OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Following a spirited summer and early fall campaign which included a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga Race Course and a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont Park, David Jacobson's Room for Me will look to return to the winner's circle on Saturday facing a field of six in the $100,000 Garland of Roses for fillies & mares 3-years-old or older at six furlongs at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Owned and trained by Jacobson, Room for Me is set to make her eleventh start of the year and her first career start at The Big A. With four wins from six tries at the distance, including her last win; an impressive 5 ¾-length victory going six furlongs on August 1 at Monmouth Park in the Regret Stakes, the 5-year-old daughter of Harlington should appreciate the cutback in distance.
Listed as the 6-5 morning-line first choice, Room For Me will depart from post-position 4 with NYRA leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard for the first time. She is coming in off a seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
Returning to the barn of trainer Mike Hushion and set to make her first start since a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps at Belmont Park on June 6 is Princess Violet for owner Barry K. Schwartz. With one win and a second-place finish from three starts at the distance, Princess Violet cuts back for the Garland of Roses having last won at a sprint distance taking the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland on April 4.
At 5-2 on the morning-line, Princess Violet will depart from post 6 with Junior Alvarado in the irons.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens will saddle Classic Point for owner Joseph V. Shields, Jr. A 6-year-old daughter of Flatter, Classic Point looks to improve upon a pair of fifth-place finishes at Belmont in her last two outings in which she raced five-wide most of the way in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap on September 26 and most recently in the Pumpkin Pie Stakes on November 1.
La Madrina, a 4-year-old daughter of Tapit, makes a return to sprint distances after making a start in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm Stakes at Belmont on October 30. Under the care of Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, she will break from post 5 with Manuel Franco aboard.
Rounding out the field are Medaglia d'Argento for trainer George Weaver, Nuffsaid Nuffsaid for trainer Gary Contessa and DCK Racing, and Julilant Vision for trainer Naipaul Chatterpaul.
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