By Karen M. Johnson
Trainer Mark Hennig knows Barcola is a superior horse over the Delaware Park surface. Now he wants to know if the colt can be as effective at Aqueduct, and he'll find out Nov. 17 in the New York track's $100,000 Stuyvesant Handicap (gr.III).
Barcola, who easily won three ungraded stakes at Delaware Park this year, is among eight entered in the Stuyvesant at 1 1/8 miles on the dirt.
“He obviously likes Delaware,” Hennig said Nov. 15. “I hope (the form) carries over. I think we are competitive in this spot but, again, he until he proves it . . .”
J. Paul Reddam purchased Barcola privately after he demolished an allowance field over Aqueduct’s inner track last December.
Kendrick Carmouche, aboard for Barcola’s wins in the Brandywine Stakes, RRM Carpenter Jr. Memorial Handicap, and Kelso Stakes at Delaware, has the mount from post 8. Barcola has speed and figures to be gunning early to secure a good position into the first turn.
Awfully Smart, like Barcola, has a penchant for Delaware Park. The gelding has won five races from eight starts there this year for trainer Alan Goldberg. Barcola defeated Awfully Smart by 4 ½ lengths in the RRM Carpenter Jr. Memorial Handicap. Rajiv Maragh rides Awfully Smart, who figures to be close to the early pace. He drew post 5.
Utopia, a group I winner in Japan with earnings topping $4.8 million, won the Westchester Handicap (gr.III) at Belmont Park in May for Godolphin Stable. A problem with shedding his frogs kept Utopia in the barn until he finished sixth in the Meadowlands Cup (gr.II) Oct 5. That effort was a puzzler to Godolphin assistant, Rick Mettee.
“We were very perplexed by his race that night,” said Mettee. “It was one of those real muggy nights. He behaved badly in the paddock and got real hot. Maybe he didn’t like running at night or shipping over there.”
Utopia, who will be ridden by Mike Luzzi, is co-highweight along with Barcola at 117 pounds.
One of New York’s racing favorites, Evening Attire, seeks his first win since taking the Stymie over Aqueduct’s inner track in March. Evening Attire, a 9-year-old gelding, won the Stuyvesant in 2005.
Pat Kelly, Evening Attire’s trainer, also entered Naughty New Yorker. The Kelly pair are not coupled in the wagering.
Naughty New Yorker, a New York-bred, has been successful in open stakes company and figures in the mix on his best day.
Who What Win, Hunting, and Malibu Moonshine complete the field.
$100,000 Stuyvestant Handicap (gr. III, race 8, approximate post 3:44 p.m.), 1 1/8-miles for 3-year-olds and upward, dirt
PP, Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Evening Attire, 114, Jose Espinoza
2. Naughty New Yorker, 115, Javier Castellano
3. Malibu Moonshine, 114, Channing Hill
4. Hunting, 113, Alan Garcia
5. Awfully Smart, 116, Rajiv Maragh
6. Utopia, 117, Michael Luzzi
7. Who What Win, 114, Edgar Prado
8. Barcola, 117, Kendrick Carmouche