December 7, 2018
Dream Pauline is preferred in the Garland of Roses
By Matt Shifman
The 2018-2019 Aqueduct Winter Meet kicks off on Friday and features 46 stakes races worth nearly $5 million in purses. Highlighting the stakes schedule are three stops on Kentucky Derby trail – the Jerome (G3) on New Year’s Day, the Withers (G3) on February 2, and on March 9 is the Gotham (G3).
The first stakes race of the meeting comes on Saturday. The $100,000 Garland of Roses drew a field of five in which three of the fillies won their most recent starts. The six-furlong sprint is great illustration that small fields can still be interesting races to bet and handicap.
Yorkiepoo Princess (ML 5-1 ), who was purchased for the bargain price of $8,000 as a 2-year-old in 2016, has career earnings of more than $400,000. Her six victories include the November 25th Autumn Days at the Big A which came off the turf.
“She came out of the Autumn Days super,” said trainer Eddie Barker. “That was our main reason for running back here. She’s continued to flourish coming out of that race and we know she likes it here at Aqueduct so we’re thrilled to run and like our chances.”
Trainer Linda Rice sends Sower (ML 3-1 ) into the Garland of Roses after a five-length frontrunning victory in the Pumpkin Pie at Belmont Park at the end of October. She has an impressive record of 7: 4-0-2 with earnings of over $250,000.
“She’s continued to train well coming out of the Pumpkin Pie and we’re excited about running her at this distance in which she’s had success,” Rice said. “She ran well at seven furlongs last out, and we’re hoping she can work out another good trip in here.”
Vertical Oak (ML 1-1 ) ships up to New York from Steve Asmussen’s Kentucky barn after a pace pressing victory in the Dream Supreme at Churchill Downs on Breeders’ Cup weekend. This 4-year-old filly sold for only $20,000 and now has won purses exceeding $700,000.
Dream Pauline (ML 5-2 ) will look to turn the tables on Vertical Oak after she ran third in the Dream Supreme when she had a troubled trip. The Stonestreet home-bred, who will be making just her the fourth start of her career, appears to have a perfect set-up for her off-the-pace running style as the rest of the field prefers to race on or near the lead.
“She’s doing very well,” said McLaughlin. “She had a rough trip at Churchill, but since then she appears to be rounding back into form. She’s a very talented filly so we’re excited about her prospects.”
Rounding out the field is Tigalalu (ML 12-1 ) from the barn of Mark Hennig. This 3-year-old daughter of Curlin has never finished off the board in five starts.
The Garland of Roses is carded as race five out of nine with post-time scheduled for 2:17pm ET.