A cast of 11 sophomore prospects will travel one-mile in the $300,000 Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct on Saturday. The “2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby” series event is a scoring race worth points on a 50-20-10-5 structure to the top four finishers.
ELTIC STRIKER
Total 4 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
1
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(87) in allowance tally at Parx
Total Earnings:
$74,600
Owner:
Imperial Racing
Breeder:
Craig Upham and Stoneview Farm
Trainer:
Ray Handal
Jockey:
Romero Maragh
Sire:
Congrats
Dam:
Shylock’s Daughter
Color:
Bay

Recent allowance winner shows tallies in two of his last three outings leading up to his graded debut. The Congrats colt was unplaced in his previous attempt with stakes foes, and he will need a lifetime best to be in the hunt turning for home on Saturday. Romero Maragh will ride the speedy bay.

INFORMATIVE
Total 8 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
2
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(97) when a stakes second at Laurel Park
Total Earnings:
$88,200
Owner:
Uriah St. Lewis
Breeder:
Rosehill Farm and John Trumbulovic
Trainer:
Uriah St. Lewis
Jockey:
John Bisono
Sire:
Bodemeister
Dam:
Lucky Black
Color:
Dark Bay

Dark bay son of Bodemeister got up by a neck to graduate on the surface for conditioner Uriah St. Lewis. The consistent 3-year-old fired a bullet four furlongs to prepare for this test, but he would still be a surprise in a nice field. Regular rider John Bisono will be in the stirrups.

WAR STOPPER
Total 4 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(97) in maiden win at Aqueduct
Total Earnings:
$41,070
Owner:
Salerno Stables and Madaket Stables
Breeder:
Rock Ridge Thoroughbreds
Trainer:
Rudy Rodriguez
Jockey:
Jorge Vargas, Jr.
Sire:
Declaration of War
Dam:
Mira Alta
Color:
Chestnut

Intriguing sophomore showed considerable improvement with the addition of blinkers in his maiden victory last time out. The Rudy Rodriguez pupil comes in fresh with five morning drills in advance of his stakes bow, and the chestnut could challenge for the top prize with another move forward on Saturday.

ATTACHMENT RATE
Total 3 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
1
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(101) in maiden score at Gulfstream Park
Total Earnings:
$35,207
Owner:
Jim Bakke and Gerald Isbister
Breeder:
Mr. And Mrs. C Oliver Iselin III
Trainer:
Dale Romans
Jockey:
Luis Saez
Sire:
Hard Spun
Dam:
Aristra
Color:
Chestnut

Dale Romans trainee impressed with a daylight victory over special weight foes at Gulfstream Park most recently. The chestnut son of Hard Spun has improved with each lifetime appearance, and he could get a strong pace to rally into with Luis Saez in the silks. The Virginia-bred drilled a sharp four panels to prepare for his initial stakes assignment.

NECKER ISLAND
Total 4 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
0
Show:
1
Top Speed Rating:
(93) in allowance tally at Churchill Downs
Total Earnings:
$125,137
Owner:
Sagamore Farm and Stanley Hough
Breeder:
Stonestreet Thoroughbreds
Trainer:
Stanley Hough
Jockey:
Manuel Franco
Sire:
Hard Spun
Dam:
Jenny’s Rocket
Color:
Chestnut

This well-bred chestnut has won two in succession prior to being outrun in the recent Swale (G3). The Hard Spun colt had fine juvenile form and figures to improve in his second run of 2020. Manuel Franco inherits the mount atop the win prospect.

MISCHEVIOUS ALEX
Total 6 start(s)
Wins:
3
Place:
1
Show:
1
Top Speed Rating:
(99) in Swale Stakes (G3) victory
Total Earnings:
$179,230
Owner:
Cash is King and LC Racing
Breeder:
WinStar Farm
Trainer:
John Servis
Jockey:
Kendrick Carmouche
Sire:
Into Mischief
Dam:
White Pants Night
Color:
Bay

Rapidly improving 3-year-old has won by a combined 16 ¾ lengths since adding blinkers two races prior. The bay son of Into Mischief exits a blowout tally in the Swale (G3), and he is the one to beat with something resembling his latest performance. Kendrick Carmouche picks up the ride.

SIXTO
Total 1 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(91) in debut win at Aqueduct
Total Earnings:
$37,400
Owner:
Southern Equine Stables
Breeder:
Fred Hertrich III and John Fielding
Trainer:
Eric Guillot
Jockey:
Eric Cancel
Sire:
Curlin
Dam:
Drift to the Lead
Color:
Dark Bay

Second time starter was sharp in winning on debut at Aqueduct over six furlongs. The son of Curlin faces a steep class hike on Saturday, but he rates as a top-three player with a forward move in his first try going a route of ground. Eric Cancel has the call and will be stalking the pace atop the dark bay.

MONTAUK TRAFFIC
Total 3 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(92) in Jimmy Winkfield S. triumph at Aqueduct
Total Earnings:
$94,000
Owner:
Chris Fountoukis
Breeder:
Mike Rutherford
Trainer:
Linda Rice
Jockey:
Jose Lezcano
Sire:
Cross Traffic
Dam:
Taittinger Rose
Color:
Gray

This talented Kentucky-bred has earned two wins in a row, including a fine closing score in the Jimmy Winfield S. The gray colt possesses a fine turn of foot, and he is likely to receive a healthy pace to rally into in his graded stakes bow. The sophomore will have regular rider Jose Lezcano up.

FLAP JACK
Total 3 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
1
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(87) in Arlington-Washington Futurity score
Total Earnings:
$51,080
Owner:
Calumet Farm
Breeder:
Calumet Farm
Trainer:
Jack Sisterson
Jockey:
Declan Carroll
Sire:
Oxbow
Dam:
Synkros
Color:
Dark Bay

Midwest shipper aced his synthetic debut with a going-away stakes tally at Arlington Park last time out. Trained by Jack Sisterson, the Oxbow homebred makes his first run since September off of a nice string of morning works. Declan Carroll picks up the mount for the initial time.

UNTITLED
Total 3 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
1
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(105) in debut win at Gulfstream Park
Total Earnings:
$35,675
Owner:
Gary Barber and Michael Sebastian
Breeder:
Brent Fernung et al’s
Trainer:
Mark Casse
Jockey:
Junior Alvarado
Sire:
Khozan
Dam:
Cindy Says
Color:
Bay

This Triple Crown nominated sophomore comes off a fine second behind a very good horse in a Tampa Bay allowance tilt most recently. The Mark Casse charge makes his second route run from a tricky post slot, but the son of Khozan has the early presence to secure a sensible trip under Junior Alvarado.

FIRST DEPUTY
Total 7 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
3
Show:
1
Top Speed Rating:
(94) in allowance win at Aqueduct
Total Earnings:
$121,530
Owner:
Calumet Farm
Breeder:
Clark O. Brewster
Trainer:
Linda Rice
Jockey:
Dylan Davis
Sire:
Awesome Again
Dam:
Queen Buxley
Color:
Dark Bay

Empire State-bred draws widest in the field for conditioner Linda Rice. The Awesome Again colt has improved since adding blinkers, and he figures to thrive getting more ground to work with in this spot. Dylan Davis has the assignment aboard the $200,000 juvenile purchase.