Ramon Dominguez rode four stakes winners Oct. 24 at rainy Belmont Park, including a three-quarters of a length victory by Haynesfield in the $250,000 Empire Classic.
Future Prospect and Haynesfield are the stars and Naughty New Yorker is the sentimental favorite, but contention will run deep Oct. 24 when 11 colts and geldings and one filly line up for the $250,000 Empire Classic at Belmont Park.
Shipping in from California and making his first start on natural dirt, I Want Revenge put away Mr. Fantasy at the top of the stretch and scored by 8 1/2 convincing lengths in the $250,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) March 7 at Aqueduct.
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, offers Gotham Analysis and Selections.
Looking at the Thoro-Graph numbers for Saturday's Gotham, there is one horse whose numbers stand out far above the others. That's not to say someone won't make a big move forward and he won't regress, but for speed purposes right now he stands alone, and is "the most likely winner," according to Thoro-Graph's Jerry Brown.
On paper, the $250,000 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) has turned out to be one of the most intriguing and highly-anticipated prep races of the season, as a number of promising 3-year-olds will attempt to answer questions about their ability to go on to the $750,000 Wood Memorial (gr. I), and possibly the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Triple Crown Talk blog, with host Jason Shandler, reviews Old Fashioned's performance in the Southwest and offers a new top 10 Derby Watchlist.
It was an excellent weekend on the old trail, with some first-class performances, not only by the winners, but several of the losers as well. The latest Top 15 follows the column.
Bigger things await Haynesfield after the 3-year-old colt outclassed five rivals in the $107,600 Whirlaway Stakes Feb. 7 for his third consecutive win on Aqueduct's inner track.
A winner of three consecutive races, Haynesfield looks to further establish himself as one of the top New York-based 3-year-olds when he takes on a short field in the $100,000 Whirlaway Stakes Feb. 7 at Aqueduct.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Speightstown's sophomores are off to a quick start with Haynesfield taking the Count Fleet Stakes and Gemswick Park scoring a game victory in the Old Hat Stakes (gr. III) in the first weekend of the new year.
Haynesfield picked up his third consecutive victory Jan. 3, warding off a stiff mid-stretch challenge from Mike From Queens and drawing off to a 3 1/2-length victory in the 34th running of the $69.700 Count Fleet Stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile and 70 yards on Aqueduct's fast inner dirt track.
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