A field of eight will line up on Saturday at Belmont Park in the $200,000 Long Island Handicap (G3), the last graded stake for the ladies on the turf in New York this year.
The long-winded fillies and mares will go 1 ½ miles over the Big A turf course, one of two stakes on the card for the ladies on grass.
The sixth race is the $100,000 Summer Secretary, which features three-year-old fillies that will go 1 1/16 miles on turf. That race drew a wide-open field of 13.
The Tom Albertrani trained Anjaz is the 5-2 morning line favorite for the Long Island ‘Cap. The filly is winless in four starts since coming to the U.S., but is coming off a good effort in a troubled trip in a runner up finish in the Waya Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 5.
Christophe Clement will send out a pair of runners. Aigue Marine (4-1) makes her first start since March where she was seventh in the Orchid (G3) at Gulfstream Park. The European import has won one of four starts state side, the win coming against second level optional claimers in her first go for the barn.
Clement will also send out Tabreed, who is coming off a victory against second level optional claimers in her last outing at Keeneland over ground labeled as good going nine furlongs.
The Summer Secretary is one of the best betting races on the nine-race card at the Big A on Saturday. The Chad Brown trained Watsdachances is the 5-2 morning line favorite and has a class edge having faces graded company in seven starts.
She was fourth last out in the Garden City (G1) at Belmont Park, beaten 1 ¾ lengths for the top spot against solid group of foes.
Let’s head out to Aqueduct for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Aqueduct Race 8 The Long Island Handicap G3 (Post time 3:43 ET)
6 Strathnaver 3-1
2 Anjaz 5-2
3 Aigue Marine 4-1
5 Left a Message 5-1
Analysis: Strathnaver made a good late rally to get up late and win the Lady Baltimore last out at Laurel Park off a 2 1/2 month break. The filly bounced back off a sub-par effort two back when she shipped to Arlington Park for the Modesty Handicap (G3). In that outing she was outrun in the early going and never got untracked in an eighth place finish, beaten 23 lengths. She was outrun three back in the Sheepshead Bay (G2) but did not appear as if she liked the soft going. She has a win at today’s 1 1/2 mile distance, taking the Bewitch (G3) at Keeneland at the spring meeting in her second start after arriving in the U.S. and landing with the Graham Motion barn. She is back on track here and will appreciate the extra ground here. The Motion trainee has a nice pedigree, out of the stakes winner River Belle ($289,613) who also dropped stakes winner Siyaadah ($236,922).
Anjaz is making her first start off a three-month break. She was entered in the Glen Falls (G3) at the Spa on Sept. 2 but the race came off the turf. In her last outing she checked in a game second in the Waya at the Spa going 1 1/2 miles. She was down along the inside and then lacked running room exiting the far turn and did not get clear sailing until inside the final furlong. The third place finisher in that race as Mystical Star, who came back to win the Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon and then ran fourth in the Flower Bowl (G1). The fill is 0 for 4 since coming to the U.S. but has not had much luck, getting off poorly in her first two starts state side. She gets a jock upgrade to Javier Castellano here.
Aigue Marine was a game third in this race last year, beaten just 3/4 of a length for the top spot. She has only made two starts since, beating Alw-2 optional claimers in March and then fading to finish seventh in the Orchid (G3) at Gulfstream Park. She comes back here off a seven month layoff for the Christophe Clement barn that is 28% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff. She has a win at the distance coming in a small stake in France and the barn usually has them ready to go off the bench.
WIN: #6 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,6 / 2,3,5,6
TRI: 2,6 / 2,3,5,6 / 2,3,4,5,6
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