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Evenly Matched Busher

An evenly-matched field of eight is entered for Saturday’s Busher Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16th miles over Aqueduct’s inner track headed by Turtle Bird Stable’s Speightful Affair.

 

The daughter of 2004 champion sprinter Speightstown was a late supplement to the Busher field and returns just 15 days after breaking her maiden at a mile over the inner track.

 

Ridden by C.C. Lopez for trainer Steve Asmussen, Speightful Affair is the morning line favorite at 5-2 and will break from post position No. 6.

 

Ruggeri Stable’s E Z Passer exits a disappointing finish in the Ruthless last out, but ran into traffic issues that day.


“She checked on the far turn, right around the three-eighths pole,” trainer Michael Miceli said.  “She lost a lot of her momentum and never really recovered.  Also, she was running back in only two weeks, so that might have had something to do with it as well.”

 

Coming out of three sprint races – including a maiden win at six furlongs over a muddy inner track on December 27 – the Busher will be E Z Passer’s first start around two turns.

 

“The way she trains and her come from behind running style in those sprints kind of leads me to think that she can handle two turns,” Miceli said.  “I looked at her pedigree and she’s by [multiple Grade 1 winner going long] Southern Image out of an Affirmed mare, so I don’t think stretching out should be a problem.”

 

Channing Hill will ride E Z Passer from post position No. 3 and Miceli says he would like to see his filly “within reach” of the pacesetters early.

 

Other logical candidates in the race are Repole Stable’s New York bred Embrace Change, who finished second in the Maid of the Mist as a maiden back on October 24 and exits back-to-back wins at a mile at Aqueduct.

 

Mike Luzzi will ride the daughter of Hook and Ladder from the far outside post position.

 

Michael Tabor’s Anchorage breaks from the rail for the fourth time in her four-race career and will look to get a cleaner start after stumbling badly at the break last out in the Busanda.

 

Fernando Jara will ride the daughter of Tapit for trainer Todd Pletcher.

 

Completing the field for the Busher are Lee Pokoik’s Rumpus Room, Silver Trail Stables LLC’s Dazzling Debra, Ellen O’Connell’s Roman Chestnut and Michael W. Jester’s You Need Me.

 

The field for the $65,000 Busher:

 

PP

Horse





1

Anchorage (KY)

F Jara

116

T A Pletcher

4-1

2

Rumpus Room (KY)

A Bisono

116

G Sciacca

15-1

3

E Z Passer (KY)

C Hill

116

M Miceli

8-1

4

Dazzling Deborah (FL)

A Mariano

116

R Preciado

3-1

5

Roman Chestnut (MD)

A Serpa

116

L Gyarmati

20-1

6

Speightful Affair (ON)

C C Lopez

116

S M Asmussen

5-2

7

You Need Me (PA)

G Saez

116

P Schoenthal

10-1

8

Embrace Change (NY)

M J Luzzi

118

B R Brown

9-2

 

 


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