Rice has powerful hand in Aqueduct stakes
By Bob Ehalt
The Triple Crown Trail will be well-traveled this weekend, with Saturday’s Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds, which could provide a couple of starters for the Kentucky Derby.
Meanwhile, at Aqueduct, the focus of attention will fall on a much different collection of horses.
The $100,000 Maddie May Stakes for New York State-breds tops Saturday’s 10-race card and will be contested as the third race of the day.
The one-turn mile stakes shapes up as a duel between two uncoupled stablemates in trainer Linda Rice’s barn.
Split Time is listed as the 7-5 favorite as she makes her stakes debut off a pair of wins. The daughter of Take Charge Indy is coming off a 5 ¼-length win in an allowance race and a 6 ¼-length score in a maiden test, both of them contested on a wet track. She also has some experience on a dry track, finishing second in her career debut.
Breezy Gal, the 8-5 second choice, had made two starts in her career that were different by 180 degrees. In her debut, she lost by 13 ¾ lengths while finishing sixth at 18-1 odds in a 6 ½-furlong sprint on Jan. 19. In Breezy Gal’s second start, Rice stretched her out to a mile and good things were expected as she was bet down to 3-1 – and realized. She romped to a 13 ¼-length victory on March 9.
Under Suspicion (5-2) is the third choice and is also exiting a maiden win, prevailing by a half-length in a Feb. 3 start that was her first race since Aug. 30.
The small field of five also includes longshots Cause We Are Loyal (10-1) and Our Super Nova (12-1).
Fans who can’t make it to an Interbets branch on can check out a full slate of racing action on FOX Sports Saturday At The Races. The 2 ½-hour show can be seen from 4-6:30 p.m. on FOX Sports 2 (FS2).
The show will feature the races in Saturday’s Cross Country Pick 4, which starts with the eighth race at Aqueduct, with a post time of 4:56 p.m., followed by the Santa Monica Stakes at Santa Anita, race 11 at Gulfstream Park and finally, the Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park.