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Yet Again Eyes Affectionately Repeat

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 and mares.


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 same result. 


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 Hushion’s Belmont 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 5. 


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. 



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