The Grade III, $200,000 Red Smith Handicap anchors the Saturday action at Aqueduct. The 1 3/8-mile turf heat drew a field of 11 plus five AEs and MTOs. Post time for the Red Smith, Race 9 of 10 at “The Big A” this Saturday, is 3:47 p.m. ET.
#7 SADLER’S JOY (8-5, morning-line favorite) looks imposing based on class and speed figures in the Red Smith. He was last seen running third in last month’s Grade I Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park. The Tom Albertrani trainee was a hard-luck second in the Grade I Sword Dancer at Saratoga two-back. SADLER’S JOY owns a solid 9-2-1-3 record at the tricky 1 3/8-mile distance and won his only career start at Aqueduct back in 2016. He’ll be reunited with jockey Javier Castellano in this one.
#4 MARZO (10-1) seeks his second straight upset score after taking Keeneland’s Grade III Sycamore Stakes at 14-1 last out. He beat #3 NAKAMURA and #10 POSTULATION in that 1 1/2-mile Grade III last month. MARZO is no stranger to picking up checks based on his 8-3-1-3 lifetime record on turf. The Mike Maker trainee will get a rider upgrade to Irad Ortiz Jr. on Saturday.
#2 PETIT FILS (8-1) takes an unofficial drop in class as he makes his stateside debut in the Red Smith. Christophe Clement has taken over the training on this son of Makfi. PETIT FILS’ last two efforts against group foes in his native France were underwhelming, but he’s 5-for-9 lifetime on turf. Joel Rosario gets the leg-up here.
#3 NAKAMURA (10-1) settled for second in the Sycamore last time out but won three straight grass starts earlier in the campaign. Jose Ortiz sees fit to climb aboard for Graham Motion.
The play: $6 exacta 7/2,4, $3 exacta 7/3, $2 exacta 2,4/7, $1 exacta 3/7 ($20)
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