Saturday’s 200,000 Discovery (G3) represents an opportunity for Bonus Points to record his first graded victory. The Maryland-bred colt returns to Aqueduct in top form for Todd Pletcher, registering a career-best 96 BRIS Speed posting a 2 ¾-length victory in the October 21 Maryland Million Classic at Laurel Park, and he won’t face a formidable group of five rivals in the 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-olds.
The Discovery is one of three stakes at the Big A along with $150,000 Forever Together for turf distaffers and $125,000 Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship.
Bonus Points has plenty of experience in New York, including a runner-up Jerome (G3) early in the year, but his only previous stakes tally before the Maryland Million Classic came in the Parx Derby in early May. Nik Juarez picked up the mount last time and will stick with the late-running son of Majestic Warrior.
Control Group and Can You Diggit were separated by only a nose when finishing second and third in the October 21 Empire Classic at Belmont, with both New York-bred runners registering a 104 BRIS Speed rating, and neither can be dismissed from consideration in this spot. Rudy Rodigruez trains Control Group, who will add the services of Joel Rosario and ranks first in BRIS Prime Power (138.8). James Jerkens is responsible for Can You Diggit and Manny Franco rides.
Spieth tries stakes company following a couple of placings versus allowance foes and Irad Ortiz Jr. will be up for Kiaran McLaughlin, who will also send out multiple Grade 3-placed True Timber. Grade 3 scorer Senior Investment, unplaced in his last three outings, completes the field.
My Impression is the one to beat among seven fillies and mares in the Forever Together. A winner in 2-of-4 starts on the Aqueduct turf, including the Winter Memories last fall, the 4-year-old daughter of Sky Mesa proved to be an easy winner of the One Dreamer at Kentucky Downs two back and exits a neck second in the Athenia (G3) at Belmont Park in late October, Jose Ortiz sticks with the Shug McGaughey pupil.
Elysea’s World and Penjade, third and fourth in the Athenia, are also back. Bishop’s Pond, who finished second in the Plenty of Grace in her last appearance on Aqueduct’s turf, looks like the one to catch for John Servis.
The Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship attracted 13, including a pair of main-track only runners, and Bucchero wheels right back in the 6-furlong heat following a fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) in which he was beaten only a length after a less-than-clean trip. The 5-year-old broke through at the graded level with a convincing tally in the Woodford (G2) at Keeneland two back and Fernando De La Cruz will be in to ride for Tim Glyshaw.
White Flag is a contender for Christophe Clement. After reeling off maiden and allowance wins on Belmont’s turf during the summer, 3-year-old War Front colt returned from a freshening to capture the September 10 Allies Forces over the same course in his stakes debut. White Flag exits a rallying third as the favorite in the October 15 Neartic (G2) at Woodbine,
Winner of the Laurel Dash and My Frenchman this season, Snowday possesses good early speed and is eligible to make his presence felt following a close third in the October 7 Belmont Turf Sprint. Blind Ambition, Rainbow Heir and Ready for Rye are a few other runners of interest.