The third of five Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races held at Aqueduct is the $250,000 Withers (G3). First run in 1874, the 1 1/8-mile race awards Kentucky Derby qualification points to the top four finishers on a 10-4-2-1 basis.

Shackqueenking
Total 5 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
2
Show:
1
Top Speed Rating:
(90) when finishing third in the Spectacular Bid S.
Total Earnings:
$110,020
Owner:
Jon Madden
Breeder:
Ledgelands and Andrew C. Ritter
Trainer:
Gary Capuano
Jockey:
Trevor McCarthy
Sire:
Shackleford
Dam:
Jurys Out
Color:
Chestnut

Never out of the trifecta in five starts, Shackqueenking has been particularly effective running a mile or farther, most notably battling to victory in the 1 1/16-mile Howard County S. at Laurel Park. A son of 2011 Preakness (G1) winner Shackleford, Shackqueenking enters the Withers off a decent third-place effort in the seven-furlong Spectacular Bid S. and figures to appreciate stretching back out in distance. But from a Brisnet Speed rating perspective, Shackqueenking need at least a small step forward to challenge for victory.

Royal Number
Total 5 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
1
Show:
1
Top Speed Rating:
(92) when winning a Laurel Park allowance race.
Total Earnings:
$74,274
Owner:
Larry Johnson, R. D. M. Racing Stable, and Michael Trombetta
Breeder:
Fitzhugh
Trainer:
Michael Trombetta
Jockey:
Pablo Morales
Sire:
Palace Malice
Dam:
Hartigan
Color:
Chestnut

Distance shouldn't be an issue for Royal Number considering his sire, Palace Malice, won the 2013 Belmont (G1) racing 1 1/2 miles. Royal Number has likewise shown an affinity for route racing, most recently dominating a 1 1/16-mile allowance race at Laurel Park by 7 3/4 lengths. Trainer Michael Trombetta wins at a 21% in graded stakes races, so you can bet Royal Number will be primed for a big effort in his toughest test to date.

Capo Kane
Total 3 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
1
Show:
1
Top Speed Rating:
(87) when romping to victory in the Jerome S.
Total Earnings:
$74,274
Owner:
Bing Cherry Racing and Leonard Liberto
Breeder:
Rising Star Farm
Trainer:
Harold Wyner
Jockey:
Dylan Davis
Sire:
Street Sense
Dam:
Twirl Me
Color:
Bay

The most accomplished runner in the field, Capo Kane has already made noise on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, posting a gate-to-wire victory in the one-mile Jerome S. at Aqueduct. Capo Kane actually dominated the Jerome by 6 1/4 lengths and was full of run down the stretch, as is fitting for a son of 2007 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Street Sense. But Capo Kane did benefit from setting an uncontested pace, so it remains to be seen how he'll will respond if challenged for early supremacy over a longer distance in the Withers.

Mr. Doda
Total 6 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
2
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(95) when breaking his maiden at Parx Racing.
Total Earnings:
$34,450
Owner:
Perez Stables
Breeder:
Monmouth Stud
Trainer:
Carlos Soto
Jockey:
Luis Rodriguez Castro
Sire:
Uptowncharlybrown
Dam:
Sweeter Turn
Color:
Chestnut

A former claimer, Mr. Doda required six starts to break his maiden, finally doing so in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint at Parx Racing. Prevailing by a neck (with a gap of a dozen lengths back to the third-place runner) produced a sharp 95 Brisnet Speed rating, one of the highest figures in the Jerome field. But Mr. Doda has never run farther than seven furlongs, so stretching out over 1 1/8 miles in the Withers is a big question mark.

Risk Taking
Total 3 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(98) when breaking his maiden at Aqueduct.
Total Earnings:
$45,030
Owner:
Klaravich Stables
Breeder:
G. Watts Humphrey
Trainer:
Chad Brown
Jockey:
Eric Cancel
Sire:
Medaglia d'Oro
Dam:
Run a Risk
Color:
Bay

A stoutly bred son of Medaglia d'Oro conditioned by hot trainer Chad Brown, Risk Taking broke his maiden in powerful fashion racing 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct. After settling in midpack for most of the journey, Risk Taking rallied strongly down the stretch to score by 2 1/4 lengths. The 98 Brisnet Speed rating he posted is the highest figure in the Withers field, so Risk Taking looms as a formidable candidate for victory while sticking to the same track and distance.

Overtook
Total 3 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
1
Top Speed Rating:
(80) when breaking his maiden at Aqueduct.
Total Earnings:
$57,380
Owner:
Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable, Michael B. Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, and Derrick Smith
Breeder:
Hill 'N' Dale Equine Holdings and Philip J. Steinberg
Trainer:
Todd Pletcher
Jockey:
Manny Franco
Sire:
Curlin
Dam:
Got Lucky
Color:
Bay

Sold for $1 million as a yearling, Overtook is bred to relish racing 1 1/8 miles. A son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, Overtook was produced by the A.P. Indy mare Got Lucky, winner of the Spinster (G1) racing 1 1/8 miles. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Overtook failed to seriously challenge in his first two starts wearing blinkers, but dropping the headgear for his third run produced a two-length maiden victory racing one mile at Aqueduct. Another step forward could certainly be in the offing for Overtook, considering his pedigree is geared toward improving with maturity.

Donegal Bay
Total 2 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(87) when breaking his maiden at Gulfstream Park.
Total Earnings:
$24,432
Owner:
Donegal Racing
Breeder:
Juddmonte Farms
Trainer:
Todd Pletcher
Jockey:
Kendrick Carmouche
Sire:
Uncle Mo
Dam:
Solo Piano
Color:
Bay

Traveling north from Florida is Donegal Bay, a stoutly bred son of champion two-year-old Uncle Mo out of a mare by Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Empire Maker. Conditioned by three-time Withers-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, Donegal Bay displayed significant talent in a one-mile maiden race at Gulfstream last year, leading all the way to beat next-out winner Simovitch by 4 1/4 lengths. Stretching out over 1 1/8 miles should only help Donegal Bay's chances, stamping the bay gelding as a serious win threat under hot jockey Kendrick Carmouche.

Civil War
Total 4 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(78) when finishing fourth in an Aqueduct allowance race.
Total Earnings:
$40,300
Owner:
Mark T. Anderson
Breeder:
Dell Ridge Farm
Trainer:
Tom Albertrani
Jockey:
Benjamin Hernandez
Sire:
Bodemeister
Dam:
Princess Aspen
Color:
Bay

Sold for just $7,000 as a yearling, Civil War produced a big late rally in his debut sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs at Monmouth Park, charging hard to prevail by a nose in a $40,000 maiden claiming race. But Civil War subsequently failed to factor in three starts against tougher company, including distant defeats in the Champagne (G1) and Nashua (G3). With a career-best 78 Brisnet Speed rating, the son of Bodemeister will need improvement to vie for a top-four finisher in the Withers.

Eagle Orb
Total 6 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
3
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
(91) when winning the Notebook S.
Total Earnings:
$183,100
Owner:
E.V. Racing Stable
Breeder:
Barry R. Ostrager
Trainer:
Rudy Rodriguez
Jockey:
Jorge A. Vargas
Sire:
Orb
Dam:
Lady On Holiday
Color:
Bay

An experienced runner who has already competed five times against stakes company, Eagle Orb has been particularly effective at Aqueduct, winning the Notebook S. before settling for a distant runner-up finish in the Jerome S. A son of 2013 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Orb, Eagle Orb has been a picture of consistency, cracking the trifecta in five of his six starts. But he's yet to win a race longer than six furlongs and was weakening down the homestretch of the Jerome, so tackling 1 1/8 miles in the Withers could be a challenge.