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Interborough Preview: Will Saguaro Row Defend Title?
Saguaro Row winning the 2020 Interborough (Credit: NYRA / Chelsea Durand)

Interborough Preview: Will Saguaro Row Defend Title?

OZONE PARK, NY – Trainer Mike Stidham’s Saguaro Row will attempt to defend her 2020 title in Monday’s $100,000 Interborough Stakes at Aqueduct.

The Interborough 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 3:50 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Interborough:

1. Needs Supervision 4/1 – She returns to Aqueduct for the second time after finishing fourth in the 2019 Go For Wand Handicap (G3). She won the Safely Kept Stakes going this distance at Laurel Park in the start prior to her Aqueduct debut and she should be much sharper cutting back after finishing fifth in the 1 1/8-mile Allaire DuPont Stakes (G3).

2. Saguaro Row 3/1 – She makes her second start back after finishing a well-beaten fourth in the local 6-furlong Garland of Roses Stakes, her first appearance in nearly 10 months. Stidham succeeds at 18% with horses making their second starts after similar layoffs and she’s proven more than once that she likes this track (4-2-1-0 record).

“She’s definitely shown that she prefers that surface,” Stidham said. “Her first race back, she wasn’t quite 100% tuned up and she’s never run well down on the inside, so we’re hoping now with a race under her belt and a better trip that she’ll come back into form. We’re just hoping for a better trip, but I think she’s 100% ready and tight for this one.”

3. Alisio 9/2 – She makes her second start back after 11 months away and can’t do much worse than she did upon return, finishing last of nine in November’s 6-furlong Primoneta Stakes at Laurel Park. The Godolphin homebred was making her first start since Bill Mott took over for the retired Kiaran McLaughlin and should be much improved here.

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4. Bella Aurora 20/1 – She won back-to-back races at Laurel Park in late 2019, including the 7-furlong Gin Talking Stakes, but she couldn’t find that same success in 5 subsequent starts. This would mark her third start of the current form cycle if she runs; she’s cross-entered in Saturday’s What A Summer Stakes at Laurel Park.

5. Call On Mischief 6/1 – She makes her first start for new trainer Kelly Breen, who tagged her for $62.5k out of a runner-up effort going 6 furlongs over this course against optional claimers. She failed to finish better than fourth in 4 prior stakes tries, but Breen succeeds at 34% first off the claim with a healthy $2.54 ROI and has won 2 of 3 when running back in a stakes.

6. Portal Creek 6/5 – She nearly pulled off a 7/1 upset in the Go For Wand Handicap (G3) last time out, finishing second by a neck over a sloppy local one-turn mile. She’s won 3 of 5 starts while never missing the board since changing to the Juan Carlos Guerrero barn and should be dangerous on the cut-back, especially if she catches a cleaner main track.

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