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Fort Hughes, In Step Target NY Stakes

Darley Stable’s swift 3-year-old colt Fort Hughes is progressing well in preparation for a start in the Grade 3, $200,000 Bay Shore going seven furlongs at Aqueduct Racetrack on Wood Memorial Day, Saturday, April 9.


A son of Henny Hughes, who won two Grade 1 sprints in New York as a 3-year-old, Fort Hughes breezed four furlongs in 48.01 Saturday morning at Belmont Park, the fourth fastest of 99 at the distance.


His most recent start came winning the Jimmy Winkfield on January 17 at Aqueduct, a six-furlong stakes in which he registered a 104 Beyer Speed Figure, third best among all 3-year-olds this year.


“He is doing very, very well right now,” said Artie Magnuson, assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “He is a young horse, and we are trying to let him grow up between starts, especially since he ran so big in his last race. We felt he needed a bit of time before his next race.”


Magnuson also said that In Step, a 3-year-old Darley filly who broke her maiden at first asking going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park on February 20, will likely make her next start in the Grade 3, $150,000 Comely, a mile race for 3-year-old fillies on Wood Memorial Day.


“She is a nice filly,” said Magnuson about the daughter of Unbridled’s Song. “At some point we will probably stretch her out around two turns, but for now, the plan is to keep her around one turn.”


Part of the reason for that plan is to keep her schedule separate from It’s Tricky, Darley’s 3-year-old Mineshaft filly who is undefeated in three starts, including an impressive eight-length triumph in the Busher at Aqueduct on February 20.


According to Magnuson, the talented filly shipped to Florida two days ago in preparation for a start in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks on Saturday, April 2 to be run over 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream.



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