Edited Release From NYRA
Raging Fever figures to have an edge in Saturday's $150,000 Bed O' Roses Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct. The one-mile race for fillies and mares is the ninth of a 10-race card that begins at 1 p.m.
After fighting with Carson Hollow in the March 29 Distaff Breeders Cup Handicap (gr. II), Raging Fever should have things a bit easier up front with no other speed to contend with, but she will have to hold that lead in the stretch over a group of five with a solid late kick.
The Distaff Breeders' Cup was the first race for Raging Fever in five months. Her last win came in the June 22 Ogden Phipps Handicap.
Nonsuch Bay will avoid the early lead. She can unleash a strong rally from off the pace and can still be effective even if Raging Fever is loose on an early lead.
The Bed O' Roses will be the first New York start of the year for Nonsuch Bay, entering off consecutive chalk victories at Gulfstream, most recently a 4 1/4-length winner of the Banshee Breeze.
Another contender will be Alchemilla. The Shug McGaughey-trainee finished second, more than six lengths behind Nonsuch Bay in a March 10 allowance over a sloppy track.
Dogwood Stable's Smok'n Frolic has won her last four starts since the summer, including a $411,000 payday in the Sunshine Millions Distaff at Santa Anita. Her only recent defeat was suffered at the hands of Allamerican Bertie, who wired the field in the grade II Rampart Handicap. Since then, Smok'n Frolic came back to win the Next Move (gr. III) as the 4-5 favorite.
Jockey John Velazquez, who has ridden Alchemilla, Nonsuch Bay, and Raging Fever in the past, opts to stick with Smok'n Frolic in the Bed O' Roses.
The field for Saturday's $150,000 Bed O' Roses Handicap includes:
1 -- Nonsuch Bay (Eibar Coa, 117)
2 -- Smok' n Frolic (John Velazquez, 120)
3 -- Bonefide Reason (Jose Santos, 111)
4 -- Alchemilla (Shaun Bridgmohan, 111)
5 -- Raging Fever (Aaron Gryder, 119)