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Aqueduct Preview | Pebbles Stakes 2023: Sacred Wish Goes For First Graded Victory
Sacred Wish (NYRA)

Aqueduct Preview | Pebbles Stakes 2023: Sacred Wish Goes For First Graded Victory

Black Type Thoroughbreds, Swinbank Stables, Steve Adkisson, Christopher T. Dunn, and Anthony Spinazzola’s Sacred Wish will strive for her first graded victory against a field of nine in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Pebbles for sophomore fillies going one mile over the inner turf at Aqueduct Racetrack.

The Pebbles is carded as Race 6 on Aqueduct’s 10-race program, which also features the Grade 2, $300,000 Red Smith [Race 9]. First post is 11:50 a.m. Eastern.

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Trained by George Weaver, Sacred Wish enters from a fourth-place finish as the lukewarm favorite in the Grade 3 Valley View on October 27 at Keeneland. The Not This Time dark bay was second in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks in her debut for Weaver and three starts later finished a game second to Wet Paint in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks in July at Saratoga Race Course.

Following a distant seventh in the Grade 1 Alabama in August at the Spa, Sacred Wish captured her turf debut in the local Winter Memories by 1 1/4 lengths over returning rival Silver Skillet.

Hall of Famer John Velazquez will ride Sacred Wish from post 6.

Trainer Christophe Clement will saddle a pair of contenders in Silver Skillet [post 5, Joel Rosario] and Plentitude [post 2, Dylan Davis].

Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Tango Uniform Racing and Steven Rocco’s Silver Skillet will emerge from two week’s rest after finishing second in an off-the-turf edition of the state-bred Ticonderoga on October 29 at Belmont at the Big A. Bred in New York by Robert Chasanoff, the daughter of Liam’s Map set the tempo in the one-turn mile test and maintained her lead at the stretch call, but could not fend off the late rally of Amanda’s Folly and finished second beaten a neck.

Prior to finishing second in the Winter Memories, Silver Skillet won going the Pebbles distance on July 15 over the Saratoga inner turf before earning a stakes victory in the state-bred Suzie O’Cain on August 16 at the Spa.

“She’s very consistent, she tries hard every time,” Clement said. “It’s a bit aggressive, but it’s a good distance for her.”

CHC Inc.’s Kentucky homebred Plentitude, a full-sister to Grade 2 Pilgrim winner Agate Road, has not raced since finishing fourth in the 5 1/2-furlong Blue Sparkler in July at Laurel Park. The Quality Road bay won her first two starts on both dirt and turf, taking her debut in April going six furlongs over the Tampa Bay Downs main track before defeating winners at the same distance in June over the Belmont inner turf.

“She’s doing very well,” said Clement. “We’ve been a bit unlucky because of the weather conditions. She was supposed to run a few times in September and October, but we just couldn’t get her in. But she’s training forwardly.”

Plentitude is out of the Clement alumna Gemologist mare Yellow Agate, who won the Grade 1 Frizette in 2016.

Trainer Chad Brown will saddle a trio of competitive contenders is Rhiannon [post 8, Kendrick Carmouche], Startup Mentality [post 7, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] and Implicated [post 1, Manny Franco].

CHP Racing’s Rhiannon, by Medaglia d’Oro, enters from a seven-length romp in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on September 16 at Belmont at the Big A, where she earned a field-high 91 Beyer Speed Figure. The win came following a distant sixth on August 16 over a muddy and sealed Saratoga main track.

Klaravich Stables’ Startup Mentality made her lone start a winning one in July when going 1 1/16 miles over the Monmouth Park turf. The Kingman bay made up 9 1/4 lengths from last-of-8 to win on debut by 1 1/2 lengths.

Implicated will seek her second stakes victory after winning last year’s Chelsey Flower by one length over stable mate and eventual graded stakes-placed Tax Implications. The gray daughter of Connect emerged from a nearly one-year layoff to finish fourth beaten three lengths in a nine-furlong allowance optional claimer on October 19 at Belmont at the Big A.

Completing the field are On the Shortlist [post 3, Tyler Conner] for trainer Erin McClelland; the Timothy Shaw-trained Precious Avary [post 4, Silvestre Gonzalez], and the Jose Jiminez-trained Stephanie’s Charm [post 9, Katie Davis]. Just Katherine has been entered for main track only.