'Very competitive' Blamed leads Aqueduct's Comely Stakes

Najja Thompson, for NYRA
November 17, 2018 08:55pm
'Very competitive' Blamed leads Aqueduct's Comely Stakes
Photo: Coady Photography
Cleber Massey's Blamed heads a field of eight in Friday's Grade 3, $200,000 Comely for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles, as stakes action continues at Aqueduct Racetrack through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The 69th running of the Comely, the day's feature on a 10-race card with a special 11:50 a.m. first post-time, will be bolstered by the $150,000 Gio Ponti, the $150,000 Forever Together, and the $100,000 Key Cents.

Transferred to the care of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott after wheeling off five consecutive victories in New Mexico for trainer Joel Marr, Blamed made her first start for her new connections on Oct. 20 at Keeneland in the Grade 2 Raven Run in which she set the pace before yielding late to finish second behind next out Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Shamrock Rose.

"I think she's a talented filly," said Mott. "She came to us in good order and she's shown herself to be very competitive with her effort at Keeneland. She's previously won going two turns at Sunland Park, so we'll see how she handles it here."

With Julien Leparoux named to ride, Blamed will leave from post four.

Remedy, trained by Brad Cox for Twin Creek Racing Stables, arrives at the Comely from a second-place effort in her graded stakes debut on Sept. 30 in the Grade 3 Remington Park Oaks. A daughter of Creative Cause, Remedy began her racing career on the turf where she made her first two starts, breaking her maiden at second asking at Fair Grounds. 

Remedy launched her 2018 campaign at Indiana Grand with a second-place finish on a sloppy track, in a race initially scheduled for the turf, before returning to the grass for her next two starts. She showed promise for the main track with an impressive win in an optional claiming race on Sept. 5 at Indiana Grand before entering the Remington Oaks.

Remedy will leave from post eight with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano in the irons.

Trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle Alberobello for owners China Horse Club International. With two wins from five starts and a pair of second-place finishes, the Bernardini filly will look to rebound off an eighth-place finish in the Remington Park Oaks.

"She didn't seem to handle the track well that day," said Pletcher. "Since coming back here, she's put in some good breezes and we're looking forward to seeing how she'll perform in this spot."

With Manny Franco named to ride, Alberobello will leave from post six.

Also entered is War Cabinet for Allen Stable and Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey; Indy Union for owner Robert Hahn and trainer Jeremiah Englehart; Hey Niki for trainer Tom Proctor and owner Brereton Jones; Stronger Than Ever for Fern Circle Stables and trainer Ken McPeek; and Split Time for Tic Stables and trainer Linda Rice.

Two races prior to the Comely, a field of 10 will compete in the third running of the $150,000 Gio Ponti going 1 1/16 miles on the outer turf course.

Chiefswood Stable homebred Rose's Vision will make his first start in nearly three months since winning the Better Talk Now this summer at Saratoga Race Course for trainer Stuart Simon.

A son of Artie Schiller, Rose's Vision broke his maiden in his sixth career start on Feb. 24 at Gulfstream Park. Following up with an allowance win on April 12 at Keeneland, he returned to Simon's home base at Woodbine where he ran a gauntlet of stakes, most notably finishing second in the Plate Trial on June 9 and second in the Toronto Cup on July 28.

After winning the Better Talk Now by a neck over Have At It, who returned to win the Grade 2 Hill Prince at Belmont, Simon opted to give the horse a break.

"He's developed very nicely" said Simon. "I think he's continued to get better with every start he's made. We're still trying to figure out if he's more of a turf miler or a mile and a sixteenth horse, but he doesn't mind some give in the ground if he gets it. He's versatile, so he can either be close to the pace or make a move off it."

Rose's Vision will leave from post eight with Jose Lezcano aboard.

Prioritize, trained by James Bond for owner Bill Clifton, Jr., will look to turn the tables on Rose's Vision after finishing third in the Better Talk Now. A Tizway gelding, Prioritize broke his maiden at first asking in April at Gulfstream Park and went on to earn his second career win in his third career start in an optional-claiming race on July 29 at Saratoga. Following his third-place running in the Better Talk Now, he ran a game second to lose by a neck in the Hill Prince. 

Bond believes his trainee is set to make another move forward.

"He's doing very well at the moment," said Bond. "He's a true racehorse in that he competes and gives his all every time out the gate. The only major concern I have is how the ground will be, so we'll keep our fingers crossed, but he's fit enough, and we believe he belongs in this spot. We'll see how he performs."

Prioritize will leave from the rail with Luis Saez aboard.

Trainer Christophe Clement, who campaigned Gio Ponti, will enter Therapist for Oak Bluff Stables. In his most recent start, the New York-bred son of Freud finished seventh in the Grade 3 Saranac. Prior, he wheeled off back-to-back New York Stallion Stakes victories on August 6 at Saratoga and June 24 at Belmont Park.

Making his first start over the Aqueduct turf, Therapist will leave from post seven with David Cohen aboard.

Rounding out the field is Breaking the Rules for Hall of Fame conditioner Shug McGaughey and Phipps Stable; Mr Ritz for trainer Josie Carroll and owner Earle Mack; Medal of Honour for trainer Chad Brown and Fager Stable and Zap Daddy for trainer Pat Reynolds and owner Robert Amendola. Roaming Union for trainer Kelly Breen and owner George and Lori Hall, Bal Harbour for Red Oak Stable and Life's a Parlay for St. Elias Stable, both conditioned by Todd Pletcher, are entered for the main track only.


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