The $200,000 Busher Stakes, an important one-mile heat for three-year-old fillies, is the Saturday feature at Aqueduct. A field of eight will go postward at 4:56 p.m. EST; the Busher runs as the eighth of nine races. In addition to watching and wagering, be sure to try out FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#2 WAR HEROINE (5-2, morning-line favorite) makes her first start outside California as she seeks a soft spot to try and earn her way to the Kentucky Oaks. She’s won two of her three starts to date, but her last came over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course in the Sweet Life Stakes. WAR HEROINE didn’t have anything to offer late against foes similar to these in the seven-furlong Santa Ynez two-back. Now she’ll be asked to go a mile on what appears to be her second-favorite surface. That makes her a bad proposition despite the presence of sharp local jockey Junior Alvarado.
#8 MY MISS LILLY (7-2) was last seen running third in Gulfstream’s seven-furlong Forward Gal Stakes. Being by Tapit, she shouldn’t mind stretching out to a mile. All it would take is a slight improvement for her to win the Busher, and she has plenty of upside having only run twice to date. Manny Franco will be in the irons.
#1 SARA STREET (9-2) fits with these on speed figures but has some obstacles to overcome. This will be her first start against winners and she didn’t draw an ideal post to employ her stalking tactics. She’ll also be asked to go an extra 3/16ths, but she’s got plenty of distance pedigree, which offers hope for improvement. Dylan Davis maintains the mount.
#3 MIDNIGHT DISGUISE (3-1) has been trending negatively in the speed figure department but won the Busanda Stakes over this course last time out. She should appreciate cutting back to one mile while keeping Trevor McCarthy aboard.
The play: $4 exacta box 1/8, $2 exacta 1,8/2 ($12)
DFJ analysis: Manny Franco should have a solid Saturday at Aqueduct. He rides four horses that are either favored or the second-choice before he climbs aboard MY MISS LILLY in the Busher Stakes. Franco sits second at the Aqueduct winter meet, five behind Dylan Davis going into Friday’s card.
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