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Aqueduct Picks | Maddie May Stakes 2024
My Mane Squeeze (NYRA)

Aqueduct Picks | Maddie May Stakes 2024

William Butler’s New York homebred My Mane Squeeze will vie for her third consecutive stakes victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Maddie May, a one-turn mile for state-bred sophomore fillies, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The Maddie May is slated as Race 8 on Sunday’s nine-race program. First post is 12:50 p.m. Eastern.  

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Trained by Mike Maker, the daughter of Audible put together back-to-back stakes triumphs at Aqueduct when capturing the one-mile Maid of the Mist in October over fast and sealed footing before a three-month respite. She returned to action on January 14 when cutting back to 6 1/2 furlongs to take the state-bred Franklin Square under returning pilot Jose Lezcano [post 10].

In the Franklin Square, My Mane Squeeze stalked in fifth three lengths off the pace in the early stages before inching closer to be within a half-length of the lead at the half-mile call. She responded strongly to urging from Lezcano in the turn to take a head advantage over returning rival Bernietakescharge, who battled back gamely down the lane as the pair drew well clear of their four rivals.

My Mane Squeeze was able to kick clear of Bernietakescharge in the latter stages and crossed the wire 1 1/4 lengths clear in a final time of 1:18.76. She was awarded a career-best 88 Beyer Speed Figure for the effort.

The talented dark bay finished third on debut in August at Saratoga Race Course and graduated at second asking with a dominant 4 1/2-length triumph in September over the same course. She finished third in the seven-furlong Seeking the Ante in September at Belmont at the Big A when making her stakes debut en route to her recent pair of wins.

Out of the three-time winning Speightstown mare In Spite of Mama, My Mane Squeeze is a half-sister to the Maker-trained Butler homebred Rotknee, who is graded stakes-placed with five stakes victories.

My Mane Squeeze has banked $238,960 in total purses through a record of 5-3-0-2.

Wizard Stables’ Walk With Me [post 7, Dylan Davis] will look to make amends from a game runner-up effort last out in the $500,000 NYSSS Fifth Avenue sprinting seven furlongs against fellow eligible state-sired juvenile fillies on December 16 here at Aqueduct.

Trained by David Duggan, the Central Banker bay rated 1 3/4 lengths off the early pace, but was bumped and shuffled back to eighth at the half-mile call. Despite the trouble, Walk With Me responded gamely and rallied late to land place honors 2 1/2 lengths behind the victorious My Shea D Lady.

Walk With Me graduated on debut sprinting six furlongs against state-breds in November with a gutsy wire-to-wire score by a head over Call Her Bluff. Duggan said he expects the talented filly to relish added ground in her first start beyond sprint distances.

“She seems to handle any track, and I think she’ll get a little better when she goes a mile,” said Duggan. “It seems like it’s stacked with speed, so you’ll be riding a similar type of race [to the Fifth Avenue]. She’s trending in the right direction and you get the acid test of finding out where you belong.”

Walk With Me has worked regularly over the Belmont Park dirt training track since the Fifth Avenue, most recently covering three furlongs in 38.05 seconds Monday.

“Her works are good and I like the way she’s going,” Duggan said. “It will be a nice testing ground.”

The $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling Sale purchase was bred by Richard Nicolai and is out of the dual stakes-placed Posse mare Might Be, who finished second in the 2017 Empire Distaff Handicap going 1 1/16 miles at Belmont.

Blue Streak Racing, Victory Circle Racing and Dark Horse Racing Stable’s Rumint [post 9, Kendrick Carmouche] makes her stakes debut off a winning graduation sprinting six furlongs on January 14 here at Aqueduct.

Trained by Keri Brion, Rumint went head-to-head for the early lead with Zhen Lou through an opening quarter-mile in 23.23 seconds over fast footing. She responded with aplomb when coaxed by Carmouche in the turn to take a two-length lead at the top of the stretch and galloped home a 2 3/4-length winner in a final time of 1:14.71. She was awarded a 61 Beyer in victory.

“She did what she had to do and the track was kind of dead that day. She was professional and hopefully she can keep on progressing,” said Brion. “Kendrick got off her and said he can’t wait to ride her going longer. She seems like a filly that wants to stretch out and the mile seems like the next logical step. She seems nice, so we’ll give it a shot.”

Brion emphasized how impressed she was with Rumint’s latest workout when covering six furlongs in 1:13.80 on February 9 at Fair Hill.

“She had a very, very impressive work the other day and did it on the bridle,” said Brion. “It was pretty ‘wow.’ Obviously, she’s got to do that in the afternoon, but it definitely proved she came out of her race probably better than she went into it. Fingers crossed.”

The Munnings chestnut was bred by John Lauriello and was a $10,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern Fall Yearling Sale. She is out of the winning Mutakddim mare Humint, a half-sister to graded stakes-winner and Grade 1-producing sire Teuflesberg.

Brion, a multiple Grade 1-winning steeplechase trainer, said Rumint is an exciting prospect to demonstrate what she can accomplish with flat dirt horses.

“She’s mature and is one of those fillies that does everything right and does everything you ask her,” said Brion. “It’s great to have a horse at this level. Everyone thinks I can only train on the grass, so it’s great to have the support of owners like this and it’s nice to have a filly like this.”

Lael Stables’ impressive maiden winner Landed [post 4, Jose Gomez] makes her first appearance since her open-lengths graduation on December 17 here at Aqueduct.

Trained by Wesley Ward, the Omaha Beach bay led each step of the way to power home a 5 1/2-length winner of a one-mile state-bred maiden that included next-out winner Collect the Data.

A $500,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale, Landed is out of the winning Medaglia d’Oro mare Glory Gold and is a half-sister to the multiple graded stakes-placed Venti Valentine and multiple stakes-winner Espresso Shot.

She was bred by Final Furlong Racing Stable and Maspeth Stable.

Robert Rosenthal and Bradford Bernstein’s homebred Bernietakescharge will face a rematch with My Mane Squeeze after her last-out runner-up effort in the Franklin Square for trainer Domenick Schettino.

The daughter of Take Charge Indy went three-wide in pursuit of the lead after tracking in third through the first quarter-mile and dueled gamely with My Mane Squeeze through the turn and into the Aqueduct stretch to give a valiant effort under Trevor McCarthy and come up 1 1/4 lengths shy of victory.

Bernietakescharge debuted on grass when third in a 1 1/16-mile maiden in August at Saratoga Race Course and relished a surface change when brought back to one mile to earn a pacesetting victory in an off-the-turf test two weeks later.

She made her stakes debut in October in the state-bred Maid of the Mist at Aqueduct and finished fourth after being bumped in the turn and crossed the wire 4 1/4 lengths behind My Mane Squeeze.

McCarthy retains the mount from post 2.

Completing the field are:

  • Stakes-winning Cara’s Time [post 1, Eric Cancel] for trainer Mitchell Friedman
  • Stakes-placed Munny Grab [post 6, Manny Franco] for conditioner Horacio De Paz
  • Maiden winner Baroness Bourbon [post 3, Romero Ramsay Maragh] for trainer James Bentley Begg
  • Maiden winner Midnight Concerto [post 5, Maddy Olver] for conditioner Kenny McPeek
  • The Melanie Giddings-trained maiden winner Blue Eyed Warrior [post 8, Lane Luzzi]