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Ladies Handicap Preview: Lucky Move Steps Back Up
Lucky Move winning the Bay Ridge (Credit: NYRA / Chelsea Durand)

Ladies Handicap Preview: Lucky Move Steps Back Up

OZONE PARK, NY – After back-to-back state-bred stakes scores, Ten Strike Racing’s Lucky Move steps back up to face open company in Sunday’s $100,000 Ladies Handicap at Aqueduct.

The Ladies Handicap is a 1 1/8-mile dirt route restricted to fillies and mares ages 4 and up. 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 Ladies Handicap:

1. Lucky Move 4/1 – She exits back-to-back triumphs against her fellow New York-breds in the Empire Distaff Handicap at Belmont Park and the Bay Ridge Stakes over this course and distance last time out. She’s showing no signs of slowing down at the ripe age of 7 and 4 of her 7 wins came against open company rivals, including the 2020 Obeah Stakes.

2. Smooth With a Kick 3/1 – She receives some needed class relief after finishing a well-beaten fifth in the Falls City Handicap (G2), her first try at the graded level. She finished third in last September’s rather live Twixt Stakes at Laurel Park behind a pair of next-out winners (including one in a stakes) and has won 2 of 4 starts at this distance, both times at Saratoga.

3. Bridlewood Cat 15/1 – She makes her second start back after finishing fifth in the local 6-furlong Garland of Roses Stakes, her first appearance in almost 3 months. She started her career hot, winning 2 of her first 3 starts in late 2019 and earning low 90s Beyer Speed Figures, but she’s failed to come close to winning or matching that same performance level since then.

4. Miss Marissa 7/2 – She rode a 3-race win streak last summer and fall, highlighted by a neck score in October’s Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) at Pimlico going this same distance. She failed to attend the pace in the Comely Stakes (G3) and finished a well-beaten sixth after never factoring into the running, but she should bounce back if she runs close to the early lead here.

“She breezed real well yesterday,” trainer James Ryerson said. “We’re excited about running. We’re hoping we get a good track, but whatever we get, we’ll try either way and hopefully she’ll show up.”

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5. Am Impazible 8/1 – Though she took her time getting to the track, not debuting until late in her 3-year-old season, she wasted little of it finding the winner’s circle, breaking her maiden in her second start. She hasn’t stopped winning and rides a 4-race streak into her first attempt routing and against stakes rivals, but if these new scenarios don’t affect her, look out.

6. Ujjayi 6/1 – She returns to the stakes ranks still seeking her second score at this level since she won the local 7-furlong Ruthless Stakes 24 months ago. The good news is that she’s run 3 straight strong races since changing to the Mike Maker barn, including a dominating 3 1/4-length victory going a one-turn mile here last month against optional claimers.

7. Thankful 5/2 – The Chad Brown trainee broke her maiden going this distance at Saratoga last August, then backed it up with a game head victory in a one-turn allowance mile event at Belmont Park over Mrs. Danvers. That rival turned the tables on Thankful in the Comely (Thankful finished third), but that rival also had her way on the pace and doesn’t show up here.

“She’s real straightforward,” said assistant trainer Whit Beckman. “No bad habits and nothing too tricky about the filly. You just take her out there and she does the rest. She’s easy to be around and has a professional attitude. That makes a good racehorse.”

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