With plenty of eyes focused at Oaklawn Park and Keeneland for Kentucky Derby preparations, we hope you did not overlook the stakes action at Aqueduct! We had three stakes races, worth $100K apiece. We welcomed the return of the talented mare HOROLOGIST in the Top Flight Invitational, plus witnessed two close finishes in the Danger's Hour Stakes and Plenty of Grace Stakes, both run over the turf. In the Danger's Hour Stakes, a new track record on the turf for one mile was set! Here's the rundown:
The $100K Top Flight Invitational Stakes was won by HOROLOGIST, ridden by Junior Alvarado, trained by Bill Mott, owned by Parkland Thoroughbreds and There's A Chance Stable — valiant effort, fighting off challengers to her inside and outside, in deep stretch.
Even-money favored HOROLOGIST broke the fastest out of the gate but conceded the lead to pacesetter MRS. DANVERS, who set early fractions of 24.72 and 49.55. HOROLOGIST bided her time along the backside before ranging up for the lead at the turn for home. Junior Alvarado sets her down for the drive and through the length of the stretch she fights off both challenges to her inside and outside, winning by a decided length. MRS. DANVERS ran second, LUCKY STRIDES, third. The final time for the one mile and one-eighth race was 1:52.14.
HOROLOGIST paid $4.00 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.10 to show. She is by GEMOLOGIST out of CINDERELLA TIME by STEPHEN GOT EVEN. She makes a successful return to the races, improving her record to 8 wins, 2 seconds, and 4 this from 21 starts, pushing her earnings to $770,439.
The $100K Danger's Hour Stakes was won by DELAWARE, ridden by Manny Franco, trained by Chad Brown, owned by Juddmonte Farms — tagging RINALDI in the closing strides.
Sent off at odds of 10-1, DELAWARE took a tracking trip in mid pack for Manny Franco, racing along the rail behind the leading flight before swinging wide for the stretch run and using the length of the stretch to chase down and beat RINALDI to the wire. It was a gap of three lengths back to the third place finisher, DECORATED INVADER. The final time for one mile on turf was 1:33.67 — a new track record.
DELAWARE paid $22.20 to win, $8.00 to place, and $4.20 to show. He is by FRANKEL out of ZATSFINE by OASIS DREAM. He notches his first in the U.S. since his arrival last summer of 2020. He pushes his earnings to $218,041 and achieved his highest speed figure to date.
The $100K Plenty of Grace Stakes was won by REGAL GLORY, ridden by Jose Ortiz, trained by Chad Brown, owned by Peter M. Brant — over a stretch battle with Platinum Paynter!
Betting favorite REGAL GLORY broke evenly and positioned herself in mid pack under Jose Ortiz, bounding along the backside before initiating her three-wide move turning for home. She engages PLATINUM PAYNER, and they duke it out for the final furlong before REGAL GLORY ultimately edges past her for the win. PLATINUM PAYNER, stubborn in defeat, ran well to be second. MYHARTBLONGSTODADY got up for third. The final time for the one mile on turf was 1:36.49.
REGAL GLORY paid $3.40 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.10 to show. She is by ANIMAL KINGDOM out of MARY's FOLLIES by MORE THAN READY. She improves her record to 7 wins and 3 seconds from 12 starts, pushing her earnings to $828,884 in the process. This was her come back race, which gave her her second consecutive win.