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To Honor And Serve Tops Nashua

Some of the most promising young colts and fillies in the East will gather at Aqueduct Racetrack Saturday afternoon for the 35th editions of the Grade 2, $150,000 Nashua and the Grade 3, $100,000 Tempted for fillies.

 

In addition to the Nashua, the Tempted, and the Grade 2 Red Smith on an eight-race live card, the Big A will simulcast Day 2 of the Breeders’ Cup from Churchill Downs, culminating with the Breeders’ Cup Classic at 6:45 p.m. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, and as always, admission and general parking are free at Aqueduct.

 

After To Honor and Serve broke his maiden at Belmont Park in his second start by an impressive 8 ¾ lengths on October 2, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott and owner Charlotte Weber of Live Oak Plantation considered sending the son of Bernardini to Kentucky for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

 

But looking ahead to next year and even beyond, the colt’s connections instead elected to skip the trip and keep him at home for Saturday’s one-mile race.

 

“It was a lot to ask at this point to take on,” said Mott. “He may well be as good as any of them. But looking further ahead than just this weekend, I think he will progress better this way. ”

 

Runner-up in a large field at Saratoga on September 4 behind eventual Grade 3 Iroquois winner Astrology, To Honor and Serve came back to press the early pace before taking over at the three-eighths pole and drawing clear under a hand-ride from jockey John Velazquez. His time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:43.34, with his 95 Beyer Speed Figure tying for the third-fastest among 2-year-olds so far this year.

 

To Honor and Serve drew the rail in the field of six for Saturday’s race, and will be ridden by Jose Lezcano.

 

Economic Summit, who finished fifth in that crowded maiden race on September 4, also returned a winner in his second start on October 7, covering the seven furlongs at Belmont Park in 1:23.91 for a one-length win. He will be ridden by Eddie Castro from post position 5.

 

I’m Steppin’ It Up and Settle for Medal enter the Nashua off third-and fourth-place finishes in the Grade 1 Champagne behind Uncle Mo, the morning-line favorite for the Juvenile.

 

Trained by Anthony Pecoraro, I’m Steppin’ It Up is 1-1-2 from five starts, with his only off-the-board appearance coming with a sixth-place finish in his debut at Delaware Park in May. Jorge Chavez rides from post position 6.

 

Settle for Medal, trained by Mark Hennig, was third to the Juvenile-bound Boys At Tosconova in his maiden outing, won his second start by two lengths at Saratoga on July 31 and ran into Boys At Tosconova again in the Grade 1 Three Chimneys Hopeful on September 6, finishing fourth. He will be ridden by Joe Bravo from post 3.

 

Rounding out the field are Quality Council, a maiden winner going 5 ½ furlongs at Belmont Park on September 25, and Mucho Macho Man, a four-length winner at Monmouth Park in his third start.

 

In the Tempted, Doing Great attempts to run her record to 3-for-3 as she faces four others in the one-mile race. Trained by Michael Trombetta, the Great Notion filly was an easy debut winner at Monmouth Park on September 11, and returned to post a 10-1 upset of multiple stakes winner Twelve Pack Shelly in the Maryland Million Lassie.

 

Under high weight of 121 pounds, Doing Great drew post position 2 under Julien Pimentel.

 

Tap for Luck returns for a second try at a graded stakes, having finished fifth to A Z Warrior in the Grade 1 Frizette on October 9. The diminutive Tapit filly has worked twice in the interim, covering a half-mile in 49.81 on October 24 and the same distance in 49.46 on October 31, and her connections are hopeful she will change her luck in the Tempted.

 

“She did have a little bit of bad racing luck in the Frizette,” said Jonathan Thomas, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher. “Both her works since have been solid.”

 

David Cohen rides from post position 4.

 

Trainer Tony Dutrow ships in a pair of out-of-towners for the Tempted in Pinch Pie, a maiden winner on the turf at Delaware Park, and Dixie City, who is 2-for-3 including an allowance win at Parx Racing in her most recent start. Full Moon Blues, a 10 ½-length maiden winner at Laurel, completes the field.  

 

The field for the Grade 2 Nashua:

PP

Horse

Jockey

Wgt

Trainer

1

To Honor and Serve (KY)

J Lezcano

116

W I Mott

2

Quality Council (KY)

C Hill

116

M E Hushion

3

Mucho Macho Man (FL)

D Cohen

116

K Ritvo

4

Settle for Medal (KY)

J Bravo

116

M A Hennig

5

Economic Summit (FL)

E Castro

116

R A Violette, Jr.

6

I'm Steppin' It Up (FL)

J F Chavez

116

A Pecoraro

 

 

The field for the Grade 3 Tempted:

PP

Horse

Jockey

Wgt

Trainer

1

Pinch Pie (KY)

J Bravo

115

A W Dutrow

2

Doing Great (VA)

J Pimentel

121

M J Trombetta

3

Full Moon Blues (KY)

M Franklin

115

T J Tullock, Jr.

4

Tap for Luck (KY)

D Cohen

115

T A Pletcher

5

Dixie City (VA)

A S Arroyo

117

A W Dutrow

 

 

 

 

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