Helen Alexander's Atelier leads the list of six rivals in the Next Move Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct on March 31. The 4-year-old daughter of Deputy Minister overcame a slow break to win her seasonal debut in a March 12 Gulfstream allowance contest.
Atelier didn't make her first start until she was three, and has faced older rivals in every race with the exception of the Sept. 8 Gazelle Handicap (gr. II), where she finished fourth. She continued to improve during the fall, and won a non-winners of three "other than" allowance race at Belmont, preceding her win in the Nov. 3 Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III) by seven lengths over older mares like Tap To Music and Next Move rival, Pentatonic.
Like Atelier, Pompeii also made her bow last spring as a 3-year-old and moved through her allowance conditions quick. The daughter of Broad Brush broke her maiden and won two allowances before blossoming in the fall.
Pompeii won a conditional allowance by eight lengths in late December before running third in the Jan. 13 Affectionately Handicap (gr. III), her first stakes try. She followed that up with a win in the Rare Treat Handicap (gr. III).
Rounding out the field for the Next Move: Tax Affair (Joe Bravo); Atelier (Edger Prado); Pompeii (Javier Castellano); Irving's Baby (John Velazquez); Sheldons Jet (Shaun Bridgmohan); and Penatatonic (Aaron Gryder).