Qualifying points to the 2019 Kentucky Derby will be on the line as a possible five-horse field of talented juveniles will look to close their 2-year-old seasons with momentum in the 105th running of the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct.
As part of the official “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, the Remsen will award 10 points to the winner towards the Run for the Roses May 4 at Churchill Downs. Four points will be awarded for runner-up, two points will go to the third-place finisher and one point will be given for fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen; a prestigious race that saw Hall of Famers such as Northern Dancer (1963) and Damascus (1966) use the contest as a springboard to future greatness.
Red Oak Stable and Madaket's Mind Control is a possibility for the Remsen following a seventh-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on November 2 at Churchill. The Gregory Sacco trainee made a splash in his stakes debut when he outkicked Mucho by three-quarters of a length to win the Grade 1 Hopeful on September 3 at Saratoga Race Course. The son of Stay Thirsty is 2-1-0 in four starts and has already earned $240,900.
W.S. Farish's Code of Honor will take aim at his first stakes win after a close second-place effort in the Grade 1 Champagne last out on October 6 at Belmont in which he recovered from a stumble at the start to finish within three lengths of Complexity. A debut winner at six furlongs on August 18 at the Spa, Code of Honor stretched out to one mile in the Champagne and will be running at two turns for the first time.
“So far, so good. We've just been training around the weather,” said Hall of Fame conditioner Shug McGaughey, whose four wins in the Remsen are the most by a trainer. “It looks like we'll get some more good weather. So far, it looks like he's doing really well.”
Also probable for the Remsen is Klaravich Stables' Network Effect, a winner in his first start on August 11 for trainer Chad Brown who finished second to Vekoma in the Grade 3 Nashua on November 4 at Aqueduct.
Maximus Mischief, purchased for $340,000 and trained by Robert Reid, Jr., will be stepping up to stakes company for the first time after starting his career 2-for-2. Jungle Warrior, who saw Jimmy Jerkens take up training duties from Sid Attard after running fifth in the Grade 1 Summer on September 16 at Woodbine, is a possibility.
The Grade 2 Demoiselle will feature an expected field of six juvenile fillies highlighted by Enliven for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and Godolphin. The home-bred Ghostzapper filly broke her maiden in her second career start on September 30 at Belmont and went on to finish second in the Grade 3 Tempted on November 2 at Aqueduct.
Filly Joel, who impressively broke her maiden by 6 ¼ lengths in her third career start for owner Arindel and trainer Rudy Rodriguez, will provide steep opposition. Rounding off the perspective entrants are Afleet Destiny for Uriah St. Lewis; Jennifer's Dream for trainer John Servis and Cash is King Stable; Molto Bella for Six Column Stables and Randall Bloch for trainer Ian Wilkes; and Positive Spirit for trainer Rodolphe Brisset and owner Michael Ryan.
Full nominations for all Cigar Mile Day stakes are available at www.nyra.com/aqueduct/horsemen.
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