Clawback, who closed out his 2-year-old campaign with a
sparkling maiden win, returns to action on Monday afternoon as the
even-money favorite over
four other sprinters in the $75,000 Jimmy Winkfield, the featured race
on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Aqueduct Racetrack.
A Florida-bred son of Put It Back, Clawback made his debut on
September 3 at Saratoga Race Course, rallying to finish second after an
eventful start in the 5 ½-furlong
event. In a 6 ½-furlong race two months later at the Big A, he was
second again, this time to Vyjack, who would subsequently win the
Traskwood overnight stakes and the Grade 2 Jerome.
In his third start on December 13, Clawback went wire-to-wire
under Irad Ortiz, Jr. to post a three-length victory, completing the six
furlongs in 1:10.21 and earning
a Beyer Speed Figure of 89.
Ortiz will be back aboard the Klaravich Stables color-bearer as he leaves from post position 3.
Making his first start on conventional dirt as he cuts back from
a seven-furlong maiden victory over the synthetic surface at Keeneland
Race Course is the Todd Pletcher-trained
Winning Cause. The 3-year-old Giants Causeway colt, purchased as a
2-year-old for $200,000 in May, began his career on the turf at
Saratoga, finishing sixth as the favorite on August 4 and then fifth
three weeks later, with both races at 1 1/16 miles.
“He’s worked well here a couple of times and it seems like he
handles the dirt just fine,” said Pletcher’s assistant, Michael
McCarthy. “Although he’s by Giants Causeway,
he looks a little bit like a sprinter. He’s a touch on the compact
At 2-1 on the morning line, Winning Cause will leave from the rail with Cornelio Velasquez aboard.
Going for his fifth consecutive victory will be Charles Town
invader In the Fairway, who as a juvenile won the Tri-State Futurity and
a pair of stakes restricted to
West Virginia-breds. Junior Alvarado picks up the mount on the son of
Posse, who drew post position 4 and was listed at 5-1 on the morning
Rounding out the field are Rubysandpearls, making his first
appearance at Aqueduct for trainer David Jacobson, and New York Stallion
Stakes winner Meeker Avenue, most
recently eighth in the Damon Runyon over a sloppy track.