Two-time stakes winner Homerette, owned and bred by Peter Schiff’s Fox Ridge Farm, has a chance to win her first open stakes race in Saturday’s $65,000 Affectionately Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles over Aqueduct’s inner track.
“She’s handled whatever we’ve thrown at her,” trainer Pat Kelly said. “A lot of turf horses seem to be able to handle the inner track.”
After winning the Nov. 30 Flat Fleet Feet, a restricted stakes, the 4-year-old filly out of Bien Sucre is clearly not just a turf horse.
Kelly had originally planned for Homerette to get some time off after the Flat Fleet Feet, but decided to call an audible and give her at least one more race this winter.
“If she didn’t run so good, we would have given her a little vacation,” Kelly said. “She’s won New York-bred stakes and restricted stakes, so it would be nice to win an open stakes. We’ll see how she handles these. She still might get a vacation.”
The only recent race in which Homerette was beaten more than three lengths came in the off-the-turf Rokeby Rose, which was run over a sloppy main track Nov. 8.
Jean-Luc Samyn rode Homerette in the Flat Fleet Feet and will be aboard in the Affectionately when the daughter of Grand Slam breaks from post 2 in the field of six, getting three pounds from highweight Victory Pool.
New Farm’s Victory Pool has never been off the board in six starts over the inner track. She won the restricted Gold Beauty on Dec. 16 by 1 ½ lengths. Last winter, she finished second in a trio of inner track races, running up against some tough horses like Pool Land and No Sleep.
Trainer Ben Perkins Jr., off to a hot 5-for-10 start on the inner track, has spaced Victory Pool’s races so that she usually has a month between starts.
Victory Pool will break from the rail in the Affectionately with jockey Eibar Coa. She will carry 118 pounds.
Supplemented to the Affectionately for $650 is Barry Schwartz’s Great Intentions, a 5-year-old mare who has never raced beyond seven furlongs. She won the Gallant Bloom (gr. II) going 6 ½ furlongs at Belmont in October. Great Intentions’ last start was a non-threatening fourth in the Interborough over a sloppy track.
$65,000 Affectionately Handicap (Race 8, 3:48 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Inner)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Victory Pool (TX), 118, Eibar Coa
2. Homerette (NY), 115, Jean-Luc Samyn
3. Pleasant Chimes (VA), 116, Shaun Bridgmohan
4. Dina (KY), 115, Alan Garcia
5. Great Intentions (KY), 115, Norberto Arroyo, Jr.
6. Bobcat Greeley (KY), 113, Ramon A. Dominguez