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One Last Dance vs. C C's Pal in Ladies

One Last Dance, victorious in her first outing on conventional dirt at Aqueduct Racetrack, returns on New Year’s Day to face five other fillies and mares in the 140th running of the $75,000 Ladies Handicap, the first of 29 stakes worth $5.1 million for the Big A’s winter/spring meet.

 

With the opening of Genting’s Resorts World Casino New York City at Aqueduct, total purses for the 79-day meet are expected to increase 36 percent. During the first year of the casino’s operations, 6.5 percent of the revenue from the Video Lottery Terminals must go to The New York Racing Association, Inc.’s (NYRA) purse structure.

 

Trained by Dale Romans, one of a number of prominent trainers drawn to New York for the winter by the boost in purses, One Last Dance broke her maiden over the artificial surface at Arlington Park in July. She then traveled east and finished ninth in the Pebbles Stakes at Belmont Park in October and third in an allowance race at Aqueduct, both on turf, before coming from off the pace to win a one-mile, 70-yard optional claimer on December 16.

 

“She’s bred for the dirt, but she ran so well on Polytrack that we tried her a couple of times on turf first,” said Romans of the 4-year-daughter of Officer, whose half-brother Liaison won the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park on December 17. “This looks like a good place for her to pick up some black type.”

 

Alan Garcia has the mount on One Last Dance, 6-1 on the morning line from post position 3 in the 1 1/8-mile race.

 

Also seeking a second consecutive victory is C C’s Pal, a 2 ½-length winner of Aqueduct’s Garland of Roses on December 3. The newly minted 5-year-old daughter of Alex’s Pal was third in the Grade 2 Go for Wand Handicap on November 25 and won the Miss Golden Circle overnight stakes at Belmont Park on October 23 in her first start for new trainer Rick Dutrow, Jr.

 

Junior Alvarado will ride C C’s Pal, the 8-5 second choice on the morning line and co-high weight under 119 pounds, from the rail.

 

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has wrapped up his second consecutive NYRA training title, sends out the 7-5 morning-line favorite with Katy Now, a 5-year-old daughter of Tiznow who was fourth in the Go for Wand in her Big A debut. Winner of the one-mile Dispute at Belmont Park on September 30, Katy Now also took an optional claimer at Belmont in June and subsequently placed third in a pair of overnight stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

 

Katy Now, co-high weight under 119 pounds, including Ramon Dominguez, will leave from post position 5.

 

Coming in from the mid-Atlantic is Bahama Bound, who won a one-mile, 70-yard optional claimer at Parx Racing on December 4. The 5-year-old daughter of Empire Maker has been no worse than fourth in 13 starts since breaking her maiden at Gulfstream Park in February, 2010.

 

Cornelio Velasquez will ride Bahama Bound, 8-1 on the morning line, from post position 6.

 

Completing the field for the Ladies are Karmageddon, making her first New York appearance since a sixth-place finish in the 2010 Catinca, and Fools in Love, sixth in the Grade 3 Tempted in her lone voyage to Aqueduct in 2008.

 

The field for the $75,000 Ladies Handicap:

PP

Horse

Jockey

Wgt

Trainer

Odds

1

C C's Pal (FL)

J Alvarado

119

R E Dutrow, Jr.

 8-5

2

Karmageddon (NJ)

V Diaz

115

D Nunn

10-1

3

One Last Dance (KY)

A Garcia

114

D L Romans

 6-1

4

Fools in Love (MD)

R Curatolo

114

K J Breen

15-1

5

Katy Now (KY)

R A Dominguez

119

T A Pletcher

 7-5

6

Bahama Bound (KY)

C H Velasquez

115

J C Guerrero

 8-1

 

 

 

 

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