Back in an unusually warm New York at Aqueduct, highlighted by $100,000 Rego Park Stakes for state-bred 3-year-olds over 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt. The small field of 5 will go to gate for race 7 on the 8-race card with an approximate post time of 3:55 p.m. ET.
#5, Scilly Cay, Jose Lezcano, 3-1
He has finished in the money in all three of his career starts (1-1-1) including a runner-up finish in his last by 1 ¼ lengths to today’s entrant Dream Bigger in the Notebook Stakes here on Nov. 17. He won a maiden special weight race a month earlier at Belmont Park on Oct. 24 for his first career win. Jose Lezcano is back aboard for his third straight start for trainer Linda Rice, who also has No. 2 Notorious Flirt (12-1) in the race and is looking for her 2,000th career win to become only the third female to accomplish the feat: Kathleen O'Connell (2,125) and Kim Hammond (2,280). I like the hot Lezcano, who is seeking his fourth stakes win at this meet, back aboard as Scilly Cay will make his presence felt again. The pick.
#4 Dream Bigger, Manuel Franco, 1-1
The morning-line, even-money favorite is 2-3-0 in five career starts. He is coming off a second-place finish in the New York Stallion Stakes in his last here on Dec. 14. As mentioned above, he edged out Scilly Cay for a win in the Notebook Stakes here, capping a two-race win streak after he won the New York Breeders’ Futurity by a whopping 10 ¾ lengths at Finger Lakes on Sept. 30. There is a lot to love here. Runner-up.
#1, Convict, Dylan Davis, 3-1
Convict won his first career race by a neck in a maiden special weight race here on Dec. 5 with Javier Castellano aboard. Dylan Davis has the mount today for trainer Gary Contessa. We will see how he does in his 2nd career start. Contender.
#3, Harris Bay, Junior Alvarado, 4-1
This will be his fourth career start as he comes off a fourth-place finish in the Notebook Stakes at Aqueduct Nov. 17. In his career debut, he won a maiden special weight race by ¾ lengths over today’s ML fav Dream Bigger at Belmont Park on Sept. 15. He also finished third in the Sleepy Hollow Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 19. Impressive to see he beat the ML favorite first time out and we will see if he can get back to that form today. Junior Alvarado is in the saddle for trainer John Kimmel. In the mix.
By Lou Monaco