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R Gypsy Gold Tries Again in Affectionately

R Gypsy Gold, beaten just a neck last time out, will try again for her third career stakes win on Saturday as she heads a field of five fillies and mares in the $75,000 Affectionately at Aqueduct Racetrack.


Winless in four graded stakes this past summer and fall, R Gypsy Gold opened her 5-year-old campaign with a solid effort in the Ladies Handicap on New Year’s Day at the Big A. Closing resolutely through the stretch, the E. Paul Robsham color-bearer collared Arena Elvira inside the furlong marker only to come up short in the 1 1/8-mile race.


“Hopefully, that race will be something we can build off,” said Michael McCarthy, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. “She seems to have been training well, and we’re looking forward to leading her over there.”


R Gypsy Gold, a homebred daughter of Bernardini, out of the Seeking the Gold mare Broadway Gold, broke her maiden at Monmouth Park in her fifth start, cruising to a 7 ½-length win at the Affectionately distance of 1 1/16 miles. Subsequently third at 16-1 in the 2011 running of the Grade 1 Mother Goose, R Gypsy Gold next took a one-mile allowance and the 1 1/16-mile Real Prize overnight stakes before closing out her 3-year-old campaign by finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Gazelle.


She began her 4-year-old campaign with a close-up second to Arena Elvira in the Wayward Lass at Tampa Bay Downs, a victory in the Endear overnight stakes at Belmont Park and a third in the Grade 2 Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Park, but was off the board in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign, the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm and the Grade 2 Go for Wand prior to the Ladies.


“Hopefully we’ll go one better this time,” said McCarthy of R Gypsy Gold, who was listed as the 4-5 favorite on the morning line. “The cutback in distance should be no problem for her.”


Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride from post position 4.


The consistent Twice the Lady, 2-4-1 from nine starts in 2012 along with a pair of fourth-place finishes, makes her 5-year-old debut in the Affectionately. Carrying the colors of Michael Dubb, the leading owner on The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) circuit in 2012, the Quiet American mare is returning to stakes action for the first time since July, when she was fourth in the Grade 3 Bed o’Roses Handicap going seven furlongs at Belmont.


Twice the Lady will leave from post position 5 with Cornelio Velasquez in the irons. The Anthony Dutrow trainee is listed at 3-1 on the morning line.


Shipping in from the mid-Atlantic is Withgreatpleasure, winner of the Unbridled Belle stakes last summer at Delaware Park. In two previous appearances at the Big A, the 5-year-old Hold That Tiger mare was second in both the Let Me Linger and Capades overnight stakes in the fall of 2011.


Stewart Elliott will be aboard Withgreatpleasure, 7-2 on the morning line, as she leaves from post position 2.


Rounding out the field are Stephanie Jayne, who steps up to stakes company after finishing third in a December optional claimer, and Smart Cash, who has finished first in three of her past four starts at Laurel Park.



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