A field of seven led by Honor Way line up in the $100,000 Garland of Roses going six furlongs on the main track at Aqueduct on the closing day of the fall meeting.
The Charlton Baker trained Honor Way comes into the race off a victory in the Pumpkin Pie at Belmont Park in the slop going seven furlongs her last outing. It was her 12th win in 40 career starts for the six-year-old mare.
“She’s always been a horse that tries, but this year she’s definitely been one that will give you a little more,” Baker said. “Six furlongs is a little on the short side. I think she wants to go further, but she’s doing super. She has to get some pace up front and the right trip.”
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.
Pumpkin Pie Replay
She faces three foes that are each coming back off layoffs. The Michael Stidham trained Saguaro Road has not been seen since February where she ran sixth in the Barbara Fritchie (G3) at Laurel Park.
“We think that she’s a winter horse. It’s when she seems to do her best running,” Stidham said. “After the Barbara Fritchie, we decided to freshen her up a bit and have her ready for a winter campaign, which is now. She’s been training beautifully.”
Lady Ninja made her last start in February in a fourth-place finish in the Santa Monica (G2) at Santa Anita.
Honey I’m Good last raced in June winning the Harmony Lodge and Bridlewood Cat returns off a three-month break, fourth in the Regret at Monmouth Park in her last outing.
Also on today’s Big A card are a pair of New York Stallion Series races.
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Let’s head out to Aqueduct for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Aqueduct Race 7 The Garland of Roses (3:17 ET)
5 Honor Way 3-1
2 Saguaro Row 7-2
1 Lady Ninja 2-1
3 Bridlewood Cat 12-1
The mare tracked the early pace and drew off to win the Pumpkin Pie in the slop at Belmont Park going seven furlongs by 4 1/2 lengths and earned a career top speed fig. Two back she was no match for Frank’s Rockette who was winning her fourth race in a row and then took o the boys in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) where she was 11th. Our top pick is a 12-time winner in her career and rarely misfires. The cut back to six furlongs is no problem and her three main foes in here are coming back off the bench. She should be able to sit a good trip mid pack behind what likely will be an honest pace.
The Stidham trainee is one of the contenders coming back off the bench. She has not been seen since running sixth in the Barbara Fritchie (G3) at Laurel Park back in February. She has run well off the bench in the past and she has run well over the main track here. She won the Interborough here in January, was second in the ’19 Go for Wand (G3) and won the ’19 Pumpkin Pie. She should be fit and ready to go off works at Fair Hill for the Stidham barn that is 21% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff.
This gal is making her first start since February for the Shug barn that is 21% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. She won 4 of her 8 starts in ’19 including the La Woman (G3) at Santa Anita. Blinkers are added and she has worked sharply for her return off the layoff. She was previously trained by Richard Baltas and makes her first start today for Shug.