A field of eight line up in Sunday’s $100,000 Rego Park and three each will be saddled by trainers Mike Maker and Todd Pletcher.
Pletcher has the 2-1 morning line favorite Uno, who broke his maiden in his debut on Nov. 12 going six furlongs in the mud.
“He had a minor foot issue that seems to be resolved,” Pletcher’s assistant Byron Hughes said. “He’s been training well since his maiden race. We’re looking for a big effort from him.”
As back up the barn will send out Storm Shooter (8-1), who was sixth in the state bred Notebook in his last outing and Perfect Munnings (4-1), who broke his maiden in his debut on Nov. 29 on turf at six furlongs.
“He’s been training well since then and we expect him to put in another good effort. He’s been training well enough on the dirt to run in this spot with him,” Hughes said.
Maker’s trio is led by Blue Gator (5-2) who ran second in the Notebook. He won the New York Breeders Futurity in his prior outing at Finger Lakes.
The other two sent out by the barn are Windy Nations (8-1), fourth in a New York Stallion Series race and Lookin for Trouble (6-1) who is back with state breds after a third versus open Alw-1 optional claimers in his last start.
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Completing the field are the Jeramiah Englehart trained Halpert (20-1) and New York One (20-1) who will be sent out by James Chapman.
Sunday’s Best Plays Report includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.
Let’s head out to the Big A for Sunday’s featured race of the day:
Aqueduct Race 8 The Rego Park (3:50 ET)
4 Blue Gator 5-2
8 Perfect Munnings 4-1
3 Uno 2-1
7 Lookin for Trouble 6-1
This colt chased the early pace while wide down the backstretch, angled in and took over the lead in upper stretch and could not go with the winner late in a runner up finish in the state bred Notebook last out. The winner was Eagle Orb, who came back to run second in the Jerome in his next outing on New Year’s Day. Our top pick broke his maiden in his debut at Belmont Park and then was much the best winning the New York Breeders Futurity at Finger Lakes in his first start against winners, drawing off to win by 4 1/2 lengths. The Maker trainee owns solid early and mid pace numbers and Carmouche sticks.
He is one of three in here sent out by the Pletcher barn. The colt was sent off at 5-2 in a field of 10 in his debut going six furlongs on turf. The colt tracked the early pace, was caught in some traffic approaching the quarterpole, kicked in when clear and drew away to win by two lengths. The runner up Dancing Buck returned to break his maiden in his next outing on Dec. 31 here. The barn is 22% winners moving runners from turf to dirt. The colt has handled dirt in the mornings and is by Munnings out of a Medaglia d’Oro mare and should be able to handle it in the afternoon.
The Pletcher trainee was a good looking maiden winner in his debut in the mud here on Nov. 12. He tracked the early pace, took over the lead heading for home and drew clear to win by 3 3/4 lengths. He only had to beat four and three have come back to lose again. The $255,000 Ocala purchase is by Laoban out of a Henny Hughes mare, her first foal to race. A solid figure in his debut but the 2-1 morning line seems light.