Aqueduct Offers Stakes Triple Header for 'Cup Hangovers

Aqueduct Offers Stakes Triple Header for 'Cup Hangovers
Photo: Coglianese Photos
Evening Attire could run in the Knickerbocker if rain forces the race onto the main track.
Racing fans will be able to cure their Breeders' Cup hangover Oct. 28, when Aqueduct hosts the Nashua (gr. III) and Tempted (gr. III) stakes for juveniles and the Knickerbocker Handicap (gr. IIIT) for turf specialists.
           
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin saddles Etched in the $100,000 Nashua for 2-year-olds competing at one mile. The Nashua drew a field of five. 

Etched, a powerful Belmont maiden winner last month, looks like a clear standout in the Nashua. 

With jockey Alan Garcia to ride, Etched is bred to run early as evidenced by his blowout six-furlong maiden score (1:09 3/5) at Belmont Sept. 29. He’s by Forestry and out of the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Unbridled Elaine.

“Etched ran to our expectations first time out,” said McLaughlin, who won the '06 Nashua with the precocious Day Pass. “He’s trained great since that race, and I never thought he was a sprinter. This colt is one big boy. He might be even better than Day Pass was at this time last year.”

Etched took all the money in his debut at odds of 7-5, rating in fourth early before opening a gigantic lead in the stretch. 
           
Both Anakim and Saada drop out of stakes. 

Anakim, a Giant’s Causeway colt trained by John Kimmel, takes a step back after finishing seventh in the Champagne (gr. I). Saada, a Bill Mott-trained son of Thunder Gulch, broke his maiden Sept. 1 at Saratoga and has since finished third in Woodbine’s Grey Breeders’ Cup (Can-III).

According to Plan, an impressive Belmont maiden winner for Barclay Tagg in late June, returns to the races off a three-month layoff in the $100,000 Tempted at one mile. The Tempted drew a field of six 2-year-old fillies.

According to Plan last raced July 25, opening day at Saratoga. She was fourth that afternoon as the beaten 2-1 favorite in the Schuylerville (gr. III).  Due to a pinched nerve in her neck, According to Plan missed some training time over late summer/early fall.

The Out of Place filly has been a regular on the work tab since the middle of September. The Tempted will be her first start beyond six furlongs.

Elusive Lady’s determination over next-out winner Throbbin’ Heart impressed in her Belmont maiden score Sept. 29. She’ll make her stakes debut for Kimmel while stretching out from 6 1/2 furlongs to one mile.

Zayat Stable’s Sunday Holiday, trained by Bill Mott, put in a good run when third in Belmont’s Frizette (gr. I) behind Indian Blessing and Backseat Rhythm.

Coming off a third-place finish in the Kelso Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT), Godolphin's Palace Episode starts as the favorite in the $100,000-added Knickerbocker at nine furlongs on the turf. The Knickerbocker was postponed a day because of wet weather.

Palace Episode had to steady a few times in the stretch of the Kelso. The race’s first two finishers, Trippi’s Storm and After Market, were set to run back in the NetJets Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT).

“He’s a horse that wasn’t training all that great last winter,” said Rick Mettee, assistant trainer to Saeed bin Suroor. “At Saratoga, he really started to come on. I was real happy with his race in the Kelso.”

Palace Episode, who won a group I in England over heavy ground two years ago, has never started at nine furlongs before.

“He’s does have decent form overseas on soft turf, and I’m hoping he’ll be able to sustain his run at a mile-and-an-eighth,” Mettee said. “He’s trained pretty good since the Kelso.”

No one has been able to outrun the South African-bred National Captain in his two stateside races this season for McLaughlin, who took over the horse’s training in the spring.

“He’s a nice horse who’s fit our program nicely,” McLaughlin said.  “I think he’s going into the race in good shape.  He’s been very game in both his races for us.”

$100,000 Nashua Stakes (gr. III, Race 3, 1:56 p.m.), 2-Year-Olds, 1 Mile
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Saada (KY), 116, Kent J. Desormeaux
2. Etched (KY), 116, Alan Garcia
3. Anakim (KY), 116, Cornelio H. Velasquez
4. Trust N Dustan (KY), 118, Eddie Castro
5. Anak Nakal (KY), 116, Eibar Coa

$100,000 Knickerbocker Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 3:52 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Interpatation (KY), 115, Jose L. Espinoza
2. Jungle Fighter (ON), 115, Charles C. Lopez
3. Thorn Song (KY), 114, Kent J. Desormeaux
4. Operation Red Dawn (KY), 114, Alan Garcia
5. Baron Von Tap (KY), 116, Jose Lezcano
6. Giant Wrecker (KY), 115, Jose A. Velez, Jr.
7. National Captain (SAF), 115, Eibar Coa
8. Palace Episode (KY), 116, Jean-Luc Samyn
9. Rock Lobster (FL), 114, Jorge F. Chavez
10. Fishy Advice (KY), 116, Javier Castellano
Main Track Only
11. Evening Attire (KY), 123, Jose L. Espinoza
12. Barcola (KY), 122, No Rider
13. Like Now (FL), 119, No Rider

$100,000 Tempted Stakes (gr. III, Race 8, 4:21 p.m.), 2-Year-Old Fillies, 1 Mile
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. Hope Bay (MD), Javier Castellano
2. Dagger (KY), Jose Lezcano
3. According to Plan (KY), Cornelio H. Velasquez
4. Elusive Lady (FL), Eibar Coa
5. Meriwether Jessica (NY), Alan Garcia
6. Sunday Holiday (KY), Kent J. Desormeaux
Each filly assigned 115 pounds.

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