The curtain comes down at Aqueduct
By Bob Ehalt
After a marathon six-month-long stay in Ozone Park, New York racing fans will say goodbye to Aqueduct this weekend.
With Belmont Park set to open next week and the Kentucky Derby two weeks away, the Big A will close its doors for racing until the fall with a few minor stakes this weekend.
Saturday’s card will feature two stakes, the $100,000 Woodhaven for 3-year-olds on turf, and a $100,000 New York Stallion Park Avenue Division stakes for 3-year-old fillies bred in New York State.
The Woodhaven attracted a field of field of five with Sand Dancer the 7-5 morning-line favorite. Trained by Tim Hills, Sand Dancer is coming off a second-place finish in a Gulfstream Park allowance race.
Fifty (9-5) is an intriguing possibility, with wins in his last two starts, but is untested on turf.
Archaggelos (5-2) is also worth a look, owning a graded stakes win on a synthetic surface at Woodbine. He also won his last start on turf, a maiden race at Laurel in September.
The rest of the field also includes Infield Is In (15-1) and Nine Route (5-1).
The Stallion Stakes is a much better wagering proposition with a field of nine, topped by Pure Siler, the 5-2 morning-line choice.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Pure Silver has not raced since December 16 when she lost by a nose in a state-bred Stallion stakes. She was also second in the Key Cents Stakes for state-breds in her previous race.
Orchid Party (3-1), trained by Rudy Rodriguez, enters off three straight wins, but is making her stakes debut.
My Roxy Girl (9-2) is also in great form at the moment, finishing first or second in five of her last six starts. Included in that stretch is a second in the Franklin Square Stakes on Feb. 24.
Aunt Babe (6-1) won the Franklin Square and the December Stallion Series stakes, beating both My Roxy Girl and Pure Silver, but is coming off a sixth in the Cicada, an open stakes race.
Our Super Nova, second in the Maddie May for state-breds, and Wegetsdamunnys are both 8-1 on the morning line.
The rest of the field includes Cathy Naz (20-1), Baby Boss (12-1) and Giant Boxer (20-1).
Looking ahead to next week, Belmont Park opens on Friday.
The following week, Interbets customers should finalize their plans for Kentucky Oaks Day (May 4) and, of course, Kentucky Derby Day (May 5).