Big Business looks to repeat in Alex M. Robb

December 10, 2019

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - New York-bred veteran Big Business will aim to close out the year on a high note as he pursues back-to-back victories in the $100,000 Alex M. Robb at 1 1/16 miles on the inner track on Thursday, the final stakes race of 2015 at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Still looking to get back on track following an eight-month layoff earlier this year, Big Business will be making his first start for new connections while facing state-bred competition for the first time in three races. The gelded son of Eddington kicked off his 7-year-old season with a pair of fifth-place finishes, first in the Big A's Hollie Hughes for New York-breds in January and then in the Grade 3 General George Handicap the next month at Laurel Park.

Returning this fall at Belmont Park, Big Business was sixth in an open optional claiming event before turning in a seventh-place finish while being picked up for a $100,000 tag on November 21 by new owner Repole Stable and trainer Bruce Levine.

Big Business is slated to be ridden by Jose Ortiz. At 10-1 on the morning line, the pair will depart from the outermost post 8.

Big Business is set to meet seven rivals in his bid to get back to the winner's circle, including the ultra-consistent warrior Saratoga Snacks. Owned and trained by Gary Sciacca, Saratoga Snacks has been 5-for-6 in the money this year, including a victory in the Saginaw on July 18 at Belmont. His only off-the-board finish came last time out in the Empire Classic where, after getting caught in a sharp pace, Big Business faded to seventh as the post-time favorite. Winner of the 2012 edition of the Alex Robb, the 6-year-old Tale of the Cat ridgling boasts two wins and two seconds in four races over the inner track.

Installed as the 3-1 second choice on the morning line, Saratoga Snacks will leave from post 5 with Angel Arroyo in the saddle.

West Point Thoroughbreds' Empire Dreams will bring his reliable record to the Aqueduct inner track for the first time in his career. Gelded at the start of his 4-year-old campaign, Empire Dreams scored 2015 victories in last spring's Commentator Stakes as well as the Empire Classic Handicap on October 24, both at Belmont Park. The Tom Albertrani trainee has finished in the money in six of his seven races of the year, with his only off-the-board finish coming against open company in the Alydar Stakes last summer at Saratoga Race Course.

Empire Dreams is set to break from the rail as the morning line favorite at odds of 5-2 with Manny Franco taking the call.

Rounding out the field for the Alex M. Robb are a pair of Todd Pletcher 3-year-old trainees in Mike Lee winner Ostrolenka and Bullheaded Boy, a $115,000 2014 Ocala purchase and close runner-up in the Maryland Million Classic in October; Albany Stakes winner Good Luck Gus, making his first start against older horses for trainer Rudy Rodriguez; West Hills Giant for the John Terranova barn, who finished a game third in last year's edition; and Full of Mine for breeder and trainer Naipaul Chatterpaul, who finished seventh in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap in his most recent start.

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