The Grade III, $250,000 Withers Stakes is Saturday’s feature at Aqueduct as New York’s road to the Kentucky Derby continues. Offering 17 points toward the “Run for the Roses,” (10-4-2-1 format), the Withers lured a field of nine, including Jerome Stakes (Aqueduct’s first 17-point Derby prep) winner CAPO KANE.
Post time for the 1 1/8-mile Withers, the eighth of nine races on the day at “The Big A,” is 4:25 p.m. ET.
#3 CAPO KANE (3-1) impressed in victory – albeit on a muddy track – in Aqueduct’s $150,000 Jerome Stakes on New Year’s Day. Dylan Davis put the naturally-speedy son of Street Sense on the front and never looked back.
CAPO KANE looks like he’ll be able to make the lead once more in the Withers. His pedigree suggests he’s capable of handling the stretchout as well. Don’t be surprised if Davis and CAPO KANE wire the competition on Saturday.
#9 EAGLE ORB (10-1) was last seen completing the Jerome Stakes exacta despite suffering a five-wide trip. He wasn’t able to replicate the big speed figure he earned in the Notebook Stakes two-back, but the muddy track might have played into that, as he handled the mile distance before when running second behind the well-regarded Brooklyn Strong in the Sleepy Hollow.
EAGLE ORB drilled a five-furlong bullet to prep for the Withers and gets Jorge Vargas Jr. aboard.
#5 RISK TAKING (5-2, morning-line favorite) didn’t show much speed in his first two starts, but he opened some eyes with a strong 1 1/8-mile maiden victory over this course on Dec. 13. He’s bound to take plenty of action at the windows with trainer Chad Brown in his corner. Eric Cancel rides.
#7 DONEGAL BAY (7-2) ships north following a sharp maiden victory at Gulfstream for Todd Pletcher. Local sharpie Kendrick Carmouche has the call.
The play: $5 exacta 3/9, $3 exacta 3/5,7, $3 exacta 5,7,9/3 ($20)
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