Aqueduct’s Top Flight Invitational kicks off Cross-Country Pick 5
By NY Hot List Staff
The $200,000 Top Flight Invitational Handicap for older fillies and mares kicks off Saturday’s Cross-Country Pick which this week includes Grade 1 stakes from Oaklawn Park and Keeneland.
The Top Flight, which will be run at a mile and eighth on the main track, drew a field of six with Forever Liesl from the barn of Michelle Nevin named as the 2-1 morning line favorite by linemaker David Aragona.
Midnight Disguise [ML 6-1], who drew the rail for Linda Rice, continues her 2019 comeback. The New York-bred makes her third start off a layoff from May after running fourth in the Heavenly Prize at the Big A where she has a record of 8: 4-2-0.
“She had a soft tissue injury right after she won the stakes at Belmont,” Rice said. “We gave her quite a bit of time off after that and this will be her third race off the layoff.
Obviously, it would be nice if there was some speed given her late-closing running style. She has won at this distance at Aqueduct before, so I don’t think that distance should be a problem for her.”
Todd Pletcher sends out Another Broad [ML 8-1], who joined his barn after being purchased privately by a group headed by Sol Kumin’s Madaket Stables. She ran fourth in a graded stakes race at Gulfstream in her first start for Pletcher. Last year she won three times including a stake at Laurel.
Jump Ruler [ML 9-2] will make her debut for trainer Rob Atras after being claimed out of a victory last time for $62,500 from Kelly Breen. Jump Ruler was good enough to run in the Cotillion (G1) last year. Atras has made quite a splash with his gaudy statistics and whose new runners make significant improvement in their first start for him.
Frostie Anne [ML 5-2], who Rudy Rodriguez claimed in December 2017, has 10 victories in the past two years and an overall record of 13: 6-3-2 at Aqueduct. She won her last two starts – one in NY-bred stake and then a starter allowance.
My Miss Lilly [ML 7-2] has the most back class in this field with a victory in the Gazelle (G2) last year and a third in the Mother Goose. She will be making her second start since a June layoff for Mark Hennig.
“She probably needed the race,” Hennig said of her last-out effort. “We figured that it might be a little short for her, but she’ll appreciate more distance. She probably needed the race off the bench. She likes Aqueduct and is familiar with it. She’s run well there at the distance.”
Forever Liesl [ML 2-1] is a wet-track loving runner from Michelle Nevin. With all of the rain that hit the New York area this year, she had plenty of opportunity to build a 8: 4-2-1 record on off tracks.
Full card analysis for this Aqueduct card from the New York Hot List team, including the Top Flight, can be found on this website
The Top Flight is slated as race 8 on Saturday’s nine-race card with post time scheduled for 5:21 pm ET.
The Cross-Country Pick 5 includes the final two Kentucky Derby prep races – the Lexington (G3) from Keeneland and the Arkansas Derby (G1) from Oaklawn Park.
Leg 1 – Aqueduct Racetrack, Race 8: Top Flight Invitational Handicap (5:21 p.m.)
Leg 2 – Keeneland, Race 9: Grade 3 Lexington (5:30 p.m.)
Leg 3 – Keeneland, Race 10: Grade 1 Jenny Wiley (6:03 p.m.)
Leg 4 – Oaklawn Park, Race 9: Oaklawn Handicap (6:22 p.m.)
Leg 5 – Oaklawn Park, Race 11: Grade 1 Arkansas Derby (7:43 p.m.)