Impressive debut winner Takaful the one to beat in Remsen

Nov 25, 2016 by James Scully/

Overlooked at 12-1 in a smashing debut performance, Takaful is listed as the overwhelming 7-5 morning line favorite for his second career outing in Saturday’s $300,000 Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct. The 1 1/8-mile race is part of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, awarding points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four finishers.

A Shadwell Stable homebred son of Bernardini, Takaful sprinted to the fore when the gates opened and extended his advantage at every point of call en route to an eight-length victory at Belmont Park on October 29. The dark bay colt registered a field-best 99 BRIS Speed rating in the 6 ½-furlong maiden special weight and Jose Ortiz will retain the mount for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

No Dozing, who exits a fourth in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, comes next on the morning line at 4-1. Conditioned by Arnaud Delacour, the Union Rags colt won his first two starts, breaking his maiden at Delaware Park before capturing a Laurel Park allowance/optional claiming event. Daniel Centeno will be in to ride.

The Tony Dutrow-trained Mo Town exits a good-looking maiden tally at Belmont Park in late September, rallying to win going away by seven lengths in his second start, and he’s a son of Uncle Mo, who sire 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. John Velazquez has the assignment on Mo Town.

Also part of the 10-horse field is Hookup, who is listed as an individual interest in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager along with Takaful, No Dozing and Mo Town. Trained by David Cannizzo, Hookup closed strongly to post a four-length victory when making his only career appearance in a November 6 maiden race at Aqueduct and Manny Franco will ride.

(Takaful photo courtesy of Robert Mauhar/Adam Coglianese Photography)

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