Class Drop Could Benefit Sadler’s Joy in Red Smith
Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
The feature at Aqueduct on Saturday, November 23, is the 1 3/8-mile Red Smith Stakes (G3) – worth $200,000 - on the grass. A field of 16 – although only 11 will run – have been entered in the race for older males.
Heavily favored is #7 Sadler’s Joy, an 8-5 morning line choice. The six-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy has earned over $2.3 million with a grade 1 win in 2017 and multiple grade 1 placings. He was also fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) in 2017 and third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last year. Tom Albertrani trains the six-time winner, who has been top three 17 times in 25 starts. He is a winner in his lone start on this track and steps down in class for this, making him a solid choice.
#1 Tiz a Slam is a top challenger. The Ontario-bred son of Tiznow ships in from Woodbine Racetrack for his first New York run. He was a grade 3 winner at Churchill Downs in May, then took a pair of graded stakes at Woodbine in June and July. He finished fourth, beaten less than three lengths, in the grade 1 Northern Dancer in September and hasn’t run since. The Roger Attfield trainee is seeking his tenth career win.
#8 Red Knight (6-1) was the winner of the Point of Entry Stakes at Belmont Park last out. That was over a half mile on the grass. He is a winner on this turf course for trainer Bill Mott, and is seeking his eighth win. Junior Alvarado will ride.
#6 Dot Matrix (12-1) defeated Red Knight two starts back. He has won twice this year for trainer Brad Cox. Jose Lezcano will be up for the first time on the New York-bred son of Freud, who steps up out of restricted company for the first time since July.
#11 Glorious Empire (6-1) is a gelded son of Holy Roman Emperor (Ire). He was a grade 2 winner at Gulfstream Park in December, but was then off until September. He ran sixth in a grade 3 there and fifth in a grade 2 at Belmont, but gets class relief here. Edgar Prado will ride the 10-time winner.
A French import making his American debut is #2 Petit Fils (8-1). Christophe Clement takes over the training of the son of Makfi, who was a grade 3 winner at Longchamp in May. He is five for nine on the grass and a six-time winner in a short career.
There are five horses on the also eligible list, including three entered for main track only in the case the race comes off the grass.
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On Saturday, the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap will top a great card at Belmont Park with five graded stakes and once again bring several of the nation’s best horses together for a one-mile showdown.
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