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Notebook Preview: Blue Gator Favored in NY-Bred Showdown
Gator winning the NY Breeders' Futurity (Credit: SV Photography)

Notebook Preview: Blue Gator Favored in NY-Bred Showdown

SOUTH OZONE PARK, NY – Three Diamonds Farm’s Blue Gator is favored among a septet of youngsters born in the Empire State who will contest Saturday’s $100,000 Notebook Stakes at Aqueduct.

The Notebook is a 6-furlong dirt sprint restricted to 2-year-olds foaled in New York and approved by the New York State-bred Registry. This year’s edition is the seventh event on a 10-race card and has a local post time of 2:45 PM.

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

1. Storm Shooter 6/1 He broke his maiden at second asking with a dominating 4 1/4-length romp in a sloppy off-turn Belmont Park event 2 weeks ago. Owned by, bettors hoping for a square price like his morning line may be disappointed; this Todd Pletcher trainee was favored at 3/5 in his debut and at 9/5 in his winning appearance.

2. Market Alert 10/1 – He returns from a two-month break for trainer James Ryerson, who saddled him to a 3 1/4-length debut score in June on a fast Belmont Park main track. He was a well-beaten seventh in the Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) while trying his hand at open company rivals for the first time, then finished fourth in the Funny Cide Stakes last time out.

3. Half Right 8/1 – He makes his first start for new trainer Christophe Clement after spending the summer with the west coast-based Doug O’Neill’s New York string. He broke his maiden on debut by 2 1/2 lengths in a fast off-turf 5 1/2-furlong sprint at Saratoga, then set an inside pace before fading to fourth in the 7-furlong Bertram Bongard Stakes at Belmont Park.

4. Eagle Orb 3/1 – He cuts back to the shortest distance that he’s attempted since he broke his maiden at Saratoga on debut, getting first across the wire by 1 length in a 6-furlong dash. He finished second in the Funny Cide and fifth in the Bongard while favored, then most recently finished second in the Sleepy Hollow Stakes after setting the pace.

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5. Horn of Plenty 6/1 – The least-experienced runner in the field steps up to the stakes ranks with just 1 start under his belt, a 1 3/4-length victory in a 6 1/2-furlong event at Belmont Park last month. Trainer Rob Atras knows how to keep winning horses at the top of their game: he hits at 31% with a positive ROI when saddling last-out victors.

“He had trained well in the morning and showed a little ability,” Atras said. “He was still a little bit raw and a little bit green, but he showed he had some natural talent. I thought the inside post would be difficult for him to overcome going 6 1/2, but he did it. I was very impressed with him. I expected a good effort, but I was very impressed with the way he ran.”

6. Lookin for Trouble 4/1 – The William Butler homebred broke his maiden at second asking for trainer Mike Maker, taking his own kind gate to wire before winning by 2 3/4 lengths. The quick-footed Into Mischief colt has led at third call in all 4 starts, including the Funny Cide (finished third) and the Bongard (second) in his 2 most recent efforts.

7. Blue Gator 2/1 – Maker’s second entry is the only runner in this field who has multiple victories and he has also never crossed the wire behind other horses. After breaking his maiden over 6 furlongs at Belmont Park, he won a sloppy edition of the New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes while covering the same distance.

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