The second day of the Aqueduct racing week is highlighted by a $100,000 allowance optional claiming race (purse: $85,000) for 3-year-olds and up fillies & mares over 1 1/16 miles on the turf. The field of 7 will go off as race 7 of the 8-race card with an approximate post time of 3:47 p.m. ET.
#2, Touriga (BRZ), John Velazquez, 2-1
Touriga (BRZ) has raced in five graded stakes races, including three here in the states. Here last time out was a fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes at Keeneland Oct. 20. Today, she finally gets some relief for jockey John Velazquez and trainer H. Graham Motion. The pick.
#1, Dream Passage, Jose Lezcano, 1-1
There is a reason why she is the morning-line even money favorite, posting a 7-6-4 record in 25 starts, including an impressive 4-2-0 in 10 starts this year. In her last seven starts, she has finished in the money six times (4-2-0) since April 28. She is coming off a two-race Belmont Park win streak, highlighted by a two length win in an allowance optional claiming race on Oct. 20. Jose Lezcano returns for his second straight start for trainer Brad Cox. Lots to like and will definitely be tough to beat, but we will try. Runner-up.
#5, New Year’s Wish, Jose Lezcano, 9-5
She enters today winning four of her last five races (all at Aqueduct), including an impressive 4 ½ length win over Monaco Princess in an allowance optional claiming race just 12 days ago on Nov. 9. She loves the Big A under trainer Linda Rice and looks to be a formidable opponent today. Contender.
#4, Chipolata (FR), Manuel Franco, 4-1
Chipolata (FR) is 1-1-1 in four starts this year and has three wins over 16 starts in her career. Her lone win, right here at Aqueduct, by 1 ¼ lengths in an allowance optional claiming race on April 11. Let’s see if she can do it again. In the mix.
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By Lou Monaco