The Hill Prince
Straight three-year olds going a mile and an eighth on the grass in mid-November. I like it.
The Hill Prince at Aqueduct offers just that, and the race came up a bit more competitive than it may appear at first look.
Freedom Trail breaks from the rail and is one of the more experienced runners in the field. He has run in six different stake races albeit winning just one, and that was when he was two. He is second off the bench, gets Jose Ortiz, and ran well in an allowance non-winner of two last out finishing good. I think he has a punchers chance if things go just right.
Laurel Valley looks a cut below but does have some speed for Maker. I can’t get to him, but I won’t talk anyone off a Maker with speed in a grass stake.
Integration is two for two for Shug including a stake at Colonial. He has good numbers, was a pricey purchase at 700K, and probably goes favored. He obviously can win, but I will, try and beat him at a short price.
Equitize has not run since March at Tampa. He won that race easily and moves way up in class and company off a layoff. That said, with Chad you or at least I don’t worry about that move. If he spots him here, he likely belongs here. I think this Kingman colt could be a runner and I’ll land here despite this being a big ask and him taking more money than he would in a different barn with a different rider.
Faraday is another interesting one from Chad and is probably my second choice, He came around at three winning at both Saratoga and Kentucky Downs. It takes a nice horse to do that, and he appears to be one.
Toofareastiswest comes in on a roll. He will have to prove to me he is this good.
Quality Chic is another who looks a cut below and will have to show me.
I’m Very Busy was a highly regarded two-year old who ran in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. It took him three starts to put things together at three, and that is not typical of Chad’s better runners. I lean in other directions although I note Manny Franco lands here and he has ridden more winners for Chad the past two years than anyone.
Classic Catch tries turf for the first time for Pletcher who tried to get him on it his past two races. While somewhat of a question mark if he runs on grass like he does on dirt he should get a nice trip and contend.
Equitize has a big ask in front of him and he will have to be every bit as good as I believe he may be to get this done. If he is he likely has a bright future.