This past weekend Intense Holiday (53 pts) and Wildcat Red (50 pts) were the first sophomores to punch their ticket to Louisville by capturing the Risen Star and FOY. On Saturday another three-year-old will join them in the quest for the roses by taking down the Gotham at Aqueduct.
Samraat (10 pts) was made the 5-2 morning-line favorite in the 11-horse field after winning the Withers (G3) by a length over Uncle Sigh (4 pts) at this track in early February. In Trouble, the only other graded winner entered, makes his anticipated return to the races for the first time since capturing the Futurity (G2) at Belmont back in September. The Gotham is an interesting race on paper as there are more questions than answers attached to many of these entries.
Gotham (G3) 1 1/16m
3/1 Aqueduct 4:17 EST
3/1 Aqueduct 4:17 EST
10 Harpoon 10-1
Has finished no worse than second in all five lifetime starts and looks to add some Derby points to his resume on Saturday. Lost out by a nose in his stakes debut in the Sam F. Davis (G3) on February 1 after dropping back to sixth around the turn. It looked like he had no shot in that race, but he angled to the outside turning for home and came flying down the stretch to just miss at the wire. Like him to have a better trip from the outside post since he seemed to have trouble being down on the inside last time out. The gray did break his maiden from post No. 11 in a 14-horse field to close out his two-year-old campaign in December. Tough to pass up or leave off your tickets with the price that will be hanging over his head.
1A Samraat 5-2
After running against state-breds in his first three starts, he stepped into open company last out and gave one heck of an effort to get his name up on the Derby Leaderboard. Tough to knock a horse that has yet to lose, but the competition will be tougher in here than what he faced in the Withers. The New-York bred is going to have to run the race of his young career on Saturday to secure a spot in the Derby.
3 Financial Mogul 10-1
Expected him to show more in the Holy Bull (G2) after running second to Cairo Prince in the Nashua (G2) two starts back. A closer that made a nice move in the Holy Bull but flattened out at the top of the stretch. Will definitely need to take a step forward here if his connections want to start talking Derby. Like him to be coming on late to catch a piece of the board on Saturday.
$24 Gotham Bankroll
$12 W: 10
$2 EX BX: 10, 1, 3 = $12
*Came up empty in the FOY and Risen Star. Played Commissioner and Top Billing on top in the exotic ticket, which didn't pan out. Had Intense Holiday in an exacta box but Hoppertunity and Rise Up failed to hit the board. On to another week of racing...