William Schettine's Isabelle showed she could handle stakes competition with two wins in her last three starts. She now will see if that success translates to a higher level, when she faces a field of five others in the $200,000 Top Flight Invitational Stakes (G3) April 2 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, the 6-year-old Successful Appeal mare went gate to wire for an impressive 12-length victory last time out in the Heavenly Prize Invitational Stakes March 4.
The 8-5 morning-line favorite drew post 4 in her first graded stakes start since the 2014 Victory Ride (G3). Kendrick Carmouche, who piloted her to two wins and a runner-up finish in his three starts, will have the return call.
Verve's Tale, the field's only graded stakes winner, shipped from Florida after eight breezes since February at Palm Meadows Training Center. Her last work, going four furlongs in :48 March 28, inspired confidence in trainer Barclay Tagg.
"It's a great place to train and she's done well here," Tagg said.
The 4-year-old daughter of Tale of Ekati , the 5-2 choice, won at the Top Flight distance of 1 1/8 miles when she captured the Comely Stakes (G3) Nov. 26 at Aqueduct.
"That's why they invited us. She's run that distance at Aqueduct and has run well," Tagg said. "It was her best (speed figure). I just want to see her comfortable. She's run well coming off just off the lead. I think I'd prefer that. There's some speed in there. But she's doing well. That's why we brought her up there."
Winter will return to graded stakes company after winning her last three starts and four of her last five. The Cal Lynch trainee is 5-3-0 in 11 starts and has finished in the money in her last six races.
A pair of 20-1 longshots, Disco Rose and Oasis at Midnight, round out the field. Disco Rose has won two of her last three starts against allowance company. Oasis at Midnight, a 7-year-old dark bay mare, will be making her 45th start.
Aqueduct Racetrack, Sunday, April 02, 2017, Race 8
- 1 1/8m
- 4 yo's & up Fillies and Mares
- 5:17 PM (local)
|1||1Disco Rose (PA)||J. D. Acosta||116||Robert E. Reid, Jr.||20/1|
|2||2Oasis At Midnight (KY)||Rajiv Maragh||116||Joseph F. Orseno||20/1|
|3||3Verve's Tale (KY)||Paco Lopez||123||Barclay Tagg||5/2|
|4||4Isabelle (NY)||Kendrick Carmouche||123||William I. Mott||8/5|
|5||5Mo' Green (KY)||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||116||John C. Servis||3/1|
|6||6Winter (KY)||Trevor McCarthy||118||Cathal A. Lynch||5/1|