remsen on this track November 29. He departs from the rail Saturday looking to upset El Kabeir as the 2-1 second choice with Irad Ortiz aboard.
Far From Over - will make just his second career start Saturday for trainer Todd Pletcher. His first start was a good one - a maiden score here December 12. Manuel Franco gets the call aboard the 5-1 third choice from post 2 Saturday.
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March - Chad Brown trained colt makes his stakes debut off an impressive maiden score in his second career start - on this track January 11. That result followed a second in his debut also here November 29. He posted a bullet work last week in the leadup to the race and despite being lightly raced could be a factor. Jose Ortiz Jr. has the call from post 3 at an intriguing 6-1 odds.
Tencendur - George Weaver trained colt makes his stakes debut Saturday off a maiden score on this track January 19 in his second career start. The first was a third place finish in a similar race here December 12. Cornelio Velasquez has the mount from gate 4 at 12-1 odds.
General Bellamy - legendary trainer Bill Mott sends out General Bellamy off a respectable third, 12 1/2 lengths back in the Grade 3 Jerome Stakes in this track after a maiden score by 3 1/2 lengths November 29 and failing to hit the board in his first two career starts. Junior Alvarado has the mount on the 15-1 shot from post 6 Saturday.
Unrivaled - will make his stakes debut Saturday for trainer Marya Montoya having placed in four of five career starts - a win, two seconds and a third place finish. He enters off a maiden score by an incredible 15 lengths in his fifth career start - at Parx after a pair of seconds in similar races this winter. Frankie Pennington will be in the saddle of the longest shot in the field (20-1) from post 5.
Race 8 on Aqueduct Racetrack's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:13 PM.
|1||Classy Class||I. Ortiz, Jr.||K. McLaughlin|
|2||Far From Over||M. Franco||T. Pletcher|
|3||March||J. Ortiz||C. Brown|
|4||Tencendur||C. Velasquez||G. Weaver|
|5||Unrivaled||F. Pennington||M. Montoya|
|6||General Bellamy||J. Alvarado||W. Mott|
|7||El Kabeir||C. Lopez||J. Terranova, II|