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OZONE PARK, NY – Repole Stable and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Vacay will try to remain undefeated after facing five rivals in Saturday’s $100,000 Franklin Square Stakes at Aqueduct.
The Franklin Square is a 6 1/2-furlong dirt sprint restricted to New York-bred 3-year-old fillies. This year’s edition is the penultimate event on a 9-race card and has a local post time of 3:50 PM.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Franklin Square:
1. Vacay 8/5 – The sharp-starting Not This Time filly won her debut by 1 3/4 lengths while going 6 1/2 furlongs over a sloppy Belmont Park main track, then dominated her own kind by 5 1/2 lengths in the local 6-furlong Key Cents Stakes. Off since that mid-November event, she has worked well for her return and trainer Todd Pletcher succeeds at 20% after similar layoffs.
2. Secret Love 6/1 – She broke her maiden on debut by 6 1/4 lengths in a 6-furlong Belmont Park main track sprint, then finished second in a local dash while going that same distance against state-bred optional claimers. A second contender by hot sire Not This Time, she was returning from a 3-month layoff last time out and could improve in her second start back.
3. A Life That’s Good 8/1 – She broke her maiden last time out when covering 6 furlongs over this course, crossing 5 1/2 lengths clear while defeating nine others, including a next-out winner. She closely pressed the pace that day and led during the first half of her debut (a 7-furlong turf sprint at Belmont Park), so expect to be her featured prominently early.
4. Laobanonaprayer 6/5 – The deserving morning line favorite has won 2 straight state-bred stakes, a 5 1/2-length maiden-breaking effort in the Maid of the Mist and a dominating 8-length triumph in the NYSSS Fifth Avenue. She’s never missed the board in 4 starts, having finished second and third against open company maidens at Delaware Park to start her career.
“We’re excited,” said her owner/trainer Daniel Velazquez. “She’s doing really well and it’s a good spot for her to win. We were going to try open company, but we figured why do that when we could run against New York-breds? She’s extremely versatile.”
5. Rossa Veloce 6/1 – The field’s most experienced runner (with 5 starts to her name) exits a gate-to-wire local score against Secret Love and others in a 6-furlong state-bred optional claiming event. She broke her maiden on debut but failed to threaten late in 3 stakes attempts, with her best finish to date a well-beaten second in the Key Cents behind Vacay.
6. Caramocha 20/1 – She broke her maiden on debut by 4 1/4 lengths while running 6 furlongs over this course, springing a 99.75/1 upset while running on her wrong lead in the lane. A well-beaten fourth behind Rossa Veloce and Secret Love in her second and most recent start, she needs to take a major step forward from a Beyer Speed Figure perspective to contend.
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