Turtle Bird Stable’s
Cluster of Stars, who
notched her fourth straight victory on March 14 with a 9 ¼-length score
in an optional claimer, is scheduled to make her first graded stakes
start next Saturday in the 59th running
of the Grade 2, $200,000 Distaff Handicap.
The six-furlong Distaff is the final stakes of the Aqueduct
spring meet, with racing concluding on April 21 before moving to Belmont
Park on April 26.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Cluster of Stars broke her maiden by 5
½ lengths last February, returned 11 months later to win an allowance
by 6 ¼ lengths and next beat
multiple graded stakes winner and odds-on favorite Nicole H in the
Also pointing to the Distaff, according to NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes, are
Hearts of Red, most recently sixth in the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl at Gulfstream Park, and
Villanesca, exiting a 1 ¾-length optional claiming win on March 1.
Silverette, winner of three of her last four starts, and
Spectacular Sky, runner-up in the Grade 2 Inside Information at Gulfstream last time out, are possible.