Aqueduct's HolidayFest stakes extravaganza, a four-day event that features five graded stake races, gets under way on on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22nd with the running of the Fall Highweight Handicap.
The highlight of the HolidayFest is the $350,000 Cigar Mile on Nov. 24, the last Grade I race of the year in New York. This year's running is likely to attract 1999 winner Affirmed Success, as well as Figlio Mio, Graeme Hall, Illusioned, Left Bank, Orientate, Peeping Tom, Red Bullet, Ticket to Freedom and Voodoo. Best of the Rest, Franbulo, Scorpion and Volponi are possible.
Also on Nov. 24 are the two premier 1 1/8-mile stakes for 2-year-olds, the $200,000 Remsen and Demoiselle. As many as 11 horses were pointing for the Remsen. They are: Jule Bandit, Listen Here, Monthir, Nokoma, Right Too Refuse, Robins Beauty, Saarland, Seat Open and Silent Fred. Major Storm and Rulebook are possible starters. Only five horses -- Lady Shari, Our Cozzette, Proxy Statement, Saintly Action and Smok'n Frolic -- are definites for the Demoiselle. Possible runners include Blissful Kiss, Happy Michelle, Madame X Ski, Meeses Pieces, Treasure Coast Gem and Water Rights.
The Grade 2, $100,000 Fall Highweight Handicap at six furlongs will be run on the special 10-race Thanksgiving Day program. Expected to run in the six-furlong stakes are Big E E, Here's Zealous, Night Caller, Nunzio, Port Herman, Silky Sweep and Yonaguska. Governor's Pride, Grangeville, In C C's Honor, Impeachthepro, Istintaj, Run Kush Run and Sassy Hound are possible. Weights for the race will be released Friday, November 16th.
On Friday, Nov. 23, fillies and mares battle in the grade II, $150,000 Delta Air Lines Top Flight Handicap. A probable field of 10 is shaping up, headed by A.O.L. Hayes, Atelier, Cat Cay, Latour, Palmarola and Shiny Band. Arty'svirginiagirl, Castlebrook, Nasty Storm and Zonk are possibles.
The week's stakes action ends on Sunday, Nov. 25th with the running of the six-furlong, $75,000 Huntington Stakes for 2-year-old colts. Expected to run are Cool Cash, D' Coach, Harmony Hall, Iron Deputy, Mr. Kipp, Parfy's Legacy and Saratoga Way. Listed as possible are Rare Friends and Volley Ball.