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OZONE PARK, NY – Anderson Stables’ Lady Kate takes a much-needed class drop as she makes her 2021 debut in Friday’s $150,000 Distaff Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct.
The Distaff Handicap is a 7-furlong dirt sprint restricted to fillies and mares ages 4 and up. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on an 8-race card and has a local post time of 4:34 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Distaff Handicap:
1. Honor Way 8/5 – Seemingly still going strong at age 7, she makes her seasonal debut after ending 2020 winning 2 straight dirt sprint stakes, the 7-furlong Pumpkin Pie at Belmont Park and the local 6-furlong Garland of Roses. The distance specialist has an 11-4-1-2 record when running 7 panels on dirt and reunites with jockey Jose Ortiz, who has a 9-6-1-1 record aboard the Charlie Baker trainee.
2. Lady Kate 9/5 – She takes a step back in class after ending 2020 running in 3 straight Grade 1s: the La Troienne (finishing second), the Spinster (fourth), and the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (10th). The Eddie Kenneally trainee won 2 straight last summer including the Groupie Doll Stakes at Ellis Park and has a sharp early turn of foot that may be matched by one or more of the rivals to her outside.
3. Kansas Kis 8/1 – She returns to the stakes ranks after finishing third in the local 6-furlong Correction last time out and has never missed the board at The Big A, compiling a 9-2-4-3 record while exclusively running in one-turn events over this course. She was a nose away from winning last year’s Busher Invitational Stakes and trainer Ray Handal hits at 17% in Aqueduct dirt sprints.
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4. Paris Lights 5/2 – After finishing third on debut in a 7-furlong sprint, she stretched out to try routing and won 3 straight, including the 1 1/8-mile CCA Oaks (G1) at Saratoga. Off since that route last July, she’s worked steadily at the Payson Park Training Center in Florida with trainer Bill Mott’s A-squad and brings the barn’s go-to rider Junior Alvarado with her, but is this just a prep for longer races this summer?
5. Portal Creek 6/1 – She switched to the Juan Carlos Guerrero barn last summer and went on a tear at Parx, winning 3 of 4 starts before transferring to the Aqueduct circuit for the winter. After finishing second by a neck in a sloppy edition of the 1-mile Go For Wand Handicap (G3), she was fourth in the Interborough Stakes and second in the Heavenly Prize Invitational last time out.
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