Valid Notebook Heads Aqueduct Fall Opener

(from Aqueduct report)
Valid Notebook owns an edge in the $100,000-added Discovery Handicap (gr. III) when Aqueduct opens its 45-day fall meeting Wednesday - if for no other reason than the fact that he won't be facing Discreet Cat.

Valid Notebook took not one but two runs at Discreet Cat in the Jerome Breeders' Cup (gr. I) Oct. 1 at Belmont Park. Although Discreet Cat ran off through the stretch and won by 10 ΒΌ lengths, Valid Notebook finished a commendable second behind a colt who could very well be a super horse.

The Discovery, for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles, drew a field of six.

Owned by Paul Pompa Jr., Valid Notebook drew post 5. So far, he proved a tremendous claim by Pompa and trainer Pat Reynolds, who took the colt in January for $62,500. Valid Notebook enters the Discovery with a solid record of three wins, two seconds, and a third from seven starts. He's banked nearly $117,000.

"He's coming into this race as good as hands can get him," said Reynolds, who has turned former claimers Peeping Tom and Alysweep into graded stakes winners. "I thought he might bounce after knocking heads with Discreet Cat, but he hasn't given me any indication that he wants to back off.

Valid Notebook is solid in the class department, but he is unproven beyond a mile and around two turns.

Jockey Edgar Prado, who has never won the Discovery, has picked up the mount aboard Valid Notebook from Javier Castellano, who opted to ride On Board Again for trainer Bobby Frankel.

On Board Again, owned by Stronach Stable, is 2-1-1- from four starts and the likely Discovery chalk. By Awesome Again , On Board Again showed heart in his first two starts for Frankel, a win and a third. In his last start, On Board Again finished second in the Pegasus (gr. III) to the undefeated Diamond Stripes.

Todd Pletcher, who wrapped up another Belmont training title last weekend, won the Discovery last year with Magna Graduate. Pletcher is back for this year's edition with Roman Dynasty, a Theatrical homebred from the Paulson family dynasty.

Roman Dynasty, 2-2-0 from six starts, finished second to Valid Notebook in his last race Sept. 9. Romany Dynasty won his first and only start going two turns on the dirt in April at Gulfstream Park.

$100,000-added Discovery Handicap (gr. III, Race 8, 3:44 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Indian Hawke (NY), 114, Jose Santos
2. Roman Dynasty (KY), 115, John Velazquez
3. Champ Safi (KY), 114, Kent Desormeaux
4. Master of Disaster (FL), 115, Jose Lezcano
5. Valid Notebook (FL), 117, Edgar Prado
6. On Board Again (FL), 117, Javier Castellano