Review of Withers Stakes, Grade III, at Aqueduct on February 2.

Race 9. Withers Stakes, Grade III. For Three Year Old at. One And One Eighth Miles on dirt. Purse $250,000.

The Withers Stakes awards points to the 2019 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the Top 4 finishers on a 10-4-2-1 scale.

The Withers Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Tax Junior Alvarado Danny Gargan 2/1
2 Sir Winston Dylan Davis Mark E. Casse 12/1
3 Moretti Manuel Franco Todd A. Pletcher 3/1
4 Admire Eric Cancel Dale L. Roman 15/1
5 Lucky Lee  Frankie Pennington John C. Servis 7/2
6 Our Braintrust  Jose Lezcano Mark E. Casse 6/1
7 Not That Brady  Reylu Gutierrez Rudy R. Rodriguez 4/1

Tax was claimed from his maiden victory at Keeneland from Claiborne Farm. He ran third in the Remsen (G3). He is one of two in the race that has Derby qualifying points already. Tax should be near the pace setters. He should be on the board.

Sir Winston ran three races on the synthetic at Woodbine. He didn’t run well in his first two dirt races or on the turf. He has started 5 times with 2 wins. He could  finish in top four.

Moretti won his second start going the mile and an eighth distance. He is still young and should show signs of race knowledge improvement. He should be in the top two.

Admire broke his maiden in a race that was meant for the turf at Churchill Downs going a mile and an eighth in November. Since then, he has been training at  Gulfstream Park. He needs another race to be competitive with this field. He should not be a factor at the wire.

Lucky Lee won his two most recent starts, which came in October and November of last year. Those wins were at Parx Racing and both ran around a two-turn mile. . He should be forwardly placed in the early stages of the race. He could  finish in top four.

Our Braintrust was the second-place finisher in the Jerome. He won the Tremont at Belmont Park in June. He is one of only two horses in the field with any Derby qualifying points. He should be in the top two.

Not That Brady broke his maiden by more than 11 lengths and then won a stakes race by three. Both of those victories were in state-bred races and were won on the front end in one-turn miles at Aqueduct. He will be forwardly placed and will set fast fractions. He should not be a factor at the wire.

The Withers has lots of speed and fractions will be fair to fast. The pace setters around the turn should begin to retreat and set up the dash down the stretch for the off-the-pace runners.

Our Top Three Picks

    • Our Braintrust
    • Moretti
    • Tax

 

 

 

 

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