Multiple stakes winners Hyper, Tannery and Imagining look to close out
their 2013 seasons with a flourish as they head a jam-packed field for
Saturday's 57th running of the Grade 3, $250,000 Red Smith Handicap, the
year's final graded turf stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack.
No worse than third in eight starts this year, Hyper most recently was
second, beaten less than a length, in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian
International on October 27 at Woodbine. The Ken and Sarah Ramsey
color-bearer won his first American stakes this summer at Saratoga Race
Course, taking the 1 5/8-mile John's Call, and on September 7 made it
two in a row with the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont Park.
Javier Castellano, New York's leading rider, has the mount aboard the
Chad Brown trainee, the 5-2 morning-line favorite under high weight of
120 pounds. The pair will leave from post position 11 for the 1 3/8-mile
Overshadowed for much of the year by her stablemate, Laughing, Tannery
brings a Grade 1 victory of her own into the Red Smith, having taken the
E. P. Taylor on October 27 at Woodbine last time out. It will be the
4-year-old filly's second start against males this year; in August, she
was a wide-trip fourth in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational at
"She's a really good filly who hasn't done a whole lot wrong; she's
fired every time," said trainer Alan Goldberg of Tannery, who won the
Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay in May at Belmont. "I think she could have been
in the top three in the Sword Dancer with a little better trip. Both she
and Laughing are talented, but while Laughing can be a bit worrisome
and temperamental, this filly is much more laid back. You can put her on
a van, race her, bring her home - she'll do anything."
At 5-1 on the morning line, Tannery drew post position 6 with Alex Solis in the irons.
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey and the Phipps Stable will try to
make it three straight victories in the Red Smith, this time with
Imagining, who takes over for two-time winner Boisterous. Imagining, a
5-year-old son of Giant's Causeway, has won three of his five 2013
starts, including the Bowl Game and Idle Rich overnight stakes. Sixth in
the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational after vying for the
lead, Imagining's turned in his best graded stakes finish when second in
the 2011 Grade 1 Hollywood Derby.
"He's coming off a very good race," said McGaughey's assistant, Buzz
Tenney, of Imagining's front-running win in the 1 ¼-mile Bowl Game. "He
kind of likes to run his own race. He'll be up in the race early, if not
on the lead, and I think he'll be a factor. His last two races were
pretty good, and hopefully he'll make it three good ones in a row."
Joel Rosario will ride Imagining, 7-2 on the morning line, from post position 2.
The Red Smith also drew Sky Blazer and Exclusive Strike, second and
third behind Imagining in the Bowl Game; 2013 West Point presented by
Trustco Bank winner Hangover Kid, and Slip and Drive, who took the Japan
Racing Association stakes at Laurel Park last time out. Artic North,
Howe Great, Mission Approved, Nutello, Sandyinthesun and Quick
Casablanca complete the field. Percussion will run only if the race
comes off the turf.