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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

Boisterous Chases Red Smith Repeat

14 April 2011. #7 Boisterous and John Velazquez win the 7th race at Keeneland.

Boisterous, who put together back-to-back victories in last year’s Grade 3 Knickerbocker and Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap, will attempt to duplicate that feat Saturday at Aqueduct as he defends his Red Smith title against five others in the 1 3/8-mile turf race.

The first graded stakes of the Big A’s fall meet, the $200,000 Red Smith anchors the afternoon’s eight-race live card at the Big A, where fans can also watch and wager on all the Breeders’ Cup action from Santa Anita Park.

The 5-year-old Boisterous has been no worse than third in four of five graded stakes starts this year for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, who is delighted with the way the son of Distorted Humor is coming into the race.

“He’s doing really, really good,” said McGaughey of Boisterous, who drew post position 5 under Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado. “He ran so good in there last year I’m hoping he can do it again.”

In addition to the October 13 Knickerbocker, the 5-year-old son of Distorted Humor took the Grade 3 Fort Marcy in May at Belmont Park, finished third in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap, and was beaten just a neck in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap in July. His only off-the-board performance came when he was ninth, beaten just under six lengths, in the Grade 1 Arlington Million in August.

Making his third straight graded stakes appearance is Bombaguia, who followed a runner-up effort in the Grade 2 Bowling Green with a fifth-place finish in the Knickerbocker. Trained by John Kimmel for GoldMark Farm, the 4-year-old gelded son of Borrego is 2-2-1 from nine 2012 starts, with both victories coming in optional claimers.

With Mike Luzzi aboard, Bombaguia drew post position 3.

Philly Ace, who lost all chance in last year’s Grade 3 Discovery Handicap after stumbling badly at the start, returned this year to the turf, where he has won three of four starts, including the restricted Alphabet Soup Handicap at Parx Racing last time out. Trained by Christophe Clement, the Pennsylvania-bred Smart Strike gelding will be making his first start beyond 1 1/16 miles Saturday.

Cornelio Velasquez will ride from post position 2.

A Group 3 winner in Italy, Team Valor International’s Lake Drop will make his fourth American start in the Red Smith. Trained by H. Graham Motion, the Lemon Drop Kid colt was fourth in the American St. Leger at Arlington Park, fifth in the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Turf and fifth in the Laurel Turf Cup on October 27.

Eddie Castro gets the mount on Lake Drop, who drew post position 6.

Rounding out the field are the New York-bred Westside Corral, winner of an optional claimer last time out, and Game Ball. Isn’t He Perfect and Pleasant Prince will run only if the race is moved to the main track.


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