Aqueduct

The TDN Derby Top 12 for Mar. 2

   We're now past the unofficial "Justify cutoff" of Feb. 18, which represents the latest maiden-breaking date of any GI Kentucky Derby winner. That means it's extremely likely we've already seen the 2021 winner in action, but it doesn't necessarily mean the Derby winner is ranked within this edition of the Top 12. This list represents the top of the crop while leaving speculation open to longshot Derby dreamers inside the 10-week mark to the first Saturday in May. 1) GREATEST HONOUR (c, Tapit--Tiffany's Honour, by Street Cry {Ire}) O/B-Courtlandt...

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NYRA Updates Jockey Protocols for Aqueduct

The New York Racing Association updated COVID-19 health and safety protocols for jockeys competing at the Aqueduct Racetrack winter meet which runs through Sunday, Mar. 28. As of Mar. 1, out of town riders not established in the NYRA colony may ride at Aqueduct upon completion of two negative COVID-19 PCR tests within five days of race day. Incoming riders will be provided isolated jockey quarters. All COVID-19 testing must be performed in New York state. Prior to Mar. 1, Aqueduct Racetrack was closed to riders that were not considered...

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Friday's Insights: Centennial Debuts Empire Maker Colt

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 5th-Aqueduct, $80K, Msw, 3yo, 6f, post time: 3:25 p.m. ET ROYAL REALM (Empire Maker) gets his career underway for Centennial Farms and trainer Jimmy Jerkens. A $250,000 Keeneland September acquisiton, the Triple Crown-nominated dark bay is out of an unraced daughter of Golden Sheba (Coronado's Quest), the dam of Godolphin's two-time GISW Wedding Toast (Street Sense), whose son Ya Hayati (Dubawi {Ire}) won the Listed Zabeel Turf at Meydan last month. The colt's third dam includes the recently deceased MGISW Congaree (Arazi) and SW/GISP Sangaree...

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Aqueduct Cancels Thursday Card Due to Winter Storm

The New York Racing Association has canceled Thursday's eight-race card at Aqueduct due to a winter storm scheduled to impact the New York area throughout the day. The National Weather Service has placed New York City under a winter storm watch beginning Thursday morning and extending through Friday afternoon. The NWS forecast, which aligns with NYRA's independent weather services, is calling for up to eight inches of snow causing hazardous conditions throughout the region. Live racing at Aqueduct will resume Friday, Feb. 19 with an eight-race card. First post is...

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Nicky the Vest Becomes Runhappy's First Stakes Winner With Gander Romp

Nicky the Vest, an impressive debut winner in December at Aqueduct, proved that no effort was no fluke with an authoritative romp in the New York-bred Gander S. Sunday at the Big A, becoming the first black-type winner for Claiborne Farm's Runhappy (by Super Saver) in the process. Unveiled as an 11-2 proposition against Empire-bred foes over track and trip Dec. 18, the $110,000 OBS October grad shook off some early pace pressure and kicked away to a 3 1/4-length score. Hammered late to go off as the clear favorite...

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NYRA to Reinstitute Fair Hill & Oaklawn Ship & Win Bonuses

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) announced Saturday that it will once again offer "Ship and Win" incentives for horses coming from Fair Hill Training Center or Oaklawn Park to race at Aqueduct or Belmont. Owners of horses stabled at Fair Hill, in Elkton, Maryland who register an official start during the Aqueduct spring meet (Apr. 1 through Apr. 18), or during the Belmont spring/summer meet (Apr. 22 through July 11), will be credited with an $800 shipping stipend, excluding stakes races. First-time starters must have their three prior works...

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Cuomo: New York Sports Venues Can Reopen Conditionally

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that sports arenas and stadiums with a capacity of better than 10,000 can re-open with limited spectators. The first event open to spectators in the state will be the National Basketball Association contest between the Sacramento Kings and Brooklyn Nets at the Barclay Center Feb. 23. The opening of venues will follow the Buffalo Bills pilot program, deemed an "unparalleled success" by Cuomo, following guidelines including Department of Health approval for venues and events, capacity limitations, testing requirements, mandatory face coverings, temperature checks and...

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NYRA Looks Out for Its Customer; Good for Them

The Week in Review by Bill Finley It's not often in this sport that John Q. Horseplayer gets a break, but that's exactly what happened last week when it was revealed that NYRA was no longer accepting bets from the so-called computer-assisted wagering (CAW) players on its Empire Six wager. The Empire Six wager joined the Cross Country Pick 5 and the late Pick 5 as NYRA wagers that are no longer available to the CAW players. The computer players use algorithms that predict the probability of a particular outcome....

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Risk Taking Adds to Big Day for Medaglia d'Oro in Withers

Klaravich Stables' Risk Taking (Medaglia d'Oro) added to a big Saturday afternoon for his leading sire, who just minutes earlier had been represented by promising GIII Las Virgenes S. winner Moonlight d'Oro, in Aqueduct's GIII Withers S. Tracking from a midpack sixth as Jerome S. winner Capo Kane (Street Sense) showed the way through fractions of :24.02 and :48.71, the 9-5 favorite made his move on the outside along the home turn beneath Eric Cancel and blew away the frontrunner by midstretch to kick away an impressive 3 3/4-length winner....

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Katie Davis Says NYRA Racing Office Discouraging Trainers From Riding Her

Jockey Katie Davis has alleged that the NYRA racing office has been telling trainers not to ride her because of a New York State Gaming Commission rule that requires that horses running in the same race ridden by a husband and a wife must be coupled. Davis recently married Trevor McCarthy and both are riding at Aqueduct this winter. The comments were originally made on Twitter Friday and were repeated to the TDN the following day. Because of the rule, any time McCarthy and Davis compete in the same race...

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Winter Storm Warning Forces Shift of Sunday Card to Monday at Aqueduct

The New York Racing Association, Inc. has moved the entirety of Sunday's live racing program at Aqueduct Racetrack to Monday due a winter storm slated to impact the New York metropolitan area throughout the day on Sunday. The National Weather Service (NWS), which aligns with NYRA's independent weather services, is calling for heavy snow with accumulation of five to nine inches as well as wind chill values between 20 and 25 for the downstate New York region on Sunday. As a result, NYRA has moved Sunday's eight-race card to Monday...

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Jan. 30 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency PLETCHER, BROWN SADDLE INTRIGUING FIRSTERS 7th-GP, $50K, Msw, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 2:44p.m. Chad Brown unveils Christine and Phil Hatfield's ARISTON (Flatter) in this event. The $500,000 FTSAUG buy is a full to GSW Plainsman and a half to GSP Liam (Liam's Map). Their dam is a half to MGSW Southdale (Street Cry {Ire}). Todd Pletcher also saddles an interesting first timer in Avenue (Quality Road). Out of GSP Magic Union (Dixie Union), the $450,000 KEESEP acquisition is a half to GSP Tizamagician (Tiznow). TJCIS PPs...

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