Thursday, November 08, 2012
LONG ISLAND HANDICAP SWAN SONG FOR HIT IT RICH
OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Hit It Rich, who a year ago won her first graded stakes in the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap, will attempt to conclude her career with another victory in the race when she competes at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday.
Hit It Rich led the entire way to win the Grade 3 Glens Falls by 1 ½ lengths on September 3 at Saratoga Race Course, then yielded to seventh she stepped up in class for the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational on September 29 at Belmont Park.
Buzz Tenney, assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, said Hit It Rich should find the class level of the Long Island more to her liking.
“She’s going to be up in the [Long Island] maybe on the lead, going that far,” said Tenney. “She’ll have control of the race, I think. We’ll see if she can get the trip. I think she can; she did it last year. She worked a half on Monday [in 50.03 seconds], which is her kind of work, and galloped out good. She’s honest, she tries, and we’ll see what happens.”
Javier Castellano will ride Hit It Rich from post position 2. The Stuart S. Janney, III homebred was installed as the 5-2 favorite on the morning line.
In June, Hit It Rich finished third in Belmont Park’s Grade 2 New York, which was won by Cheyenne Stables’ Mystical Star, the 3-1 morning-line second choice for the Long Island.
Since the New York, Mystical Star has finished eighth in the Grade 1 Beverly D. in August at Arlington Park and second over Keeneland’s artificial surface in the Grade 1 Spinster on October 7 after rallying four wide and leading in the stretch.
“I just hope it doesn’t rain too much,” said Christophe Loriuel, assistant to trainer Christophe Clement. “We’ll get some rain, but I hope it dries out by Saturday because I think she’s a better filly when it’s not too soft, but the filly has been doing great.”
Mystical Star will leave from post 5 with Ramon Dominguez aboard.
The Long Island will be the first North American start for Aigue Marine, who enters the race off a triumph in a 1 ½-mile listed stakes against males in August at Clairefontaine in France.
“She’s an improving 3-year-old filly,” said Christophe Clement, whose brother, Nicolas, trains Aigue Marine for Haras du Mezeray and Skymarc Farm. “The dam, Aiglonne, came to the states and I trained her. She was a useful 1 ½-mile type horse.”
Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride Aigue Marine, 6-1, from post 6 as she faces older runners for the first time. After the race, she will join Christophe Clement’s barn.
Kissable, who won the Waya in August at Saratoga in her second North American start, will ship in from Toronto in an attempt to pick up her first graded win in the Long Island. Trained by Roger Attfield for Three Chimneys Racing and Lordship Stud, Kissable was third in the Glens Falls and fourth in Woodbine’s Grade 1 E.P. Taylor on October 14.
“She’s done very well [since arriving in North America] as we anticipated she would,” said Attfield. “She seems to be getting better. She’s going to race next year, but the turf in Florida is probably a bit too firm for her liking, so this is a good spot for her.”
John Velazquez, who like Attfield is a 2012 Hall of Fame inductee, has the call aboard Kissable from post 4. Kissable is 4-1 on the morning line.
The field also includes Starformer, a graded stakes winner who was fourth in the Spinster; Tannery, third in the Grade 1 Garden City and eighth in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup; The West Rim, claimed for $16,000 in her most recent start; Senada, fourth in Keeneland’s Dowager, and Clarinet, victorious in Woodbine’s Flaming Page. Centring was entered for the main track only.
Read more articles in the Aqueduct category.