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Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Steven Rocco, and William Branch’s Big Everest will strive to keep a spotless Aqueduct Racetrack record afloat when attempting to defend his title in Sunday’s ninth running of the listed $150,000 Artie Schiller for 3-year-olds and upward going one mile over the inner turf.
The Artie Schiller, which honors the 2005 winner of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile, is carded as Race 8 on Sunday’s nine-race program at Aqueduct Racetrack, which also features the Grade 3, $300,000 Long Island. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.
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Big Everest, trained by Christophe Clement, is a perfect 3-for-3 when competing at the Big A, including a wire-to-wire victory by a half-length in last year’s running of the Artie Schiller. The 5-year-old British-bred son of The Gurkha made his 2023 debut a winning one when commanding through every point of call in the local Danger’s Hour on April 15 to win by a nose over next-out stakes winner Anaconda. Big Everest then shipped to Monmouth Park to defeat next-out stakes winner Smokin’ T in the 1 1/16-mile Cliff Hanger on 27, which was his most recent victory. He enters from a pair of unplaced efforts when fifth in the Grade 3 Kelso on July 15 at Saratoga and fourth in the Oceanport on August 13 at Monmouth.
“He’s doing well,” Clement said. “He’s fast, but he doesn’t have to be in front.”
Joel Rosario will ride from post 4.
A. Bianco Holding Limited’s dual surface stakes winner Pioneering Spirit [post 1, Jose Lezcano] is back in search of more prosperity following a 15 3/4-length score in an off-the-turf edition of the Knickerbocker on October 20 at Belmont at the Big A.
The Linda Rice-trained 4-year-old son of American Pharoah was haltered for $40,000 in March and graduated at 13th asking on May 11 at Belmont Park to kick off a four-race winning streak. Following his maiden score, he defeated starter allowance company on June 4 going nine furlongs at Belmont before winning a first-level allowance on June 27 over the same track. He then captured an allowance optional claimer going the Long Island distance on July 29 over the inner turf at Saratoga Race Course en route to a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer Invitational on August 27 at the Spa.
Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale will send out Alice C. Bamford’s Kentucky homebred St Anthony [post 9, Paco Lopez] following a victory in the one-mile Red Bank on September 4 at Monmouth Park. The 4-year-old Noble Mission bay entered that event from an allowance optional claiming coup going 1 1/16 miles at the Jersey Shore oval. St Anthony earned prior stakes prosperity on the west coast, capturing the Alcatraz last May at Golden Gate Fields and the Robert Dupret Derby last August at Santa Rosa.
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Trainer Chad Brown will saddle a pair of competitive contestants in dual Grade 1-placed Masen [post 8, Manny Franco] and three-time winner Exact Estimate [post 6, Irad Ortiz, Jr.].
A British Juddmonte homebred, Masen enters from his first start in one calendar year when finishing ninth in the Grade 2 Nearctic on October 8 at Woodbine. The 5-year-old Kingman bay was previously conditioned overseas by Ger Lyons and was second in his North American debut when beaten a nose to Shirl’s Speight in the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile last April at Keeneland. He followed the strong performance with a five-length win in the Seek Again last May at Belmont before capturing the Grade 3 Poker last June over the Belmont Widener turf. He followed these wins with a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Fourstardave last August at Saratoga, finishing behind Casa Creed as well as stablemate and eventual Champion Turf Female Regal Glory.
Klaravich Stables’ Exact Estimate, by Into Mischief, will make his stakes debut following a local allowance optional claiming victory in September over stakes-winner Freedom Trail. The 4-year-old bay colt campaigned over the main track in his first two starts before graduating in his turf debut on March 17 going 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream Park. He defeated winners going one mile on June 17 at Belmont, two starts before his last performance.
After five placings at state-bred stakes company this season, Repole Stable’s New York-bred Jerry the Nipper [post 5, Jose Ortiz] will dive into open stakes company for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. The 6-year-old son of Liam’s Map has finished in the money in all six starts of this year and enters from a pair of Belmont at the Big A placings behind Spirit of St. Louis when third in the Mohawk on October 29 and second in the Ashley T. Cole on October 6. His lone victory this year took place against open allowance optional claiming company on July 30 at Saratoga.
Jerry the Nipper was bred in the Empire State by St. Elias Stable and Peta Ryan.
Completing the field are stakes-placed Bring Me a Check [post 2, Dylan Davis] for trainer Pat Reynolds, two-time winner James Aloysius [post 3, Javier Castellano] for trainer Tom Morley, and the Blake Kelly-trained stakes-placed Wicked Finn [post 7, Junior Alvarado]. Offaly Cool, Sheriff Bianco, and Kinetic Sky have been entered for main track only.
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