Top Flight Could Redeem Malibu Mint

Grade I winner Malibu Mint meets the undefeated and potentially freakish Mo Cuishle in a strong renewal of Friday's $150,000 Top Flight Handicap presented by Delta Air Lines (gr. II) at Aqueduct.

Run at a mile over the main track, the Top Flight drew nine fillies and mares.

Malibu Mint has had an outstanding 4-year-old campaign, capped by a win in Calder's Princess Rooney (gr. I) and earning nearly $600,000. Earlier this fall, Malibu Mint scored another pair of stakes wins in Turfway's Weekend Delight and Keeneland's Thoroughbred Club of America (gr. III).

"She trains and eats like a colt, but she's never backed off her feet," said her trainer, James Chapman. "She's big, strong and loves what she does."

Malibu Mint exits the Nov. 4 TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Churchill Downs where she finished 12th at odds of 49-1 after breaking from post 12.

"She had no shot after breaking out there, the way that track played on Breeders' Cup Day," Chapman said. "It's one of those things where you wish you hadn't even run. She came out of it fine. There wasn't much effort to it."

Aside from making her Aqueduct debut on Friday, this late-running filly by Malibu Moon  will also attempt to handle the Top Flight's one-mile distance. Malibu Mint finished fifth in her first and only attempt at eight furlongs.

"Off a couple of her seven-furlong races, it looks like she'll go a mile," said Chapman. "It's water we haven't been in yet, but I think she'll be up to the task."

Mo Cuishle, a 3-year-old by the late Saint Ballado, will try to stay unbeaten as she takes on older stakes horses for the first time. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Mo Cuishle won her first two races at Delaware Park then scored an easy victory in the Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks (gr. III) Aug. 13. Mo Cuishle has never been tested, winning her three starts by a combined 15 lengths.

Jockey Jose Santos has the mount from post 5.

Carmandia, by Wild Rush, scored a mile upset here Nov. 4 when she won the First Flight (gr. II) at odds of 9-1. Friday, she'll attempt to pair up two big efforts in just 20 days for trainer Rick Dutrow Jr.

$150,000 Top Flight Handicap (gr. II, Race 8, 3:48 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 Mile
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Yolanda B. Too (MD), 114, Michael Luzzi
2. Classy Charm (KY), 114, Mike Smith
3. Malibu Mint (KY), 119, Eibar Coa
4. Miss Shop (FL), 115, Raul Rojas
5. Mo Cuishle (KY), 115, Jose Santos
6. Notimetoquit (FL), 113, Fernando Jara
7. No Reason (NY), 112, Channing Hill
8. Rahys' Appeal (NY), 113, Alan Garcia
9. Carmandia (KY), 117, Christopher DeCarlo