Two undefeated juvenile colts – Galloping Grocer and Rockport Harbor – square off in the $200,000 Remsen (gr. II) at Aqueduct Saturday at 1 1/8 miles.
A field of six will contest the Remsen.
Galloping Grocer, a New York-bred gelded son of A. P. Jet
has won all three of his starts against restricted company by open lengths. His smallest margin of victory was a 7 ½-length romp in the Sleepy Hollow.
Rockport Harbor is also 3-for-3. His first two wins came down at Philadelphia Park before shipping to New York to take the Nashua (gr. III) by 6 ¼ lengths. Trainer John Servis and jockey Stewart Elliott, the connections of 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones, have teamed up again, this time with Rockport Harbor.
Galloping Grocer and Rockport Harbor will be tested beyond a mile for the first time. Although both horses have given the impression that an extra furlong should not be a problem, Rockport Harbor, by Unbridled's Song
, seems to having a breeding edge.
"He will rate," said Dominick Schettino, trainer of Galloping Grocer. "He's fine with that. He doesn't have to be on the lead and that's a big plus when you add distance."
Since both Galloping Grocer and Rockport Harbor have tactical speed, they should be fairly close to one another from the start.
"He's got so much natural speed, it would be hard trying to get him too far off the pace," Servis said of Rockport Harbor, a $470,000 yearling buy. "I'll just let Stew ride his race."
After winning the Nashua at Aqueduct Nov. 2, Servis planned to not start Rockport Harbor again until Oaklawn. Last year, Smarty Jones used the Southwest, Rebel and Arkansas Derby (gr. II) to prep for the Triple Crown, after winning Aqueduct's Count Fleet on the inner track.
"He came out of the Nashua so good," Servis said. "Also, the graded stakes earnings were weighing heavy on our minds. We don't want to have to rely on the Arkansas Derby."$200,000 Remsen (gr. II), 2-year-olds, 1 1/8 miles
PP. HORSE, TRAINER, JOCKEY, WGT.
1. Pavo, Jennifer Pedersen, Alan Garcia, 116
2. Rockport Harbor, John Servis, Stewart Elliott, 120
3. Stormy Jim, Eddie Plesa Jr., Javier Castellano, 116
4. Killenaule, Todd Pletcher, Jerry Bailey, 120
5. Father Weist, Nick Zito, Rafael Bejarano, 116
6. Galloping Grocer, Dominick Schettino, John Velazquez, 120