Long-distance Bernardini Stakes anchors Aqueduct’s Saturday card
By Matt Shifman
The mile and five-sixteenths $100,000 Bernardini Stakes will be an endurance test for a field of seven older males. The race kicks off the Cross-Country Pick 5 which combines races at Aqueduct and Oaklawn Park.
The 5-year-old Weather Wiz has been installed as the even money favorite. Last time out, the Jimmy Jerkens trainee was second behind a horse that went on to win a second allowance race in a row. Weather Wiz has not won a race since winning at Saratoga going a mile and an eighth.
“He’s been training good for this coming out of his last race,” said Jerkens. “Normally, we wouldn’t want to enter him right into a stakes race, but in his last race he kept trying to close on the leader [Stan the Man], who came back to win. The way he’s bred, he should appreciate the distance.”
Shalako, who is 12-1 in the morning line, is an alternative to using Weather Wise at a very short price. He was a front running winner of a mile and three-sixteenth starter allowance last time out for trainer Michelle Nevin.
“I thought his last victory was good enough to deserve a shot in here,” said Nevin. “We’ll have to see where he draws, but he handled going 1 3/16 miles last time, so hopefully he can get a favorable post and work out a good trip.”
The New York Hot List offers Hit It Once More (8-1) as one of its “B” horses based on a troubled trip in a strong allowance race last time out.
Another longshot to consider is Forewarned (15-1), who ships in from Parx for owner and trainer Uriah St. Lewis. Remember that he shipped Discreet Lover to New York last year with great success. This Ohio-bred is relatively new to the barn of St. Lewis and had success going the longer distances in the past.
For full analysis of Saturday’s card at Aqueduct, including the Saturday Special Pick 3 which paid $113 last week, go to the New York Hot List analysis on this website.
Here is the schedule for the NYRA-Oaklawn Park Pick 5.
Leg 1 – Aqueduct, Race 8: Bernardini (4:50 p.m.)
Leg 2 – Oaklawn, Race 7 (5:02 p.m.)
Leg 3 – Aqueduct, Race 9 (5:20 p.m.)
Leg 4 – Oaklawn, Race 8: Spring Fever (5:32 p.m.)
Leg 5 – Oaklawn, Race 9 (6:02 p.m.)
All the action will be shown on FOX Sports Saturday At The Races, airing 3-6 p.m. ET on FS2. The live broadcast will feature the Cross-Country Pick 5 races, along with three stakes races at Gulfstream Park — the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, the Grade 2 Davona Dale, and the Grade 3 Honey Fox.