A Lot leads field of six in Manila

December 10, 2019

ELMONT, N.Y. - Amerman Racing LLC's A Lot will look to repeat his Paradise Creek success when he takes on five rival sophomores going a mile on the Widener turf in the $100,000 Manila Stakes on Sunday at Belmont Park. The graded stakes-placed son of Tapit picked up his first black type score in the seven-furlong Paradise Creek on May 23 last time out, romping to 5 ¾-length victory under Johnny Velazquez.

"He shipped to Saratoga [after the Paradise Creek] and he has been training up there," said Leanna Willaford, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. "He returned here yesterday afternoon and he trained well this morning. He looks good, I'm happy with him."

Velazquez has the return call aboard the 6-5 morning line favorite. A Lot is set to break from post 5.

R A Hill Stable's High Noon Rider will be making his first New York start this year for the barn of George Weaver. Most recently, he was sixth in a blanket finish in the Grade 3 Penn Mile on May 30. By Distorted Humor, High Noon Rider began his 2015 campaign on dirt at Gulfstream Park, first being eased in the Grade 2 Holy Bull and then beaten 20 lengths in the Islamorada Handicap.

High Noon Rider found more success since switching back to turf three races ago, finishing a neck behind eventual Penn Mile winner Force the Pass in the Cutler Bay on April 1 and following up with a 2 ½-length optional claiming win on April 19.

Installed as the 2-1 second choice on the morning line, High Noon Rider will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. The pair will break from post 2.

Already a stakes contender on dirt, Nonna's Boy will be making his first start on the grass for Repole Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher. The Distorted Humor colt was most recently third in the Winstar Farm Easy Goer Stakes on Belmont Stakes Day, finishing 1 ½ lengths behind the promising Japan. At 5-1 on the morning line, Nonna's Boy will break from the rail under Jose Ortiz.

Croninthebarbarian, second to A Lot in the Paradise Creek last time out, will add blinkers for his second start for Chad Brown. Set at morning line odds of 10-1, the son of Stroll will be ridden by Javier Castellano from post 4.

"We made an equipment change," said Brown. "We'll try blinkers on him and maybe get him a little more involved early. He seems to be training well, so we'll see how it goes."

Ballybrit Stable LLC's Louisiana-bred Gallery will break from post 6 for the barn of Mike Dini. Set at odds of 8-1, the son of Munnings will be ridden by Jose Lezcano. Monticule LLC's Aplomb will be making his stakes debut and first start outside of Mountaineer Park for trainer Eric Reed. Undefeated in two starts, the Any Given Saturday colt is set at odds of 20-1 and will have the services of Mountaineer's leading rider, Deshawn Parker, from post 3.

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