A competitive field of 11 line up in Saturday’s $100,000 Red Smith (G3) at Aqueduct at 1 3/8 miles including a pair of Grade 1 winners.
Sadler’s Joy is the 8-5 morning line favorite and the defending champ in the race. The Tom Albertrani trainee has earned $2.6 million in his career and is perfect in is two trips over the Big A turf.
The other Grade 1 winner is Aquaphobia (6-1) who won the United Nations at Monmouth Park in July. The seven-year-old came up short in his last start in a disappointing seventh in the Sycamore (G3) at Keeneland, a race that five of these in today’s field exit.
The main problem with Sadler’s Joy is his short price and the fact he has won just one of his last 18 starts.
“He’s run some big races and was so close in some of the bigger races,” Albertrani said. “I think one of the biggest disappointments was at Saratoga when he was disqualified. He’s just always consistently always been right there. The horse just always shows up.”
A gelding that should move forward is Ziyad (9-2) who was third in the Sycamore which was his U.S. debut.
“He just came up to us that week from quarantine and I hadn’t had him for very long at all,” Motion said. “He seems to be uncomplicated. From the morning works, he seems a little one paced.”
He ran a good third in the 2019 Canadian International (G1) last October at Woodbine in Canada in his first trip across the pond. The gelding was the pacesetter in that race.
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Let’s head out to Aqueduct for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Aqueduct Race 9 The Red Smith G3 Post time 3:45 ET
8 Ziyad 9-2
10 Red Knight 5-2
4 Sadler’s Joy 8-5
9 Aquaphobia 6-1
The Motion trainee made his U.S. debut last out in the Sycamore (G3) where he stalked a slow early pace form the outside and finished evenly while on his wrong lead in the stretch in a third place finish, beaten two lengths for the win and missing the place spot by a head behind a couple of foes he faces again today. His previous start in North America came in the 2019 Canadian International (G1) at Woodbine where he set the early fractions and came up 3/4 of a length short in a third-place finish over good ground. The cut back here to 1 3/8 miles should suit him and I am hoping Franco is a bit more aggressive with him here as there is not much early zip signed up and he has shown he can be closer to the lead. This guy was beaten just a neck in the last two editions of the Prix de Saint Cloud (G1).
This gelding beat four foes he faces again today in his two-length win in the Sycamore. The Mott trainee saved a lot of ground early and then split rivals on the third turn to gran second and then rolled past the pacesetter for the win in a good looking effort. He came off a 7 1/2 month layoff two back with a runner up finish on soft ground in the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) and his last pair of speed figs are the best of his career. He looks primed for another top effort in his third start off the bench here.
The seven-year-old is the defending champion of this race, winning her last November over good ground. That win snapped a 10-race losing streak. Since that win he is 0 for 7, crossing the wire in front in the Bowling Green (G2) by a neck at the Spa this summer but got DQ’d for interference in the stretch. He has earned triple digit Beyers in 8 of his last 11 starts and has earned $2.6 million but he is not exactly a win machine and needs pace and a trip. He picks up Rosario with Castellano sidelined, and the price is going to be on the light side.