Salutos Amigos will have to put on his running shoes to hold off West Coast invader Calculator in the $400,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct Racetrack April 9.
Salutos Amigos actually spent this winter out in California with trainer David Jacobson, where both failed to achieve the desired results, but returned to New York in time to win the March 12 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. III) from well off the pace. He ran second in both the Palos Verdes (gr. II) and Midnight Lute (gr. III) on the left coast. Both Salutos Amigos and Calculator were victimized by Kobe's Back, who won the Palos Verdes and also took the San Carlos Stakes (gr. III) in which Calculator checked in third.
LEWYN: 'Salutos' Storms From Last for Tom Fool Win
Calculator won the one-mile Sham Stakes (gr. III) in January of 2015 before heading to the bench for more than a year. He came back and took an allowance heat before the San Carlos and could be rounding back into form. As a 2-year-old he twice finished second in grade I tests behind eventual Triple Crown hero American Pharoah
, and he has never been off the board at the Carter's seven-furlong distance in three tries.
will likely be in an early tussle for the lead from post 2. He won over a muddy inner track at the Big A in January in the Jazil Stakes, then lost a head bob in the General George Stakes (gr. III) at Laurel Park
last time out. He is a stakes winner at both Aqueduct and Laurel and is proven at the distance.
won the Carter a year ago, but went on the shelf after a third in the True North Stakes (gr. II) last June. His two 2016 races have not been pretty. He weakened badly in both the Toboggan (gr. III) and Tom Fool, finishing far back in both. Sassicaia
won the Toboggan coming from the clouds to win a stakes in his first attempt. He is on a two-race win streak, both coming at six furlongs.
is a multiple stakes winner at Aqueduct. He scored in the Fall Highweight (gr. III) last November on the front end, then took the Gravesend in similar fashion. In his past two he was caught late in the Toboggan and General George, but he is at least drawn outside Majestic Affair and Dads Caps. Additional speed is signed up, however, with Anchor Down
, most recently third (disqualified to fourth) in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) after setting the pace and drifting out late.
could be dangerous from the outside post. The 6-year-old has bumped heads with runners like Private Zone
, X Y Jet
, and Rock Fall
in the past year. Not surprisingly, he has done better when not facing those kind. He was 4 1/2 lengths off Salutos Amigos in the Tom Fool, then came back and won an allowance.
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