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2024 Gotham Stakes day at Aqueduct

horse racing
Deterministic returns after the Gotham Stakes
Date: 03/02/2024

The $300,000 Gotham Stakes (G3) is the first major New York prep for the Kentucky Derby, and is worth 50 points to the winner as part of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series. Conditions on Long Island were typical for early March, with persistent rain all day downgrading the track to muddy with temperatures in the low 50's. A field of 11 three-year-olds contested this 1 mile trip around one turn of the main track, with Just a Touch sent off as the 8-5 favorite off his debut win at Fair Grounds on January 27. In to challenge him included 7-2 second choice Deterministic, unraced since winning his debut at Saratoga in August, and 4-1 third choice Bergen, winner of the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes.

Jockey Mychel Sanchez sent 26-1 Maximus Meridius to the lead exiting the chute through fractions of 23.42 and 46.63 while pressed by 5-1 fourth choice El Grande O and stalked by Just a Touch. Turning for home El Grande O took over the lead through 3/4 in 1:10.94 and led the field to midstretch through 7f in 1:23.37. Deterministic, fourth early under Joel Rosario, came out 4 wide for room and rallied by to win going away by 2 lengths over favorite Just a Touch in 1:36.37. It was another 1/2 length back to El Grande O third.

horse racing
Pgm  Horse              Jockey         Win   Place  Show
 3   Deterministic      Rosario       9.80    4.80  3.90
10   Just a Touch       Geroux                3.50  3.00
 7   El Grande O        Carmouche                   4.40

Winning Time:  1:36.37

$1 Exacta  3-10                17.85
$0.50 Trifecta  3-10-7         47.37
$0.10 Superfecta  3-10-7-2     91.90
Results Chart
Previous winners

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Deterministic in the winner's circle. Miguel Clement, assistant trainer to his father Christophe said, "He was very impressive. He confirmed what we believed all along that he's top class. His works have been top class, as well as his win at Saratoga. He validated it all today. He's very sensible. You can do whatever you want with him. You can be in front, you can be way off the pace, he can be right behind them. He's push-button because he's such an efficient mover. That makes Joel's [Rosario] and our lives a lot easier."

Right: Trophy presentation for the Gotham. Winning jockey Joel Rosario said, "He felt great. He was more in the game today in his second time out and first time going long. He did everything really well and so we're excited for him and where he'll take us. It looked like when I got inside, he really started responding. It looked like he liked it better in there and I just let him find his way. Sometimes, you're turning for home and it looks like you're running well, but the horse in front can be moving better. It was a good race for him. With the muddy track, he handled everything well. He seems like (more distance) will be no problem. He's very relaxed and everything you ask him to do, he does it for you."

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Just a Touch walks over before the race. Trainer Brad Cox said, "He ran well. It looked like he finished up well. He showed enough speed and he's obviously still learning, but I think he'll be better around two turns. He's big, with plenty of leg, and hopefully he will stretch." Jockey Florent Geroux added, "I had a good trip, forwardly placed, right off of the two horses in front. He was still a little bit immature. I lost him a little bit. He was not traveling that great in the turn, so I had to ask him a little more than I would have loved to, but I was very happy with the last eighth of a mile. He picked himself up and came back to re-rally and secure the second place."

Right: Third place finisher El Grande O returns after the race. Trainer Linda Rice said, "This horse just shows up every time. For a moment, it looked like we might win the race at the eighth pole. Kendrick [Carmouche] said to take the blinkers off of him. He can't see the horses coming, but once he does, he comes again. So, that's what we're going to do. I think the mile is fine, but frankly, he ran well at 1 1/8 miles too, so we're going to go to the Wood and I think we will take the blinkers off of him."

horse racing
Super Chow wins the Tom Fool Handicap

Immediately before the Gotham, a field of 7 older horses contested the $175,000 Tom Fool Handicap (G3) over 6 furlongs on the main track. Say Florida Sandy Stakes winner Rotknee was sent off as the 7-5 favorite over 11-4 second choice Super Chow, winner of the Toboggan (G3), and 7-2 Twenty Four Mamba off two straight allowance wins.

Jockey Madison Olver sent Super Chow to the lead through fractions of 22.74 and 46.06 while pressed by Rotknee and stalked by 14-1 Manny Wah. Into the lane Rotknee tired allowing Super Chow to open up a 1 1/2 length lead on Manny Wah through 5f in 58.19. Kept to task by Olver, Super Chow held off Manny Wah the rest of the way to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:10.86. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to 9-1 Stage Left third, while favorite Rotknee faded to finish 6th beaten 6 lengths.

Results Chart
Previous winners

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Super Chow in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Jorge Delgado said, "I give all the credit to the jockey Madison Olver. She rode the horse the way that she wanted, I think in the end that was the best decision. I was a little scared when I saw him go 22 on this kind of racetrack, but she figured it out I guess, and she felt comfortable doing that and won. I give all of the praise to her, she's been galloping the horse every day since he got to New York. She got really close to the horse and they're doing pretty well."

Right: Super Chow heads out to the track. Winning jockey Madison Olver said, "It's such a feeling of how bad he wants it and how hard he will try for you. It's an incredible feeling and there's no way to put it into words. I've been confident and I've been getting on him every day since his last win. I've loved how he's been training and he's really tough in the morning. He's been feeling good and is happy as can be. I was very confident and was wondering how it would play out with the other speed in the race, but he was sharp today."

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Second place finisher Manny Wah returns after the race. Jockey Ramon Vazquez said, "The other horse was the favorite in the race, my horse still ran really good. My horse tried hard, and I'm so happy with the race. [Super Chow] came out but it never bothered me. He got a length and a half in front of me so that is not an excuse." 

Right: Third place finisher Stage Left walks over before the race. He improved his record to 12 wins, 7 seconds, and 7 thirds in 46 starts, earning $731,983 for owner-trainer David Jacobson.

horse racing
Jody's Pride wins the Busher Stakes

The distaff counterpart to the Gotham is the $200,000 Busher Invitational Stakes featuring a field of 7 three-year-old fillies also going 1 mile on the main track, worth 50 points to the winner as part of the Kentucky Oaks Championship Series. Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) runner-up Jody's Pride was sent off as the 9-10 favorite over 3-1 second choice Gin Gin, winner of the Busanda, and 7-1 third choice Regulatory Risk off her maiden win at third asking.

Jockey Mychel Sanchez sent 9-1 Carmelina to the lead through fractions of 23.62, 46.81, and 1:11.96 while pressed by 24-1 Princess Mayfair and stalked by Jody's Pride. Into the lane Jody's Pride swept to the lead 6 wide through 7f in 1:24.78. Kept to task by Jose Lezcano, Jody's Pride drew off to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Carmelina in 1:38.49. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to Gin Gin third.

Results Chart
Previous winners

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Jody's Pride in the winner's circle. Winning owner-breeder Steve Weston said, "[Lezcano] gave her a great ride. We were hoping to draw the outside and we did. There was a lot of speed in the race, we thought Chad's horse [Regulatory Risk] had a lot of speed and [Carmelina] as well. We knew there was a lot of speed so we wanted to sit off somewhat, but we didn't know who it was going to be. As Jorge said, she probably would like to go longer. Being off since November, it was a great trip."

Right: The trophy presentation. Winning trainer Jorge Abreu said, "I was a little concerned about the track being wet because she had never been on it, but that was the only concern I had. She had never even galloped on a wet track before. It was a pretty solid field, too. I think we had a great post. I was concerned about getting the one or two hole here, but when I saw the six-hole, I said, 'Great.' I'm going to see how she comes out of it and probably [come back] here in the Gazelle, and then the Kentucky Oaks."

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Second place finisher Carmelina returns after the race. Trainer Butch Reid Jr. said, "Valiant effort from my filly. First time off of a bit of a break and I thought she ran great. She didn't give up, she is certainly a tough little filly. We will get her back and re-evaluate, but she certainly didn't do anything to change my mind [about the Oaks]. Jockey Mychel Sanchez added, "We put up a good pace even though she made it look easy, we were definitely running all the way around. It was her first time going long in the dirt, I think she ran huge and definitely think she will get better in her next start, hopefully on the Oaks trail." 

Right: Third place finisher Gin Gin walks over before the race. The Brad Cox trainee improved her record to 2 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 6 starts, earning $206,508 for owner-breeder Calumet Farm.

horse racing
Kinetic Sky wins the Stymie Stakes

A field of 8 older horses contested the $150,000 Stymie Stakes over the one-turn mile. Petulante was sent off as the 2-1 favorite, unraced since winning the Salvator Mile (G3) at Monmouth last June, over 3-1 second choice Castle Chaos, a close second in the Fred Hooper (G3) at Gulfstream, and 7-2 third choice Coastal Mission, 5th in the Cigar Mile (G2).

Jockey Ramon Vazquez sent 10-1 Quality Chic to the lead out of the chute through fractions of 23.86, 46.64, and 1:11.50 while pressed by Petulante and stalked by 16-1 Laughing Boy. Into the stretch Quality Chic continued to lead through 7f in 1:24.17 but 5-1 fourth choice Kinetic Sky, 6th early under Jose Lezcano, came out 10 wide and rallied to win by a nose in 1:27.08. It was 1/2 a length back to Petulante third.

Results Chart
Previous winners

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Kinetic Sky in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Jose Lezcano said, "He gave me a very good race. Rick [Dutrow, Jr.] had him ready and the horse was there for me the whole way. I got kind of a tough [post] position inside today and when I asked him to go and get position outside, he was there for me and went on to finish up."

Right: The trophy presentation. Lezcano added, "My horse was always there. He broke good and we were sitting well where we sat."

horse racinghorse racingLeft: Second place finisher Quality Chic walks over before the race. Jockey Ramon Vazquez said, "I got a very good trip. I knew where to put my horse. My horse ran really, really good. They just beat me there at the last jump.  I don't really have any excuses for my horse. My horse got on the lead and got it very easy, and when I asked him, he responded very well. The other horse that beat me just was a little bit better."

Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Petulante in the paddock before the race. The Richard Dutrow Jr. trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 7 starts, earning $254,555 for owner Lugamo Racing Stable.

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