At this time last year, Seahorse Stable’s Yet Again was
preparing to make her third start over Aqueduct’s inner track in the 2009
edition of the 1 1/16th-mile Affectionately Stakes for older fillies
Following an allowance win in December and a third-place
finish in an overnight stakes in early January, the Catienus filly was sent off
in the Affectionately at 8.70-1, the longest shot on the board in a four-horse
race. She charged up late for a 2¾-length upset.
While the circumstances are different going into this Sunday’s
35th running of the race, trainer Karl Grusmark is hoping for the
Yet Again is unraced since a fourth-place finish in an
overnight stakes over the main track at Aqueduct on November 19, but has been
working regularly. On January 4, she turned in a bullet four-furlong move
(47.46) over the Belmont training track
and was second-best (48.44) of 58 moves at the same distance on Wednesday.
“We wanted to freshen her up a little,” Grusmark said of Yet
Again, who has not visited the winner’s circle since June 8 at Finger Lakes despite several near misses
later in the summer, including a head loss in an overnight stakes at Saratoga
Race Course on August 31.
“Since she won this race last year, we thought we’d take a
shot again. The longer race is probably better for her and she worked
well on Wednesday morning, went in hand. We’re very pleased with the way
she’s coming into the race.”
Yet Again is 2-2-2 from 10 lifetime starts at 1 1/16th
miles and has two wins from five career starts over the inner track.
Jockey Orlando Bocachica has the mount and the pair will break from post
position No. 3 in the field of seven.
Tidal Dance and Saxet Heights, second and third in last
month’s 1 1/16th-mile Snit Stakes in their inner track debuts, will
both return Sunday in the Affectionately.
The morning line favorite at 9-5, Tidal Dance has one win
and two second-place finishes since being transferred to trainer Michael
barn from California. She
will have the services of New York’s
leading rider Ramon Dominguez, also aboard for the mare’s allowance win at
Aqueduct on November 13.
What West Virginia
shipper Saxet Heights
may lack in inner track experience she makes up for in consistency, having
never finished worse than third in 16 lifetime starts at distances ranging from
6½ furlongs to 1 1/8-miles. Mike Luzzi will ride the Jeff Runco trainee
from post No. 6.
Jay Em Ess Stable’s 5-year-old By the Light is entered to
make her second start this week following a third-place finish in Thursday’s
Darlin Momma stakes at Aqueduct. Thursday’s race, run at one mile and 70
yards, was By the Light’s first start beyond seven furlongs since her
3-year-old season and her second effort following a six-month layoff. She
finished fourth as the favorite in the six-furlong Garland of Roses on December
Completing the field in the Affectionately are Alan Briggs’
Yes She’s a Lady, who exits a fourth-place finish in allowance company at
Philadelphia Park on December 18; December Hill Farm’s Pumpkin Shell, who was
third in her last outing, an inner track allowance race on December 3; and All
Night Labor, most recently fifth in the Sleigh Ride Stakes at Philadelphia Park
on January 4.