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Trainer Christophe Clement is hopeful that third time will be the charm with multiple Grade 1-placed millionaire Soldier Rising as he makes his third straight start in the Grade 2, $300,000 Red Smith for 3-year-olds and upward going 11 furlongs over the inner turf at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The Red Smith is carded as Race 9 on Saturday’s 10-race program, which also features the Grade 3, $200,000 Pebbles [Race 6]. First post is 11:50 a.m. Eastern.
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Owned by Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, Morris Bailey, and Michael J. Caruso, Soldier Rising finished a respective third  and ninth  in the past two runnings of the Red Smith. This year, the 5-year-old Frankel gelding has finished a late-rallying second in four Grade 1 turf events on the circuit, completing the exacta in the Grade 1 Man o’ War in May and the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino Manhattan in June, as well as the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer in August at Saratoga Race Course and the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont at the Big A.
Although he has yet to win a stake since joining Clement’s stable in the summer of 2021, Soldier Rising was a two-time allowance optional claiming winner in the NYRA circuit last year. Two starts after a win going the Red Smith distance over a yielding Widener turf course at Belmont, he came from seven lengths off the pace to win by a head going 1 3/16 miles at Saratoga.
“He’s doing great. He’s finished second in four Grade 1 races in New York this year, so it would be nice to finally win a race at some stage,” said Clement, a two-time Red Smith winning trainer. “I don’t think anyone has been more consistent this year than him in the New York turf division.”
Jose Ortiz, the pilot aboard Solider Rising in 10 of his starts, will have the mount from post 8.
Trainer Mike Maker will unleash a pair of formidable contenders in Cross Border [post 4, Manny Franco] and Red Run [post 9, Ruben Silvera].
Three Diamonds Farm’s New York-bred Cross Border enters from a redeeming triumph in the 12-furlong Cape Henlopen on September 16 at Delaware Park. The evergreen English Channel 9-year-old brags field-high earnings of $1,333,258 through a record of 52-13-8-7, including back-to-back victories in the Grade 2 Bowling Green at Saratoga in 2020-21. His lone victory at the Big A took place at the Red Smith distance in a November 2019 allowance event.
Cross Broder, bred in the Empire State by Berkshire Stud and B.D. Gibbs, had a brief five-race stint over the jumps with the Mid-Atlantic based conditioner Keri Brion, for whom he won going 2 1/16 miles in March at Aiken.
Jordan Wycoff’s Red Run was a last out fourth in the Sycamore after a 1 1/4-length allowance triumph in September going nine furlongs over the Churchill Downs turf. The 4-year-old Gun Runner colt has finished no worse than fourth since being claimed by Maker in March from Hall of Fame conditioner Steve Asmussen, and collected stakes placings when second in the Isaac Murphy Marathon in May at Churchill Downs and third in the Grade 2 Brooklyn in June at Belmont.
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Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle Harrell Ventures’ Lost Ark [post 1, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] following a triumph in an off-the-turf Jockey Club Derby Invitational on October 7 at Belmont at the Big A.
Lost Ark, by Violence, will return to turf two starts after finishing third in the Grade 3 Saranac on September 1 at Saratoga. He also will face elders for the first time since a four-length allowance optional claiming conquest in his sophomore debut going 1 1/16 miles at Monmouth Park.
Lost Ark is a half-brother to last year’s Champion 3-Year-Old Filly Nest, who recently sold for $6 million at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale. They both are out of the A.P. Indy mare Marion Ravenwood.
Stepaside Farms’ Nineeleventurbo [post 6, Joel Rosario] makes the journey to New York for Hall of Fame trainer Neil Drysdale after capturing a 12-furlong second-level allowance on October 14 over good ground at Keeneland. The 6-year-old More Than Ready gelding was previously second in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap in September, finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind Grade 1-winning millionaire Gold Phoenix.
Completing the field are the Naipaul Chatterpaul owned and trained So High [post 2, Romero Maragh], who finished third at 90-1 in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic; Main Event [post 3, Eric Cancel] for trainer George Weaver; multiple graded stakes-placed Limited Liability [post 5, Kendrick Carmouche] for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey; the Nader Mubarak-trained Marwad [post 7, Javier Castellano]; graded stakes-winner Verstappen [post 10, Declan Cannon] for trainer Brendan Walsh; the Tom Morley-trained graded stakes-winner Tide of the Sea [post 11, Isaac Castillo]; and graded stakes-winner Master Piece [post 12, Jose Lezcano].
Classic Catch, Shawdyshawdyshawdy, and Daunt have been entered as also eligible. Costa Terra has been entered for main track only.
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