Speaker’s corner tops the talent field in Saturday’s Grade 1 Carter – Horse Racing News

Godolphin’s homebred Speaker’s Corner will look to continue a dominant start to his 4-year-old campaign by trying to build on back-to-back graded stakes wins over a mile when he returns to sprinting as part of a talented field in the Grade Saturday 1, $300,000 Carter Handicap presented by NYRA Stakes for kids ages 4 and up competing seven furlongs at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The 122nd race of the prestigious Carter, which was first run in 1895 and has the distinction of being the only American classic race to feature a triple tie for victory with Brownie, Bossuet and Wait A Bit going to the limit simultaneously in 1944, it is one of six races on the stacked Saturday calendar.

The 11-race undercard, with a first post at 12:50 p.m. 40-20-10 Kentucky Derby Ranking Points for the top four finishers. The betting-laden card also features the Grade 3, $250,000 Gazelle for 3-year-old fillies also going nine furlongs with 100-40-20-10 Kentucky Oaks points on the line; Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore for sophomores running seven furlongs; the Grade 3, $150,000 Distaff Handicap for fillies and older mares traveling seven furlongs; and the only lawn stakes of the day with the $100,000 Danger’s Hour for ages 4 and up at one mile.

Speaker’s Corner, conditioned by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, earned an eye-opening 109 Beyer speed figure for his 6 3/4-long run against optional claimants who clocked 1 1/16 miles in October over Belmont Park’s Big Sandy and finished his sophomore year. with a solid second, a half-length behind Miles D, in the two-turn, 1 1/8-mile Discovery in November to mark his Big A debut.

That effort represented his best finish in a game at the time, edging out a sixth-place finish against top-tier competition in September’s Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx.

The Street Sense colt started 2022 even better than the previous season, posting a tally of 102 for his 1 1/4-length gate-to-wire victory in January’s G3 Fred W. Hooper at Gulfstream Park. He scored in triple figures for the fourth straight start for his 5 1/2-length win over the same track at G2 Gulfstream Park Mile on March 5, earning a 106.

“He showed a lot last year. We tried to stretch him out, but it wasn’t really what he wanted to do,” Godolphin blood director Michael Banahan said. “We took him back to the one lap miles and he was impressive in both. That’s it [one-turn contests] what he seems to want to do.”

Jockey Junior Alvarado, aboard the last four outings from Speaker’s Corner, will have the return assignment from the outermost post 8 with his charge carrying the heavyweight of 124 pounds.

Stronach Stables’ Green Light Go will try to capitalize on the opportunity to live up to its name, cutting back on sprinting after a pair of one-lap mile wins at Aqueduct. After moving ahead before winning by nine lengths against optional claimants in January, jockey Dylan Davis sent Hard Spun’s 5-year-old son out front at Stymie on February 26 in a 3 1/4 length. victory.

Since Carter’s starting gate doesn’t abut Conduit Avenue as the one-mile race requires, trainer Jimmy Jerkens said the strategy could change, with his second-place finish in the G3 Fall Highweight over six furlongs on Nov. 21 as a guide. . In that contest, Green Light Go remained in fifth place for the first half mile before recovering to finish back at Hopeful Treasure.

“He showed easy speed running a mile, but against better horses over a shorter distance, he might be forced to stalk a bit,” Jerkens said.

Davis will have the call again with Green Light Go carrying 121 pounds while breaking from the 2nd spot.

The Klaravich Stables reinvestment venture will make his first stakes appearance since capping his two-year-old with a 10th-place finish in the 2020 G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Cup at Keeneland. The Chad Brown trainee burst onto the scene with a pair of Grade 1 runner-up finishes in the first three races of his career, both times second to Jackie’s Warrior at Hopeful in September 2020 at Saratoga Race Course and following at Champagne the following month at Belmont before his Breeders’ Cup performance off the board.

The Upstart son made just one start in his 3-year-old, taking third place against the assignment company in June, and returned from a subsequent seven-month layoff to top optional claimants in February at Gulfstream. After earning a Beyer of 103 for that effort, Brown weighed the Carter and G3 Commonwealth at Keeneland as the next possible start before deciding to send the rollover risk to Ozone Park.

“He didn’t come out of his career last year in good shape, so he kind of sat on the sidelines,” Brown said. “This year, he came out in good shape and ran much better.”

Reinvestment Risk, who carries 117 pounds, will have Manny Franco in the irons from inside the post.

Graded stakes winner First Captain, fresh off a win over optional claimants in February at Gulfstream, will make his first appearance at Aqueduct as Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey looks for his second win at Carter and first from Dancing Spree in 1990.

Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, Siena Farm, Bobby Flay and Woodford Racing, the 4-year-old Curlin colt won his stakes race at the G3 Dwyer in July at Belmont before placing third in the stakes named after his father at July at the Spa. . That effort at Curlin was his last race of the year, with First Captain returning to the track to win an 88 Beyer in his first race in seven months.

A $1.5 million buy at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale, the First Captain will carry 120 pounds with José Ortiz retaining the 5th-post mount.

After a six-month break, Madaket Stable’s Red Oak Stable and Mind Control will make their long-awaited debut as a 6-year-old for Hall of Fame trainer and three-time Carter winner Todd Pletcher.

Mind Control was the latest winner, capturing the Parx Dirt Mile in September to earn a Beyer 104 in triple figures for the first time in 23 career starts. Originally aiming for a spot in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November at Del Mar, Mind Control was forced to miss the $2 million race after coming down with a fever.

Buoyed by a long respite, Mind Control will now make his third career appearance at Carter after placing sixth in the 2020 Belmont race and second, 5 1/2 lengths behind Mischevious Alex, in last year’s race. which returned to its usual place in the Big A.

“We loved the way he ran at Parx and unfortunately he couldn’t run at the Breeders’ Cup,” said Pletcher. “He sailed to California, but the temperature rose, so it was the end of the year for him.

“He got through the winter really well and took some time off at Red Oak and came in looking super,” added Pletcher. “He is training consistently like he always does. He is a happy horse and trains well and traditionally runs cool. We are looking for him to pick up where he left off.”

Pletcher said that additional distance could be in the future for Mind Control later in the year.

“I think he’s very versatile,” Pletcher said. “We’ll see how things go here, but we might give him a chance to stretch sometime this year.”

Joel Rosario will travel from post 4 with Mind Control carrying 123 pounds.

Winning group or grade stakes on two continents, Drafted earned a chance to step up in class following a 4 1/2-length victory in February’s seven furlongs G3 bobsled in the Big A for coach David Duggan.

The 8-year-old is coming off a career in which he set a Beyer 97, his personal best, and his conditioner said he is intrigued if a decade of racing experience can help him meet the challenge of younger, more talented opposition. .

“You could make a case for five horses there. We’re shooting some young guns,” Duggan said. “He has shown last time that with the right conditions, he can be competitive. If it all works out, we’ll make sure it’s legit.”

Drafted, owned by Dublin Fjord Stables, Racepoint Stables, Kevin Hilbert and Thomas O’Keefe, will have a jockey change with Kendrick Carmouche at the bridle, while Ortiz rides First Captain.

Drafted, who will carry 118lbs from 7th on Saturday, captured the 2019 Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal at Meydan Racecourse.

“It’s hard to know if he’s good enough at eight years old,” Duggan added. “But he is doing well. We’ll give you a good blow. I am very happy with Kendrick there. All we want is a good performance.”

Shea D Boy’s Stable’s Bank On Shea, winner of the six furlongs Pelican in February at Tampa Bay. Bred in New York by Dr. Scott Pierce, 5-year-old Bank On Shea is 5-1-1 in eight career starts for him with three stakes wins. The Carlos David trainee will carry 118lbs as Trevor McCarthy will be on board to break from 3rd place.

Rounding out the field is Trin-Brook Stables’ War Tocsin, trained by Uriah St. Lewis, who was penultimate in February’s G3 General George at Laurel Park. War Tocsin, who carries 116 pounds, will carry Dexter Haddock from 6th place.

The Grade 1 Carter Handicap is scheduled as Race 9 on Saturday’s 11-race card.

America’s Day at the Races will feature daily coverage and analysis of the spring competition at Aqueduct Racetrack on the FOX Sports networks. To see the full broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.

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