Hungry Kitten can claw her way to victory in Long Island Stakes

The Grade III, $100,000 Long Island Stakes for filly and mare turfers anchors the Saturday action at Aqueduct. The 1 3/8-mile endurance test drew a full field of 12 plus one also-eligible. Post time for the Long Island, the finale on a 10-race program at “The Big A,” is 4:13 p.m. ET.

#11 HUNGRY KITTEN (9-2) gets a tepid nod despite the wide draw in this three-turn affair. She was a fast-closing second when last seen in Belmont’s Zagora Stakes on yielding ground. HUNGRY KITTEN scored in two straight allowance races – both on firm going – prior to that. One of those allowance races was at today’s tricky 11-furlong distance at Saratoga. HUNGRY KITTEN’S trainer, Shug McGaughey, will give a leg-up to Nik Juarez here.

#9 THEODORA B. (6-1) could wire the Long Island if left unchecked up front. She was outclassed in the Grade I E.P. Taylor at Woodbine last time out but won two straight stakes going into that start, including the Grade II Dance Smartly. THEODORA B. was a narrowly-beaten second in the Forever Together Stakes last year in her lone career start at Aqueduct. Jose Lezcano has the call.

#4 MUTAMAKINA (7-2, morning-line favorite) finished a neck behind HUNGRY KITTEN in the Zagora, her lone U.S. start to date. She could go off favored over that rival though, as trainer Christophe Clement has had a hot hand at Aqueduct this autumn (29-10-5-0 through Thursday). MUTAMAKINA will be ridden by Dylan Davis.

The play: $2 exacta box 4/9/11 ($12)

Follow me on Twitter: @itsgood2beking