Gazelle S. (G3) — Race 9 (5:20 p.m. ET)
Trainer Chad Brown can make it a clean sweep of Aqueduct’s Road to the Kentucky Oaks preps if either Search Results or The Grass Is Blue can pull out a victory in Saturday’s $300,000 Gazelle S. (G3) over 1 1/8 miles. The Gazelle will offer Oaks qualifying points of 100-40-20-10 to the top four finishers.
Search Results, virtually in the April 30 Oaks courtesy of her half-length score in the Mar. 6 Busher S., looks the filly to beat in her two-turn debut. Although she entered the one-mile Busher with just a single start and victory, the daughter of Flatter came across as a filly with a bright future. Stablemate The Grass Is Blue, who captured the nine-furlong Busanda S. in late January, was a non-threatening third in the Busher.
Two fillies making a turf-to-dirt move are Mia Martina for Graham Motion and Alwayz Late for Bill Mott. Mia Martina was most recently fourth in the Florida Oaks (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs.
“We talked about it and thought this will be a good time to find out how she handles the dirt,” said Motion of the daughter of Not This Time. “She has a dirt pedigree. She’s a very straight-forwarded filly who looks like the further she goes, the better, so we thought the mile and an eighth might suit her.”
Stepping up off recent allowance wins are Hybrid Eclipse for Linda Rice and Army Wife for Mike Maker.
Carter H. (G1) — Race 6 (3:39 p.m. ET)
Chateau will attempt to steal another graded stakes at the Big A this year when he breaks outside four rivals in the $300,000 Carter H. (G1) over seven furlongs. The 33-start veteran was left alone on the lead in last month’s Tom Fool H. (G3), and the ex-claimer took full advantage with a decisive 3 1/2-length victory.
Mischevious Alex, who won the Gotham (G3) over this track last year and the Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) most recently, is likely the horse to beat from just off the pace. Grade 1 veteran Mind Control has won four of five at Aqueduct, but his current six-race losing skid commenced in last year’s Carter, which was run at Belmont in June.
The field is rounded out by Souper Stonehenge, recently second to the ill-fated Golden Shaheen (G1) winner Zenden in the Pelican S. at Tampa last out, and the Grade 1-placed Shoplifted.
Bay Shore S. (G3) — Race 4 (2:33 p.m. ET)
Drain the Clock, a creditable second in the Fountain of Youth (G2) last time when trying two turns, shortens up to seven furlongs for the $200,000 Bay Shore S. (G3). A dual stakes winner at Gulfstream over the winter, including the Swale (G3), he looms the horse to beat at a short price against just four rivals.
Excelsior S. (G3) — Race 8 (4:45 p.m. ET)
The $150,000 Excelsior S. (G3), for older horses over 1 1/8 miles, includes local mainstays Mr. Buff and Limonite, while graded performers Modernist and Haikal appear capable with their best form.