The inner-track stakes schedule gets underway at Aqueduct Racetrack on
Saturday, with the Todd Pletcher-trained Percussion returning to his
favorite course as he heads a field of five for the 108th running of the
$100,000 Queens County.
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
5-year-old gelded son of Bluegrass Cat, Percussion was 2-2-0 from six
starts at the Big A last winter and went on to finish fourth in the
Grade 2 Charles Town Classic in his first stakes appearance. He next won
the Albert the Great overnight stakes at Belmont Park, placed second in
the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap and was third in the Alydar in August at
Saratoga Race Course. Most recently, he finished third behind Bigger is
Bettor and Don Dulce in the Slew o'Gold on November 17 at Aqueduct.
was a welcome addition last winter and made everyone look good," said
Pletcher's assistant, Michael McCarthy. "It was nice to see him progress
through the spring and see him run in a few of the bigger races. He was
unlucky in a few, like the Brooklyn Handicap, but hopefully he gets
back here and shows the same type of form he showed last winter."
Ortiz, Jr. will ride Percussion from post position 2. Owned by Gary
Barber, he is the 2-1 favorite on the morning line for the 1 1/8-mile
his stakes debut is DMZ Racing Stable's Sliver and Onions, a two-length
winner of a first-level optional claimer on November 14 in his Big A
debut. The gray 3-year-old was gelded following a fifth-place finish in
an optional claimer at Saratoga in August and returned on October 25 to
finish third going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont.
Trainer Mike Hushion is hopeful the son of Tiz Wonderful is on the cusp of proving himself a serious racehorse.
had some bad habits; since we gelded him he's been a more focused
individual both in his training and in the afternoons," said Hushion of
Sliver and Onions, who ran the mile in 1:35.02 last time out. "We could
have run him in a two-other-than [allowance] rather than a stakes, but
this is an opportunity to find out how good a horse he is and see where
he will take us."
Ortiz has the mount on Sliver and Onions, the 3-1 third choice on the
morning line. The pair will leave from post position 1.
David Jacobson has entered veteran Spa City Fever, winner of an
optional claimer last time out, and Don Dulce, who was claimed for
$100,000 in September and finished second in the I'm A Banker overnight
stakes on September 12 at Belmont in his first start for his new
well-traveled Don Dulce, a 5-year-old gelded son of Maria's Mon who
began his career in Canada, is 5-2 on the morning line. Ridden by David
Cohen, he will leave from post position 3.
Spa City Fever, 9-2, drew post position 4 under Junior Alvarado.
out the field is mid-Atlantic shipper Jonesy Boy, a supplemental entry
who is 3-2-0 in five starts for owners George and Lori Hall and trainer