Gronkowski will face only three rivals when he looks to achieve his first graded stakes victory in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Discovery Stakes at Aqueduct.
Seven were entered in the Discovery but three – Bal Harbour, Life’s a Parlay, and Roaming Union – will scratch after running 1-2-3 in Friday’s off-the-turf Gio Ponti Stakes at Aqueduct.
Those scratches aren’t all good news for Gronkowski, who likely lost some potential pace in the Discovery, run at 1 1/8 miles.
Gronkowski finished second to Justify in the Belmont Stakes. Since then, he disappointed in the Travers, running eighth, and in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, finishing sixth.
In the Travers, Gronkowski didn’t have a good trip after breaking poorly and was too far back over a speed-favoring track. In the Jockey Club, he didn’t run at all despite the racing setting up perfectly for his late-running style.
Plainsman brings a two-race winning streak into the Discovery, including an allowance win over this track on November 3.
Title Ready has lost seven consecutive starts since taking a first-level allowance at Oaklawn in February. He was beaten a nose by Bal Harbour in a second-level allowance at Keeneland on Oct. 21. Bal Harbour was solid turning back Life’s a Parlay to win the Gio Ponti by 2 1/4 lengths.
Bon Raison, who had a three-race win streak snapped when he finished fourth in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler, completes the field.
|1||Title Ready||Manuel Franco||Steven Asmussen||8/1|
|3||Plainsman||Joel Rosario||Brad Cox||2/1|
|5||Bon Raison||Rajiv Maragh||Gary Contessa||10/1|
|6||Gronkowski||Jose L. Ortiz||Chad Brown||9/5|
$2 Wager Paid
|Horse||Win||Place||Show -NO BETTING|
Bon Raison ran fourth. Running time -1:52.14
Top Three Picks:
- Title Ready