Early Look: Aqueduct hosts 7 graded stakes next weekend

Early Look: Aqueduct hosts 7 graded stakes next weekend
Photo: NYRA

Life Is Good will look to keep his momentum going in the Grade 1 Woodward on Saturday at Aqueduct.

The track also will host four automatic qualifiers for the Breeders' Cup as part of its Belmont at the Big A meet. In all, seven graded stakes are scheduled for the weekend.

Here is an early look at the likely fields.

Saturday, Oct. 1

Woodward (G1), Aqueduct, 1 1/8 miles, 3-year-olds and up

Life Is Good is the star of this show, coming off his win in the Whitney (G1) last out and a winner of eight of 10 career starts. Law Professor’s win in the listed Tapit Stakes at Kentucky Downs was his first start after a five-month break. Twilight Blue came back in February after 11 months off and has compiled a 5: 3-2-0 record for the year. Informative got his first win of the year last out in the Philip Iselin (G3). Thomas Shelby has no graded wins and most recently won an allowance optional claiming race at Monmouth Park.

2022 Woodward (G1)

Champagne (G1), Aqueduct, 1 mile, 2-year-olds

Forte, Gulfport and Blazing Sevens would meet again here after finishing 1-2-3 in the Hopeful (G1) last out. Forte rallied to win by three lengths, with Blazing Sevens nine lengths behind Gulfport. Andiamo a Firenze won the Funny Cide at Saratoga by 5 1/2 lengths last out after finishing third in the Sanford (G3). This is a “win and you’re in” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

2022 Champagne (G1)

Miss Grillo (G2), Aqueduct, 1 1/16 miles (turf), 2-year-old fillies

Pleasant Passage won her debut at Saratoga by a neck at 15-1 odds. Im Just Kiddin broke her maiden on her second try, as did Essaouira and Georgees. Lady Jasmine went from winning her debut to the P.G. Johnson Stakes, where she finished seventh. This is a “win and you’re in” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

2022 Miss Grillo (G2)

Belmont Turf Sprint (G3), Aqueduct, 6 furlongs (turf), 3-year-olds and up

Thin White Duke won the Lucky Coin by a nose over Dancing Buck after finishing third in the Troy (G3) by a head and a neck. Cazadero returned from a seven-month layoff to finish third in a Saratoga allowance optional claiming race in August. Voodoo Zip tries his second graded stakes after finishing fourth in the Lucky Coin and before that, he was fifth in the Highlander (G2).

2022 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational (G3)

Sunday, Oct. 2

Frizette Stakes (G1), one mile, 2-year-old fillies

In this “win and you’re in” for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Leave No Trace will look to improve to 3-for-3 after a pair of wins at Saratoga including the Spinaway (G1) on Sept. 4. American Rockette, a debut winner at Saratoga in July, came back in the Spinaway and was fourth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths by Leave No Trace. Chocolate Gelato steps into stakes company after an 8 1/2-length maiden win at Saratoga that was among the more impressive of the meet. The Great Maybe also impressed on debut in a Saratoga maiden when romping by eight lengths on Aug. 28. Vedareo ships in from Parx after dominating the one-mile Sorority at Monmouth Park on Aug. 21. She is the only one of these contenders to race beyond seven furlongs.

2022 Frizette (G1)

Pilgrim Stakes (G2), 1 1/16 miles (turf), 2-year-olds

Battle of Normandy won his bow at Saratoga and came back to be beaten just a neck when second in the Aug. 31 With Anticipation (G3). I’m Very Busy was a sharp debut winner by 3 3/4 lengths under top rider Flavien Prat at Saratoga on Aug. 13. Major Dude will be trying turf for the first time after finishing off the board in both the Sanford (G3) at Saratoga and Sapling at Monmouth Park. This is a "win and you're in" for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

2022 Pilgrim (G2)

Waya Stakes (G3), 1 3/8 miles, 3-year-old and up (fillies and mares)

Capital Structure won a second-level allowance at Saratoga in July, then moved up to stakes company in the Sept. 10 All Along at Pimlico. The 5-year-old mare checked in sixth with a troubled trip as the chart notes the saddle slipped during the race. Gladys also tried the All Along, where she pressed the pace before weakening late to finish fourth. Lovely Lucky takes a drop in class after being no factor in a string of Grade 1s and Grade 2, including the New York (G1) on June 10 at Belmont Park.

2022 Waya (G3)

*Rating is based on HRN fan votes, which rank the Top Active Horses in training.

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