Bourbon War is the weekend’s best bet

Nov 29, 2018 John Mucciolo/

The Remsen Stakes (G2) for two-year-olds is one of four graded events on a big day of racing at Aqueduct on Saturday, and it is the contest which will play host to the Weekend’s Best Bet.

Following a score by Signalman in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) last Saturday, I will try to make it two straight with BOURBON WAR in the Remsen.

Trained by Mark Hennig, Bourbon War has just a single maiden win to his credit when taking an off-the-turf race in his November 14 debut at Aqueduct two weeks prior. The $410,000 Keeneland November weanling purchase overcame a slow start to take the one-mile test and I think he will thrive with more distance in this spot going 1 1/8 miles.

The Kentucky-bred son of Tapit didn’t set the teletimer on fire in his victory but he looked good visually in doing so for a barn not known for its prowess with debut runners. The move to get Irad Ortiz Jr. in the silks is a positive one as well. My top choice lands in a spot where the pace could be swift, which will be very beneficial to the February foal.

Bourbon War is the first foal out of one of my favorite juvenile fillies in recent years, My Conquestadory. The Artie Schiller lass began her career with a Grade 2 tally against the boys in the grassy Summer Stakes at Woodbine in dominating fashion, and followed that up with a superb victory in Keeneland’s Alcibiades Stakes (G1) when making an eye-popping move on the backside and through the stretch.

My Conquestadory capped a fine two-year-old campaign when fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) after being saddled with an impossible 14 post position.

The Remsen has a pair of colts who will vie for favoritism – Nashua Stakes (G3) runner-up Network Effect and Parx invader Maximus Mischief, who has dominated two fields by a combined 14 3/4 lengths. However, the value lies with Bourbon War.

Hennig stated about his colt, “He’s a horse who all along I thought would need to run and need more ground. I never anticipated that he’s the horse who would run the race of his life in his first start…I think he’ll be up to the challenge.”

I agree.

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