Lager, a former claiming horse, will attempt to win his third graded stakes of the year in the $75,000 Queens County Handicap (gr. III) Saturday at Aqueduct. The James Jerkens-trained son of Pleasant Tap enters the 1 3/16-mile race following a win in the 1 1/8-mile Stuyvesant Handicap in early November at Aqueduct.
Earlier this year, Lager defeated Best of Luck by a nose in the Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) in April at Aqueduct. He then finished second to Lemon Drop Kid in the Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) and third in the Suburban Handicap (gr. II), in which he finished behind Lemon Drop Kid and Behrens.
"He tailed off after the Suburban," said jockey Heberto Castillo Jr., Lager's regular rider this year. "The mile was too short for him (referring to a second-place finish in an allowance race used as a prep for the Stuyvesant), but we were more concerned that he was back to his old self and he proved that in the Stuyvesant."
The field for the Queens County will consist of:
1--Tarquinius, John Velazquez, 114
2--Durmiente, Edgar Prado, 115
3--Turnofthecentury, Aaron Gryder, 116
4--Sky Approval, Robbie Davis, 113
5--Lager, Heberto Castillo Jr., 119
6--Talk's Cheap, Mike Luzzi, 115
7--Gold Star Deputy, Richard Migliore, 114
8--Top Official, Diane Nelson, 115
9--Tickle Me Red, Shaun Bridgmohan, 111
10--Boston Party, Norberto Arroyo Jr., 114