Soldier Can Rise in Red Smith at Aqueduct

Red Smith

Ten go in Saturday’s $200,000 Red Smith (G2) at Aqueduct. (Photo credit: Dreamtime/Cheryl Quigley).

A group of 10 led by Soldier Rising will go in Saturday’s $200,000 Red Smith (G2) at 1 3/8 miles on the Aqueduct turf.

The Christophe Clement three-year-old will be taking on older for the first time after making a mild late bid to finish fifth in the Hill Prince (G2) over the Belmont Park turf at 1 1/8 miles in his last outing.

Clement will give jockey Jose Ortiz a leg up and the gelding will break from the three post and is 5-1 on the morning line.

“I think he’s good enough to make the jump,” said Clement. “I thought he ran well last time, but we asked of him an impossible task being so far back.”

The trainer has won the Red Smith twice in his career, with Flag Down in 1995 and Grassy in 2010.

The Chad Brown trained Serve the King is the 3-1 morning line favorite. The five-year-old is coming off a runner up finish in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) on Oct. 9.

“The horse is training really well. It looks like a really solid race,” Brown said. “He’s coming off his best performance. He’s one that keeps developing and one that we thought a lot of. He’s well bred, very consistent and he’s in good form right now.”

Serve the King Runs Second in Joe Hirsch

Brown will also saddle Value Engineering (8-1), who beat second level optional claimers last out and will be making his stakes debut.

The likely pacesetter is the Jack Sisterton trained Channel Cat (4-1) who has lost three in a row after winning the Man O War (G1) at Belmont Park back in May.

“He lacked that little bit of spark in his past couple of starts and the addition of blinkers will help him do that,” Sisterson said. “In the race at Kentucky Downs, he didn’t make the lead and didn’t really finish up. I felt that there was something missing the last two races and I think blinkers will help.”

The Red Smith is the ninth race on the 10-race card on Saturday at Aqueduct.

Let’s head out to Aqueduct for Saturday’s featured race of the day:

Free Horse PIcks

Aqueduct Race 9 The Red Smith G2 3:43 ET

3 Soldier Rising   5-1

4 Serve the King   3-1

7 Channel Cat   4-1

9 No Word   8-1

Soldier Rising

The Clement three-year-old faces older for the first time here. In his last outing he drew a tough post, was away at the back of the field and came with a five wide run to make a mild late rally to finish fifth in the Hill Prince (G2), beaten 3 ¼ lengths for the top spot. Two back at 1 ½ miles in the Jockey Club Derby Invitational at Belmont Park he stalked the early pace and finished gamely in a runner up finish. The winner Yibir came back to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) in his next outing on Nov. 6. His U.S. debut three back was a solid second in the Saratoga Derby (G1) going 1 3/16 miles off a three-month break. He should be closer to the pace here and it looks as if the early pace will be honest.

Serve the King

The five-year-old comes in here off back to back career top speed figures. He won the restricted John’s Call two back at Saratoga going 1 5/8 miles for his first stakes win. He then stepped up into a much tougher spot in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) where he was sent of at 15-1.  The Brown trainee came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot, beaten two lengths by Rockemperor who was eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. His one trip at today’s distance was a closing fourth in the United Nations (G1) at Monmouth Park back in July. This guy is in the best form of his career for Brown who has won this race twice, the most recent being in 2015 with Mr. Maybe.

Channel Cat

Blinkers are added here for this six-year-old who tried to finish sixth last out in the Turf Cup (G2) at Kentucky Downs. His form as tailed off since winning the Man O War (G1) at Belmont Park over good ground at this distance back in May. He was on the lead in that win, dueling for the early lead, taking command and holding on to win by a desperate nose. It looks very likely Johnny V. is going to send him here with the hood added. If he shakes loose early, he could be a danger to take this group gate to wire but not sure we are going to see much of a price that offers value for the top spot.


WIN: Soldier Rising to win at 4-1 or better.

EXACTA: 3 / 4,7,9,10 and 3,4 / 3,4,7

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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