1/13/17 By Bob Ehalt
Consistency is a highly coveted virtue in horse racing, and when it comes to reeling off one sharp effort after another it’s hard to find someone like Royal Posse.
Since running second on May 31, 2015 and being claimed for $20,000 by trainer Rudy Rodriguez on behalf of owner Michael Dubb, Royal Posse has put together a phenomenal streak of 15 straight races in which he finished first or second – the last 12 of them coming in stakes.
On Saturday, the 6-year-old New York State-bred gelding will put that streak on the line, while seeking a fifth straight win to boot, when he headlines the $125,000 Jazil Stakes at Aqueduct.
After becoming a millionaire in his last race – a half-length victory in the Claiming Crown Jewel Stakes at Gulfstream Park – Royal Posse was pegged as a 7-5 favorite in a field of six. Though the old adage says good things don’t last forever, the prospect of a Sweet Sixteen for Royal Posse seems likely in a race in which he was second a year ago.
Royal Posse will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. in the mile-and-70-yard stakes.
The main rivals figure to be Bay of Plenty (5-2), who is coming off an awful effort on a wet track in the Queens County Stakes, and Doyouknowsomething (7-2) who was last seen posting a victory by a neck in quick time over Send It In, who won a state-bred stakes in his next start.
The rest of the field includes Res Judicata (12-1), Sunny Ridge (6-1) and Grasshoppin (20-1).
Saturday’s Aqueduct card also features the $100,000 Ruthless, a six-furlong stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
Yorkiepoo Princess, the 2-1 morning-line choice, figures to be the favorite off a solid victory in the Furlough Stakes in her last start.
The speedy filly is not just the only stakes winner in a field of seven, but four of her rivals are coming off a win in a maiden race.
Two of those recent winners should be the main competition for the Ed Barker-trained filly. Bride Street (5-2) was a front-running of her debut on Nov. 27 at Aqueduct, while Waves of Blue (3-1) also went gate-to-wire in her debut, winning over a sloppy track at Gulfstream.
The field also includes Banty’s Girl (8-1), a closer who might benefit from a quick pace, Treatherlikeastar (15-1), Tiz Rae Anna (6-1) and Kissin Cassie (30-1).
The Busanda will be contested as the third race on the nine-race card. The Jazil is slated for the fifth race of the day.