Hamilton Terry's Heart to Heart
will be facing a slew of familiar adversaries in leading a field of 10 experienced horses in Saturday's second running of the $150,000 Artie Schiller for 3-year-olds and up at one mile on the turf at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Brian Lynch, Heart to Heart is coming off a month-long break following a win in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker at 1 1/8 miles. The 5-year-old English Channel bay colt tied a personal-best with a 105 Beyer Speed Figure, which he also reached with a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Maker's 46 Mile on April 15 at Keeneland.
"It's a nice field of competitive horses, so we'll see how it plays out," Lynch said. "This race is his preferable distance. A mile-and-an-eighth is a bit of an extension for him."
Heart to Heart, who is 9-2-1 in 16 career turf races, has made 13 consecutive graded stakes starts. Lynch said the deep field will make Heart to Heart's Aqueduct debut a challenging one, as the entries include several graded stakes winners.
"When you look at the field, it easily could have been a graded stakes," Lynch said. "You'd think you'd get a bit of class relief, but the field is as good as any Grade 2 or 3 you'd see throughout the summer."
Heart to Heart will leave from the outside with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard.
King Kreesa is one of two entries for trainer David Donk. A two-time winner of the Grade 3 Poker, the 7-year-old King Kreesa will be looking for his first win since the West Point on August 26 at Saratoga Race Course. Manny Franco has the call out of post 7.
Donk's other trainee, Vision Perfect, will return to stakes company after six straight starts in optional claimers. Hall of Famer John Velazquez is set to ride from post 6.
Blacktype has finished in the money in seven of his last eight starts for trainer Christophe Clement. The winner of the Grade 3 Oceanport and the Grade 2 Commonwealth Turf Cup, Blacktype came in third in the Knickerbocker and is now set to rematch against the top-two finishers in that race in Heart to Heart and the Jimmy Jerkens-trained Jay Gatsby.
Blacktype will have the services of jockey Jose Ortiz from post 5.
Night Prowler, who won two Grade 3 starts in 2015 in the Dania Beach and Transylvania, returns to stakes company after winning against allowance company on October 19 at Belmont. Trained by Chad Brown, the 4-year-old gelded son of Giant's Causeway will leave post 8 in tandem with Junior Alvarado.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott will saddle a pair of contenders in Long On Value, who has one stakes victory this year in the Lucky Coin on July 25 at Saratoga. Joel Rosario will ride out of post 9. Mott's other entry, Macagone, is a New York-bred who came in third in the Mowhawk on October 22 at Belmont. Jockey Chris DeCarlo will depart post 3.
Rounding out the field are Jay Gatsby, who was the runner-up in back-to-back graded stakes in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch and the Knickerbocker, drew the rail; Phlash Phelps, from post 4, for trainer Rodney Jenkins; and Kharafa, a 7-year-old who won the Ashley T. Cole last out for trainer Timothy Hills on September 24 at Belmont, out of post 2.
Iron Power, Tapitation, Tommy Macho and Weekend Hideaway are main-track only entries.
Supporting the Artie Schiller is the third running of the $100,000 Notebook for New York-bred 2-year-olds at six furlongs, featuring a competitive field of 13 on Saturday's undercard.
Leading the cast of budding statebred talent is Francis Paolangeli's Gold for the King. A homebred son of Posse, Gold for the King won his August 8 debut at Saratoga by 3 ¼ lengths and followed up with a third-place finish in his first try against stakes competition in the Funny Cide later that month. The Charlton Baker trainee returned at Finger Lakes five weeks later, capturing the New York Breeders' Futurity by 2 ¾ lengths. Most recently, Gold for the King finished third at Belmont Park in the Sleepy Hollow over a sloppy and sealed track on October 22.
Gold for the King will be ridden by Jose Ortiz from post 9.
Two-time stakes runner-up Macho Miah will look to rebound from his fifth-place finish last time out in the Sleepy Hollow for the Jeremiah Englehart barn. After a 1 ½-length maiden-breaking victory in July, the Macho Uno juvenile turned in back-to-back seconds in the Aspirant and New York Breeders' Futurity this fall.
Manny Franco has the mount aboard Macho Miah from post 4.
The pair will be joined by notable maiden winners Bourbon Empire, Caught a Heater and La Cat Warrior. Rounding out the field for the Notebook are Eddie's Gift, Fled, Hamptons Holiday, Mr. Buff, Sal the Turtle, Three to Thirteen and Tribecca. Breeze Burner is an also-eligible.
Source: NYRA Communications