Chateau and Vegas Weekend on Point for Aqueduct Stakes


Chateau and Vegas Weekend are on point for Big A stakes this week. (Photo credit:

Trainer Rob Atras said Sanford J. Goldfarb, Alan Kahn and Koshanostra Stables’ Vegas Weekend will likely target the Grade 3 Comely, a nine-furlong test for sophomore fillies on November 26.

“That’s the plan right now. She’ll work again either tomorrow or Sunday and we’ll let her tell us how she’s doing,” Atras said.

The dark bay daughter of Mineshaft is in the midst of a four-race win streak, dating back to a 1 1/16-mile optional-claiming win on June 5 at Pimlico for her former conditioner Fausto Gutierrez. She followed with a 4 1/4-length score traveling one-mile at Indiana Grand in July but was haltered by Atras for $50,000 next out in a nine-furlong claiming test contested over a sloppy and sealed main track at Saratoga.

Vegas Weekend returned off a nearly three-month layoff to win a seven-furlong optional-claiming event on November 12 over a muddy main track at the Big A.

“We had a hard time spotting her right away, but we didn’t mind waiting and being patient with her and luckily it paid off,” Atras said.

Atras credited co-owner Sandy Goldfarb for the successful claim.

“Sandy picked her out. He liked her breeding and that she liked to win and thought she would be a good fit for the winter meet at Aqueduct,” Atras said. “She came from a very good trainer and when I claimed her she was in excellent condition. I liked her right away.”

Chateau Targets Fall Highweight

Michael Dubb’s Chateau, who finished seventh last out in an allowance sprint under Kendrick Carmouche on September 14 at Parx, is targeting the Grade 3, $200,000 Fall Highweight Handicap, a six-furlong test for 3-year-olds and up on November 28.

“I’m hoping we can just cross that last race out. We were hoping we wouldn’t have to ship, but he’s another horse we were having trouble spotting after having such a good winter campaign,” Atras said. “Kendrick said he struggled over the track and he was pressed pretty hard on the outside the whole way. It just wasn’t ideal.”

Chateau boasts a tremendous record over the Big A main track with a ledger of 10-5-2-2 for purse earnings of $318,443.

The 6-year-old Flat Out gelding has enjoyed a productive 2021 campaign, posting a record of 6-2-1-1 led by a score in the six-furlong Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap here in March. He followed that effort with a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap in April at Aqueduct and a runner-up effort in the Grade 3 Runhappy in May at Belmont.

Chateau breezed a sharp half-mile in 47.88 on November 14 over the Belmont dirt training track in his third breeze back off the freshening.

Sadie Lady Back in Training

Dennis Narlinger’s New York-bred Sadie Lady, a 5-year-old Freud mare, is back in training towards a winter campaign at Aqueduct where she boasts a record of five wins from eight starts.

The speedy mare won the six-furlong Correction in March at the Big A and followed with a strong second in the Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap in May at Belmont. She added to her credentials with a front-running score in the six-furlong Dancin Renee against fellow state-breds in June over Big Sandy and was last seen finishing fourth in the Union Avenue, contested over a sloppy and sealed main track in August at the Spa.

“We gave her 30 days in Florida,” Atras said. “She started galloping down there and has had a couple breezes since she came back up and seems to be her old self again.”

Atras said Sadie Lady will point to the open-company $100,000 Garland of Roses, a six-furlong sprint on December 11 at the Big A

Beach Haven Thoroughbreds, Medallion Racing, Parkland Thoroughbreds and Barry Fowler’s Maracuja is enjoying a turnout at Margaux Farm in Kentucky.

The Honor Code sophomore provided Atras with his first Grade 1 win by besting Malathaat in the Coaching Club American Oaks in July at the Spa.

“We’ve been getting regular updates and she’s doing well,” Atras said. “She’ll start back training at the farm pretty soon and we’ll get her back here in the first week of January. It’s too early to make a plan yet, but we’ll know more in mid-December.”

Aqueduct Fall Meet Week 3 Stakes Probables

Friday, November 26

$150,000 Forever Together

Probable: Classic Lady (Christophe Clement), Lady Fatima (Jamie Begg), Platinum Paynter (Juan Vazquez), Speaktomeofsummer (Clement)

Possible: Giacosa (Jimmy Bond), Tightly Twisted (Juanita Bennett)

$150,000 Gio Ponti

Probable: Monition (Cherie DeVaux), Never Explain (Shug McGaughey), Original (John Terranova), Safe Conduct (Phil Serpe)

Possible: Tango Tango Tango (Jack Sisterson)

Grade 3, $200,000 Comely

Probable: Bees And Honey (Reeve McGaughey), Crazy Beautiful (Kenny McPeek), Hybrid Eclipse (Linda Rice), Played Hard (Phil Bauer), Vegas Weekend (Rob Atras)

Possible: Army Wife (Mike Maker), Ninetypercentbrynn (Butch Reid, Jr.), Shalimar Gardens (Horacio DePaz)

Saturday, November 27

Grade 3, $150,000 Discovery

Probable: Manor House (Michelle Hemingway), Miles D (Chad Brown), Ridin With Biden (Butch Reid, Jr.), Speaker’s Corner (Bill Mott)

Grade 3, $400,000 Long Island

Probable: Harajuku (Graham Motion), La Dragontea (Christophe Clement), Luck Money (Arnaud Delacour), Mutamakina (Clement), Summer In Saratoga (Joe Sharp), Treasure Tails (Cara Holtzinger)

Possible: Orglandes (Chad Brown)

$100,000 Central Park

Probable: General Ken (Chad Brown), Geno (David Donk), Ohtwoohthreefive (George Weaver), Rocket One (Bill Mott), Sy Dog (Graham Motion)

$150,000 Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship

Probable: Arrest Me Red (Wesley Ward), Backtohisroots (John Terranova), Big Package (David Donk), Chewing Gum (Bill Mott), Maxwell Esquire (Clement), Omaha City (Amzadali Jehaludi), Pulsate (Robert Ribaudo), Turned Aside (Mark Casse)

Sunday, November 28

$150,000 Autumn Days

Probable: Introduced (Jorge Duarte, Jr.), Jakarta (Mike Maker), Lead Guitar (George Weaver), Love and Thunder (Chad Brown), Raven’s Cry (Brad Cox), Show Me the Honey (Michelle Nevin), Too Sexy (Christophe Clement)

$100,000 Tepin

Probable: Anador (Christophe Clement), Caironi (Michael Miceli), Mischeivous Kiss (Bill Mott)

Grade 3, $200,000 Fall Highweight Handicap

Probable: Chateau (Rob Atras), Smooth B (Butch Reid, Jr.), War Tocsin (Uriah St. Lewis)

Possible: Hopeful Treasure (Michael Catalano, Jr.), Sir Alfred James (Norman Cash), Wind of Change (Saffie Joseph, Jr.)

NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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