The feature race on Saturday will be the 90th running of the Evening Attire for three-year-olds and up at a mile and a sixteenth. Formerly the Aqueduct Handicap, the Evening Attire was renamed in honor of the popular New York-bred gelding who retired last September at the age of 10 because of a suspensory injury. Evening Attire started 69 times in his career, mainly at Aqueduct, and had a record of 15-16-9 with earnings of $2,977,130. His greatest victory came at Belmont Park, where he won the 2002 Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Sunday’s feature is the 34th running of the $65,000-added Affectionately Handicap for fillies and mares, also going a mile and one sixteenth. The race is named for Affectionately, the “Queen of Queens,” who was a daughter of Swaps-Searching, by War Admiral. She would race 52 times, making 34 starts at Aqueduct, and compile a record of 28-8-6.
Owned by Mrs. E.D. Jacobs and trained by Hall of Famer Hirsch Jacobs, Affectionately was foaled in 1960 and became only the second mare at the time to surpass $500,000 in career earnings.
As a two-year-old, she won the Spinaway, Sorority and Polly Drummond. She won back-to-back runnings of the Interborough Handicap at Aqueduct in 1963 and ’64. At 4, she won the Vosburgh and Correction Handicap and in her final season at age 5, she won the Top Flight, Distaff, Vagrancy, Correction and Liberty Bell and defeated older males in the Toboggan Handicap.
Co-champion filly in 1962 and champion sprinter as a 5-year-old, Affectionately’s first foal, Personality, was the 1970 Horse of the Year.
Likely for the Affectionately are C.P. Racing Stables’ Are We Dreamin, fourth to Zada Belle in the Interborough on New Year’s Day; Kasey K Racing Stable’s Rap Tale, fourth in the Ladies Handicap on December 14; Edward Evans’ Spritely, second as the favorite in the Restored Hope on January 2 after stumbling at the break, and Seahorse Stable’s Yet Again, third in that race, are listed as probable. IEAH Stables’ Successful Sarah and Paul Fowler’s Hongkong Tour are questionable.
On Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, three-year-old sprinters will vie in the 25th running of the $65,000-added Jimmy Winkfield Stakes. Michael Dubb’s Fellow Crasher, no worse than third in six starts last year; Sherry Parbhoo’s Giant Ryan, a New York-bred son of Freud who is on a two-race win streak, and Shadwell Stable’s Taqarub, undefeated in two starts, are likely for the six-furlong race, with Four Roses Thoroughbreds’ Great Debater and Starlight Partners’ Naos listed as questionable.
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The first foal reported by 2006 Horse of the Year Invasor was born Sunday, January 11, at Shadwell Farm.
The bay colt is out of the stakes-winning Danehill mare, Abby
Road, who is out of a winning half-sister to Leading Sire Unbridled’s Song. Abby Road
will be bred back to Shadwell stallion, Daaher.
En route to being Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male Invasor collected Grade 1 victories in the Whitney at Saratoga and in Belmont Park’s Suburban Handicap.
Also on Sunday, at Calumet Farm in Lexington, Ky, the first foal by 2006 Belmont Stakes winner Jazil was born.
Bred by Calumet, the bay colt is out of the Mineshaft mare, Art Affair, who is out of Calumet’s Grade 3 Athenia Handicap winner Antoniette, by Nicholas.
Jazil is a half-brother to Rags to Riches, who won the 2007 Belmont Stakes over eventual Horse of the Year Curlin. Jazil and Rags to Riches are out of the dam Better Than Honour, who was named 2007 Broodmare of the Year and later sold for a world record $14 million at Fasig-Tipton in November, 2008.
Better Than Honour is also the dam of Casino Drive, winner of Belmont Park’s Peter Pan last year. Casino Drive, a half-brother to Jazil and a three-quarter brother to Rags to Riches, was injured and forced to scratch from the Belmont Stakes.