Little Thunder, a winner of five races since being claimed for $16,000 by Dale Capuano last October at Laurel, brings his superb form to Belmont Park for the track's opening day $100,000 Westchester Handicap (gr. III) Wednesday.
With forecasts calling for a strong chance of thunderstorms Saturday, five of the 11 horses entered for the $100,000 Fort Marcy Handicap (gr. IIIT) – the first scheduled turf stakes event of the season at Aqueduct – are present for the main track only.
Evening Attire returned to his favorite strip at Aqueduct to put an end to his nine race losing streak, grinding out a neck victory over West Virginia in the $108,600 Stuyvesant Handicap (gr. III) Saturday.
Trainer Pat Kelly would love to get his 7-year-old gelding Evening Attire, with just one win in his last 17 races, back to the winner's circle. With only five opponents to beat in Saturday's $100,000-added Stuyvesant Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct, he should have every chance.
One year after Certifiably Crazy and Dreadnaught staged a great stretch battle won by a nose by Dreadnaught, the two square off again Saturday in the $150,000 Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 3/8 miles on the Aqueduct turf.
Wednesday's $100,000-added Westchester Handicap (gr. III), the opening day feature on Belmont Park's 100th birthday and spring/summer meeting, presents a curious field of eight older horses.
Jockey Richard Migliore says Artie Schiller, a top 3-year-old turf horse he will ride in Sunday's $200,000 Jamaica Handicap at Belmont Park (gr. IIT), is one of only two horses he has ridden who have "no chinks in the armor."
Artie Schiller, arguably the second best 3-year-old turf horse in the nation behind Kitten's Joy, breezed five furlongs in 1:00 over Belmont Park's main track Tuesday in preparation for Sunday's grade II, $200,000 Jamaica at nine furlongs on turf.
Although he suffered his first turf defeat of the season in last month's Virginia Derby, Artie Schiller will be odds-on to get back in the winners' circle when he starts in Saratoga's $150,000 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Handicap (gr. IIT) Monday.
Artie Schiller and Timo, evenly matched foes as 2-year-olds last year who went their separate ways over the winter, resume their rivalry in Sunday's $100,000-added Hill Prince (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds at Belmont Park.
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