Two Hot List horses featured in Saturday’s La Verdad Stakes at Aqueduct
by Matt Shifman
The feature race on the first Saturday of 2019 at Aqueduct is the $100,000 La Verdad Stakes for older fillies and mares going seven furlongs. The race drew a large and very competitive field of 10 state-breds.
Of course, the race is named for the great New York-bred La Verdad who retired as a 6-year-old in 2016 with a career record of 25: 16-3-0 and earnings of $1,563,200. Owned by the Lady Sheila Stable which was headed by Sheila Rosenblum, she won 11 stakes races. The Linda Rice trainee had victories against fellow state-breds and also five graded stakes wins. In 2015, she was second in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint when she got run down in the final strides by Wavell Avenue.
The field of 10 includes two New York Hot List “B” horses in Pauseforthecause, the 7-2 morning line second choice, and the 6-1 fourth choice Byself. The Bill Mott trainee Satisfy is listed as the likely favorite with odds of 5-2.
Pauseforthecause is highly rated off her victory last time in an open company allowance race at Aqueduct when she got off to a slow start and then rallied down the middle of the track, taking command at the top of the stretch. She won that race after a brief layoff for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. Overall the daughter of Giant’s Causeway has won three of her last four starts.
“We had a bit of a wind issue that we took care of, not a big surgery, but we took care of a wind issue and it has helped her a lot. It was taken care of before she started winning, and she didn’t miss any time. We also got her back on the dirt going shorter. We thought because of her pedigree she’d be turf, but she’s better on the dirt,” said McLaughlin. “She’s doing really well right now and we think she belongs in this race and has a very good chance.
Byself ran in that same race with Pauseforthecause and finished second. She also made a big closing move in that allowance and now returns to seven-furlongs which is her best distance. This will be the second start for Byself for trainer Michelle Niven. She has only one race in her career where she did not run first or second.
The favorite Satisy has a stellar record of 7: 5-2-0. The daughter of Candy Ride has lost only once in her last five starts and that defeat came in the Iroquois just a neck behind the very talented Highway Star.
You can get full analysis of the race and the rest of the Aqueduct card by going to the New York Hot List picks. The La Verdad is carded as race eight out of nine with post time scheduled for 3:59 pm ET.