AQUEDUCT NOTEBOOK

NOVEMBER 29, 2012

by John Mucciolo

There were six graded events over the Holiday weekend at the Big A.

Cigar Mile H. (G1): Repole Stable's STAY THIRSTY (Bernardini) capped a monster day for these connections when gamely winning the bob by a nose over future Eclipse Award winner Groupie Doll (Bowman's Band). The multiple Grade 1-winning four-year-old colt, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Ramon Dominguez, concluded his career in style and finished the mile in 1:35 2/5.

Gazelle S. (G1): Godolphin's DANCE CARD (Tapit) led at every call and widened her edge in the lane despite floating wide to post a four-length win under Dominguez. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee endured nine furlongs on the fast dirt surface in 1:50 1/5 while never seriously challenged in the lane.

Go For Wand S. (G2): Robert Masterson's NEFERTINI (Empire Maker) took a short lead nearing the turn for home and gamely kept her foes at bay in posting a mild upset. The four-year-old filly, who is trained by Alan Goldberg, finished off one mile in 1:35 4/5 beneath Alan Garcia.

Remsen S. (G2): Repole's OVERANALYZE (Dixie Union) gradually wore down his pacesetting stablemate and then hold off a late scare en route to a nose victory for Pletcher and Dominguez. The juvenile colt established himself as a serious Kentucky Derby contender and completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.

Demoiselle S. (G2): Repole's UNLIMITED BUDGET (Street Sense) came back just nine days after a huge maiden tally and the juvenile filly proved her class with a 1 1/4-length front-running tally under John Velazquez. The Kentucky-bred traveled nine panels in 1:52 for Pletcher to remain unbeaten.

Fall Highweight H. (G3): Repole's CAIXA ELETRONICA (Arromanches) wore down the favorite inside the final furlong and pulled clear late to post a four-length win in this one for Pletcher. The durable and versatile seven-year-old finished off six panels in a swift 1:08 3/5 while toting 133 pounds and Javier Castellano.

Track Stats

A total of 47 races were held at the Jamaica, New York venue, with favorites winning at a 38 percent rate and the top two betting choices combining for 60 percent of the wins during the week. From 31 races on the main oval, seven animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (23 percent), while one of the 16 races on the lawn ere taken all the way on the front (6 percent).

Speed on the main oval was best on Friday, when a trio of horses went wire-to-wire and two others were close in the early going. With that said, we still think the best place on the main oval is a path or two off the rail while being forwardly placed.

The turf course continues to be tough on early types, as just one longshot led throughout on the weeds in a route event.

Meet Totals

RACES:   144
DIRT:   106
TURF:   38
FAVORITES:   48 (33 percent)
2ND CHOICES:   35 (24 percent)
TURF WIRE:   7 (18 percent)
DIRT WIRE:   23 (22 percent)

HORSES TO WATCH

Thursday (11/22)

2ND -- SILVER PRIZE (Silver Train) wore down the runner-up in a long stretch duel to break her maiden in game fashion under Jose Ortiz. We're not sure how good this group was, but this lass earned our respect and could be a nice price coming right back.

5TH -- FLAT BOLD (Flatter) made pretty short work of this field at 1-5 odds and was claimed out by Linda Rice. The six-year-old came home in a fine time for this level and has a lot of back class, so we think he's got more left in him.

Friday (11/23)

9TH -- WILLET (Jump Start) came up short when a clear second in here, but the New York-bred seemingly always fires and can never be discounted when properly placed.

Saturday (11/24)

2ND -- We really liked the victory posted by ORB (Malibu Moon) in this spot for trainer Shug McGaughey, as the juvenile colt wore down the leader in the lane before inching clear to a two-length score. He gives the impression of one to watch heading into 2013.

3RD -- FORTY TALES (Tale of the Cat) is another one to watch when he turns three in January, as the Pletcher first timer rated off of a modest early pace to fly by this group in the lane. The two-year-old colt came home in a strong :24 and seemed to have more in the tank.

6TH -- We lost no love for runner-up EMOLLIENT (Empire Maker) in this race as she has put together a solid juvenile campaign for trainer Bill Mott. The well-bred miss should get better with age and we envision her having a huge 2013 campaign.

7TH -- DELHOMME (Dixie Union) stayed on gamely to be third in this one, finishing more than 16 lengths clear of his nearest foe. The Pletcher pupil is a big animal with a long stride, and if he develops the way we envision, the colt will win races of this nature in the near future.

A Look Ahead

There are no graded races this week at Aqueduct.

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