An evenly matched field of seven 2-year-olds was entered in the six-furlong inner-track race. Four of the runners are coming off wins; the other three were either second or third in the prior starts.
New York-bred Piquante Cat exits a sharp second-place finish in the restricted Great White Way Stakes at Aqueduct Nov. 11. The half-length winner, Spanky Fischbein, returned to finish second to the undefeated Giant Moon in the Damon Runyon Stakes at Aqueduct Dec. 9.
Trained by Linda Rice, Piquante Cat, a gelded son of Performing Magic, is a winner on turf and dirt. A front-runner, Piquante Cat drew post four and will be ridden by the meet’s leading jockey, Alan Garcia.
Go Go Shoot, a smart-looking winner of his career debut in the slop at Meadowlands, showed early foot as he scooted home a four-length winner on the sealed track. Owned by former basketball star Bobby Hurley, Go Go Shoot is trained by Jim Ryerson. Pedro Cotto Jr. rides Go Go Shoot from post six.
With Piquante Cat and Go Go Shoot likely to do battle on the front end, All Expenses Paid could benefit from a stalking trip under Edgar Prado. Trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., All Expenses Paid has won his last two starts over wet tracks. The son of Trippi could get the same conditions in the Capote, as rain is in the forecast.
Possetothemax, the lone stakes winner in the field, has raced at six different tracks in each of his starts. The son of Posse won a stakes at Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino in July for trainer Steve Asmussen. Possetothemax makes his first start for trainer David Fawkes in the Capote.
Maiden winner Grand Minstrel worked sharply for the Capote when he blazed a half-mile in :47.05, the fastest of 89 works at the distance on Belmont Park’s training track Dec. 6.
Red Reef, undefeated in two starts for owner Ahmed Zayat, makes his Aqueduct debut for trainer Tony Dutrow. Red Reef, a son of 2000 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Red Bullet, came from off the pace to win races at Delaware Park and Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack.
Cobra Strike, an easy winner of a Philly Park allowance race in his last start, completes the field. --Karen M. Johnson
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