Ten Derby Hopefuls Head to Gate in Remsen at Aqueduct

belstretch A field of 10 juveniles will line up in Saturday’s $300,000 Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct, with the winner earning 10 points toward entry into the Kentucky Derby (G1) next spring.

The Remsen is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race, with 10-4-2-1 points up for grabs. The $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs this afternoon will also offer up points toward entry into the Run for the Roses.

Thunder Gulch (1994) and Go for Gin (1993) where the last two Remsen winners that turned up the following spring to win the Kentucky Derby.

The Remsen is one of four graded stakes on an outstanding 10-race card on tap at the Big A. Also on the card are the $500,000 Cigar Mile (G1), the $300,000 Demoiselle (G2) and the $250,000 Comely (G3).

The Kiaran McLaughlin trained Takaful is the 7-5 morning line favorite for the Remsen. The son of Bernardini was a very impressive maiden winner in his debut at Belmont Park on Oct. 29. No Dozing, who was fourth in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) in his last outing is the 4-1 second choice on the morning line.

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Saturday’s feature is the Cigar Mile which drew a solid field of 10 runners including Kelso Handicap (G2) winner Anchor Down (2-1), Pennsylvania Derby (G2) winner Connect and Bold Ruler Handicap (G2) runner up Threefiveindia (6-1).

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 10 strongest plays from Aqueduct and Churchill Downs including all of the stakes action.

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


Aqueduct Race 8 The Remsen G2 (Post time 3:20 ET)

#9 No Dozing   4-1

#8 Mo Town   5-1

#4 Takaful   7-5

#3 Hookup   12-1

Analysis: No Dozing was fourth last out in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1 at Keeneland. The colt was bumped and bothered coming out of the gate, chased the early pace while wide, came four wide into the stretch and finished evenly, beaten four lengths for the top spot. The winner Classic Empire came back to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) while fifth place finisher Gunnevera came back to win the Delta Downs Jackpot (G3) in his next outing. The Delacour trainee figures to move forward off his last outing facing not as tough a group here.

Mo Town was a good looking maiden winner last out in the mud going a mile in his second career start, drawing away to win by seven lengths. The colt was a $200,000 Keeneland purchase and was solid in part after his last outing to the Coolmore group of Magnier, Tabor and Smith. The colt is by Uncle Mo and the first foal to race out of a Bernardini mare. He has worked smartly since his last outing and looks as if he still has a ton of upside.

Takaful went gate to wire to break his maiden in his debut at Belmont park going 6 1/2 furlongs and earned the top last out speed fig. He returns with lasix added for the McLaughlin barn and this guy is bred for more ground. he is by Bernardini out of a Distorted Humor mare, her first foal to race. The barn is 22% winners moving runners from sprint to route. The colt has a ton of potential but can’t get to excited about his 7-5 morning line.


WIN: #9 to win at 3-1 or better.

EX: 8,9 / 3,4,8,9

TRI: 8,9 / 3,4,8,9 / 3,4,7,8,9


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