The $100,000 Busanda Stakes at Aqueduct on Thursday drew a field of six fillies to battle it out for their share of 17 total points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
The 1 1/16-mile race will award 10-4-2-1 points to the respective top four finishers toward a starting berth in the May 4 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs, and not one in the field has made an appearance on the Oaks Leaderboard yet. In fact, only two in the group have even faced stakes rivals at this point.
Midnight Disguise is one of those two, and enters the Busanda off a runner-up effort in the East View Stakes going a mile over the track on January 14. The Linda Rice-trained miss has only competed at the Big A in her career, taking her debut in a maiden claimer by 6 1/2 lengths before posting a two-length victory in an allowance. Trevor McCarthy was aboard for the East View and retains the mount in this spot.
Oldfashioned Style is the most experienced of this field in terms of both total starts and stakes tries. The Gary Contessa charge took two tries to break her maiden, getting the job done at Saratoga last year by 3 1/4 lengths, but hasn’t visited the winner’s circle in three races since. The bay lass did run second in the Tempted Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct last November, and gets Chris DeCarlo in the irons for the Busanda.
Wealth Effect and Incleveland exit the same allowance/optional claimer from December 29 at Aqueduct.
Wealth Effect finished second that day in what was her first attempt on dirt. The Chad Brown pupil spent her three prior races on turf, running sixth at Saratoga in her debut before breaking her maiden at Belmont Park and filling the third spot at Aqueduct.
Incleveland, 7 1/4 lengths behind Wealth Effect when third last out, broke her maiden at Parx Racing prior to that effort. The Todd Pletcher-trained sophomore also began her career running sixth on turf.
Junior Alvarado has the call on Wealth Effect while Manuel Franco rides Incleveland on Thursday.
The remaining two Busanda entrants are each exiting maiden wins. Take Charge Tina posted a 7 3/4-length wire job in her third career try on December 18 at Parx Racing for trainer Tom Albertrani. Hail captured a one-mile maiden at Aqueduct on December 30 by 3 3/4 lengths for trainer Bill Mott.
Kendrick Carmouche returns to Take Charge Tina’s saddle and Dylan Davis retains the mount on Hail.