Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Withers Stakes comes our way this Saturday, January 30 from Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York. Horses three years old will take to Aqueduct's dirt track and race 1 1/16 miles for the winner's share of the $250,000 purse and the 10 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby in May.
A field of seven will line up in the Withers Stakes - race 4 on Aqueduct's Saturday card. Post time is 1:50 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all seven entries for this Road to the Kentucky Derby Grade 3 stakes.
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2016 Withers Stakes Race Preview
Flexibility - Chad Brown trained colt has been good so far in his four race career - two wins and two second place finishes. Last time out was a nice win by an impressive 4 1/4 lengths on this track in the Grade 3 Jerome Stakes January 2 against many of his Withers foes. The win followed a pair of good seconds in graded stakes action - the Grade 2 Remsen here November 28 and the Grade 2 Nashua Stakes also on this track November 4 - both results coming behind the terrific Moyhamen. He also won his debut in October. Flexibility has two consecutive 90+ Beyer Speed Figures and his 93 in the Remsen in the highest in the Withers field. He has been a factor in every race so far and is expected to be so again when he leaves from gate 2 with Irad Ortiz in the saddle.
Sunny Ridge - Jason Servis trained colt finished seventh in the Grade 3 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga in July - in his second career start. He has looked better since - a second last time out behind Exaggerator in the $1,000,000 Delta Downs Jackpot November 21 followed another second in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park in August and a win in the minor $100,000 Sapling Stakes at Monmouth Park September 6. Sunny Ridge has looked very good in his last three starts and is expected to be competitive again Saturday from the outside post 7 with Manuel Franco in the reins. He earned a bullet for five furlongs Jan. 12 when he breezed that distance in 1:03.
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Vorticity - has two wins, a second and a third place finish in four career starts for trainer James Lawrence. He made his graded stakes debut last time out and finished second behind Flexibility in the Grade 3 Jerome Stakes here January 2. That result followed a good win in the minor Marylander Stakes at Laurel Park December 5, a maiden score on this track November 8 and a third in his debut. Vorticity has definitely looked good ahead of this weekend and will try to keep the roll going from post 5 with Jose Ortiz guiding him.
King Krantz - John Terranova trained colt has a win, two seconds and two third place finishes in six career starts. Last time out was his first career win - in the overnight Lost In The Fog Stakes on this track January 1. It followed a second in a MSW here December 5, a third in the minor James F. Lewis Stakes at Laurel Park November 14 and a very respectable second in the Grade 2 Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park October 17. King Krantz has been trending upward ahead of this race and could be in the mix from gate 4. Jockey Cornelio Velazquez has the mount in King Kranz's graded stakes debut and first try around two turns.
Donegal Moon - has a win, a second and a third place finish in six career starts for trainer Todd Pletcher. Last time out was a DNF after he lost his rider on this very track in the Grade 3 Jerome Stakes January 2 which followed a rather disappointing stakes debut - a fifth after setting the pace and fading in the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes here November 28. He had a maiden score in gate-to-wire fashion October 23, and a second and a third and a sixth in MSW races to start his career however. Donegal had been trending upward before his last two starts and will be out to bounce back from the rail. Aaron Gryder gets the call.
Adventist - Leah Gyarmati trained colt makes just his second career start Saturday having posted a win at first asking - on this track by an astounding 11 lengths as favorite December 19. He steps up with Kendrick Carmouche in the reins from gate 6.
Cards of Stone - James Bond trained gelding hits the track for just the third time Saturday having posted a win and a second place finish in two starts so far. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score here January 10 after a win at first asking December 6. He takes a huge step up in competition Saturday and departs from post 3 with Eric Cancel aboard.
2016 Withers Stakes Entries & Odds
Race 4 on Aqueduct's Saturday card with a Post Time of 1:50 PM.
|1||Donegal Moon||Aaron Gryder||Todd Pletcher|
|2||Flexibility||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Chad Brown|
|3||Cards of Stone||Eric Cancel||H. Bond|
|4||King Kranz||Cornelio Velasquez||John Terranova, II|
|5||Vorticity||Jose Ortiz||James Lawrence, II|
|6||Adventist||Kendrick Carmouche||Leah Gyarmati|
|7||Sunny Ridge||Manuel Franco||Jason Servis|