Toby's Corner, in his stakes debut for trainer Graham Motion, collared J J's Lucky Train in the final furlong and drew off to a two-length win in the $98,000 Whirlaway Stakes on the inner track at rainy Aqueduct Feb. 5.
With an eye to the future, seven 3-year-olds will find out if maturity and distance are on their side when they line up for the $100,000 Whirlaway Feb. 5 at Aqueduct.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
Stephen Got Even's rising star Peppi Knows scores his first 2-turn stakes victory in the Whirlaway Stakes. Is it a sign of Triple Crown potential?
Eightyfiveinafifty should be able to return to training in a week after receiving 14 stitches to repair a cut suffered during his premature departure from the racetrack during the running of the Feb. 6 Whirlaway
There is no disputing the fact that Eightyfiveinafifty is fast, but the colt will get a chance to show how far he can carry his speed when he faces five 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Whirlaway Stakes Feb. 6 at Aqueduct.
A winner of three consecutive races, Haynesfield looks to further establish himself as one of the top New York-based 3-year-olds when he takes on a short field in the $100,000 Whirlaway Stakes Feb. 7 at Aqueduct.
Achilles of Troy will be an overwhelming favorite in Saturday's $65,000 Whirlaway Stakes, but will he win the race? There are two indications that he might be vulnerable. Regardless of the outcome, the race doesn't have significant Kentucky Derby implications, since there are no graded earnings at stake.
A majority interest in Sort it Out, winner of the Whirlaway Stakes, has been sold to Robert and Janice McNair's Stonerside Stable, who have turned the New York-bred over to trainer Bob Baffert. The colt's previous owner, Preferred Pals Stable, has retained a minority interest.
Vincent Papandrea's Little Matth Man, last most of the way, gobbled up the muddy inner dirt track at Aqueduct on Saturday afternoon, and rallied for an upset victory in the $82,875 Whirlaway for 3-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth.
Saratoga Blues stalked pacesetter Flo's Bo through the early going before driving clear in the stretch to win the $82,525 Whirlaway Stakes by two lengths on Saturday at Aqueduct.
Normally, the Whirlaway Stakes over Aqueduct's inner track receives very little fanfare, as only a moderate group of winter residents and Maryland shippers bother showing up. But this year, the winter residents appear much stronger than usual, as do the Maryland shippers. Add a pair of invaders from England who have already won a couple of races each on the dirt, and Saturday's Whirlaway takes on a whole different look.
Trainer Niall O'Callaghan is on the fence about sending Keats, winner of last year's Lexington Stakes (gr. II), to the Donn Handicap (gr. I) on Feb. 9 or the Whirlaway Stakes on Feb. 10.
Next Saturday's Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct, already an intriguing race with several top prospects, will draw this year's first European invader in Goshin's Lad, an English-trained colt who has won a pair of recent dirt races over Lingfield's all-weather track.
The loud boom you hear at Aqueduct on Feb. 9 could very well be the sound of Lord ofthe Thunder crashing down on the Kentucky Derby trail. The New York-bred son of Saint Ballado will be tackling open company for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile Whirlaway Stakes, and if those close to the colt are correct, we could have a new star on the scene.
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