Juddmonte Farm’s homebred Hail will headline a field of six 3-year-old fillies looking to enhance their resumes on Thursday at Aqueduct Racetrack in the 45th running of the $100,000 Busanda at 1 1/8 miles.
As an official points-bearing prep for the Kentucky Oaks on May 4 at Churchill Downs, the Busanda winner will receive 10 points toward a berth in the Oaks, with four points going to second, two to third, and one to fourth.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Hail will step up against stakes company following an impressive 3 3/4-length maiden special weight victory at a mile on December 30, her second career start. A chestnut daughter of leading sire Tapit, Hail will race with first-time Lasix and be ridden again by Dylan Davis. The pair will break from post position 5.
Hail will face a challenge from Klaravich Stable’s Wealth Effect, a supplemental entrant from the barn of Chad Brown. By Curlin, Wealth Effect broke her maiden at second asking and closed out her juvenile campaign with a pair of on-the-board efforts against optional claiming company, finishing a respective third and second in her two starts at the Big A. Wealth Effect will have the services of Junior Alvarado from post 3.
The Kentucky Oaks prep event will go off as race 3 on Aqueduct’s Thursday card. The field from the rail out includes: Midnight Disguise, Oldfashioned Style, Wealth Effect, Take Charge Tina, Hail, and Incleveland.
#5 Hail – After a flashy maiden special weight score last time out, it’s no surprise that Hail will jump right into stakes company. The Juddmonte homebred looked fantastic when stretching out to a mile and is bred to like this longer distance even more. Two of her siblings have had major success – Lockdown ran well last year, and Close Hatches won close to $3 million in her career. Hail’s speed figures have been a bit light so far, which is a concern, but she could be a filly that’s going to do her best running when it counts. Mott likes to bring horses along patiently, so eventually, this filly is likely to run a big race.
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#3 Wealth Effect – This certainly doesn’t look to be one of Chad Brown’s best 3-year-olds by any stretch, but she fits into this race very well. After three races on the turf, Wealth Effect switched to dirt for her last start, finishing second in an allowance race over this track. She came with a little bit of a run and looked like a horse that needed more ground. She’ll get more ground here, as that race was at a mile, while this race will be a mile and 1/8. This filly is by Curlin, so expect her to get better with age. She might have found the right field here to pick up a stakes victory.
#1 Midnight Disguise – She’s been solid in three starts, with two wins and one second that came last time out in the $100,000 East View Stakes against state-bred company. She has to go up against open company in this spot, but this field doesn’t possess any real world-beaters. It’s a positive that she has experience over this track, as all three of her races have been at Aqueduct. She looks to be an honest horse that you can lean on in the underneath spots.
#2 Oldfashioned Style – If you can get past her last race, then there’s a lot to like about this filly. She broke her maiden at Saratoga over the summer, then came back to finish second in the Grade 3 Tempted Stakes at Aqueduct in November. She then shipped to Laurel Park for the $100,000 Gin Talking Stakes, but faltered badly and finished sixth, beaten 14 lengths. Despite some solid success, she never really gets bet in any of her races, but she fits in well with this group and is in with a small shot.
#4 Take Charge Tina – She could be interesting if her price is good enough. She really struggled in her first two races, but when she moved to Parx last time out, she dominated a maiden special weight by 7 3/4 lengths. That win was eye-opening, but now she has to prove that she can do it on the NYRA circuit while also moving up in class. Her breeding suggests a mile and 1/8 is in her realm, and she might get out to an easy lead in this one. If so, she could take this field a long ways and be tough to pass in the stretch. The setup could be right for her.
#6 Incleveland – She broke her maiden two starts back at Parx but struggled to a distant third-place finish in her last start. It’s worth a shot to enter her in this small field, but she looks to be overmatched. Also, I’m not sure that the added distance is something that she will enjoy.