The Bernardini Stakes is back with a competitive group of nine runners. This race is the only race in the country that goes 10 1/2 furlongs which makes this race so intriguing. The big question coming into this race is Will Leitone be able to go gate-to-wire? I previewed the Bernardini in it’s entirety and my top choice may come as a surprise.
Aqueduct Fall Meet Statistics (11/7-2/28)
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Race 8: Bernardini Stakes: 4-year-olds and upward going 1 5/16 miles (10.5 furlongs) on the dirt
This race is very difficult to handicap, as the distance it’s being run is not very common. The Chilean Leitone figures to be the favorite for Jason Servis but the distance is a major question mark. He went this distance in last year’s Bernardini Stakes but never got the lead and faded in the stretch. Adventist is an interesting horse because of his running style. He is a deep closer that certainly enjoys longer races. He finished third to Mr. Buff in the Jazil Stakes, which is no shame as Mr. Buff has been dominant as of late. He has win under his belt going 1 1/2 miles as he won the Grade III Greenwood Cup by three lengths. The most interesting horse and my top choice is #1 Backsideofthemoon. Edgar Prado has a few different options with this 8-year-old gelding by Malibu Moon. He has the ability to be toward the front or close late. The versatility he provides makes him tough to beat. Assuming Leitone breaks out of the gate well, Backsideofthemoon will have an opportunity to be mid-pack. It’s vital for him not to be too far back because Adventist is a better closer and is primed to strike from deep.
Ricky’s Picks: 1-6-7-9