Midnight Disguise returns to the site of her 4 1/4-length romp in the Busanda Stakes Saturday when facing seven fellow sophomore fillies in the $200,000 Busher Stakes at Aqueduct.
The one-mile contest is part of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks series and will award 50-20-10-5 points to the respective top four finishers.
Midnight Disguise already earned 10 points, thanks to her Busanda win, and will attempt to pad her spot on the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard with the winner’s share on Saturday. The Linda Rice trainee captured her initial race by 6 1/2 lengths against maiden claimers, then posted a two-length win in a starter allowance on December 21. She made her sophomore bow a runner-up effort in the January 14 East View Stakes but returned just 11 days later to dominate the Busanda.
Jockey Trevor McCarthy was aboard for Midnight Disguise’s past two races and stays in the saddle here.
War Heroine sandwiched a subpar sixth in Santa Anita Park’s Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) between a 6 3/4-length maiden victory at Del Mar last November and a half-length score in the February 11 Sweet Life Stakes over Santa Anita’s turf. Returning to the main track in this spot, the Peter Miller filly will try to transfer the form that saw her earn a 94 BRIS Speed rating on grass to dirt under jockey Junior Alvarado.
My Miss Lilly stretches out to a mile here after finishing third in the seven-furlong Forward Gal Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park on February 3. The Mark Hennig-trained daughter of Tapit broke her maiden prior to that by 2 1/2 lengths at Aqueduct going six furlongs on a sloppy, sealed track. Manuel Franco takes the mount for the first time in this spot.
Youvegottopaytopla scored her career bow by 4 1/4 lengths at Mahoning Valley on February 5 for trainer Eric Reed and brings along jockey Edgar Paucar for this first try against winners. Sara Street makes her stakes bow in this spot following a 1 3/4-length maiden win on February 4 at Aqueduct. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee pulled away late in the 6 1/2-furlong affair and retains the services of Dylan Davis on Saturday. Blue Union Rags took six tries to break her maiden, finally getting the job done by three lengths on January 27 at Laurel Park. Kendrick Carmouche has the call on the John Servis charge.
Rounding out the Busanda field are Gypsy Janie, claimed out of a seven-length victory going six furlongs at Aqueduct on February 1 before returning 18 days later at the same track to be second in a one-mile starter allowance, and season debuter Shamrock Rose, who tries dirt for the first time here after competing over Woodbine’s turf and synthetic Tapeta last year.