OZONE PARK, NY – Godolphin’s Shared Sense has proven himself against highly competitive graded stakes company during his sophomore campaign and will try to end a prosperous season on a high note when facing four other 3-year-olds in Saturday’s 76th running of the $100,000 (G3) Discovery at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The 1 1/8-mile event over the main track honors Alfred G. Vanderbilt II’s 1935 Horse of the Year, who notched 3 straight victories in both the Brooklyn Handicap and Whitney Handicap from 1934-36. Regarded as one of the greatest horses of the 20th century, Discovery’s notable resume earned him a spot in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1969.
Trained by Brad Cox, Shared Sense, who boasts a consistent 10-4-2-0 record and lifetime earnings of $447,745, arrives at the Discovery off a 2-length triumph in the Oklahoma Derby (G3) on September 27 at Remington Park. The bay son of Street Sense took command with a furlong and 1/2 out to the finish, holding off an inside rally from two-time winner Mo Mosa. The victory registered a career best 94 Beyer Speed Figure.
Two starts earlier, Shared Sense made his 9-furlong debut a winning one when capturing the Indiana Derby (G3) on July 8 at Indiana Downs by 3 lengths over subsequent Kentucky Derby contestants Major Fed and Necker Island.
Shared Sense has earned his 4 trips to the winner’s circle at 4 different tracks. Prior to becoming a graded stakes winner, he was elevated to first in his third career start going two turns for the first time in a Churchill Downs maiden special weight last November and defeated winners going 1 mile on February 29 at Oaklawn Park.
“He definitely knows how to take his show on the road,” said Jimmy Bell, President of Godolphin’s North American operations.
Since his Oklahoma Derby triumph, Shared Sense has put together a series of five works over the Churchill Downs main track, including a 5-furlong breeze in 1:01 flat on November 21.
Bell said he is hopeful Shared Sense can parlay a successful campaign into his 4-year-old season.
“We’ve sort of chosen the path less traveled,” Bell said. “He’s done fantastic this year. He’s been a bit of an overachiever. He’s run against some tough competition here, there and yonder. We gave him a bit of a breather after the last go around. It’s the last chance to run against straight 3-year-olds and there’s always some tough knockers up there in New York, so we’re giving it a chance.”
Godolphin vies for their second Discovery triumph after winning in 2013 with Romansh.
A Kentucky homebred, Shared Sense is the first progeny out of the Bernardini mare Collective, who is full sister to graded stakes winner and multiple Grade 1-placed Penwith.
Jockey Jose Lezcano will climb aboard Shared Sense for the first time from post 1.
Dual stakes winner Monday Morning Qb will return to the Big A after finishing fourth in the Withers (G3) on February 1.
Owned by Chuck Zacney’s Cash Is King Racing and LC Racing, Monday Morning Qb bested his Maryland-bred counterparts last out in the Maryland Million Classic on October 24 at Laurel Park, where he sat close to the pace and drew off to a 3 1/4-length triumph over Pimlico Special (G3) winner Harpers First Ride.
However, it was his runner-up effort in the September 7 Federico Tesio at Laurel, his first start since the Withers, that really captured the attention of trainer Robert ‘Butch’ Reid, Jr., where he finished 1 1/2 lengths to next-out Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) winner Happy Saver.
“The Tesio was really the race that set him up,” said Reid. “He showed that day how nice of a horse he really is, and I thought it was impressive for him to run like that off a layoff. He came out of his last race well and put up some nice, sharp breezes since that effort. It’s a good opportunity to run against straight 3-year-olds and we’re looking forward to running on Saturday.”
Reid commented on his horse’s size and said that even as a 2-year-old, he displayed an imposing stature.
“He was over 1,200 pounds as a 2-year-old, so he’s a big, heavyset dude,” Reid said.
Reid blamed the result in the Withers on a poor break but said that he has developed and matured well since his last outing in New York.
“He doesn’t switch leads well turning for home and he hasn’t come out of the gate well, which is what cost him in the Withers,” said Reid. “He’s a much improved horse since then.”
Bred in Maryland by Cary Frommer and Bowman and Higgins Stable, Monday Morning Qb is by Grade 1-winning millionaire and second-crop sire Imagining and is the first progeny out of the Not For Love mare How My Heart Works.
Dylan Davis will pilot Monday Morning Qb from post 2.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott will send out Forza Di Oro after a sharp victory in a first-level allowance event in his first start in 10 months.
Owned and bred by Don Alberto Stable, Forza Di Oro dwelt at the start of his September 2019 debut at Belmont Park before closing to finish second to eventual multiple graded-stakes placed Ajaaweed. The Speightstown chestnut graduated at second asking in October 2019 in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight at Belmont ahead of a disappointing off-the-board effort last December in the Remsen (G2) at the Big A that sent Forza Di Oro to the shelf.
Forza Di Oro, trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, enters the Discovery from an impressive victory off the layoff when rallying to a neck score after a hesitant start in a 1 1/16-mile allowance tilt against older horses on October 9 at Belmont Park.
“That’s nothing compared to last year,” said Mott assistant Leana Willaford of the slow start last out. “Last year, first time out, he stood in the gate and spotted the field many lengths but still came running to be second. We did a lot of gate work with him and he was able to win second out.
“He came out of the Remsen with a little problem, so we gave him a little time,” added Willaford. “He came back and won well. We thought he was a good horse last year and I still think he is, but we had to get him over a few little speedbumps.”
Junior Alvarado has been aboard for all of Forza Di Oro’s career starts and retains the mount from post 3.
Trainer Dale Romans will send Jim Bakke and Gerald Ibister’s Attachment Rate after a sharp first-level allowance triumph on October 29 going 1 1/16 miles over a sloppy main track at Churchill Downs.
The last out victory provided a touch of class relief for the Hard Spun chestnut, who raced against stakes company in his previous 6 starts, which included a third-place effort in the Gotham (G3) on March 7 at the Big A, where he finished 2 lengths to Mischevious Alex. Prior to his last out allowance score, Attachment Rate was 14th to Authentic in the Kentucky Derby (G1) on September 5.
Jockey Jose Ortiz will be aboard from post 5.
Rounding out the field is LLP Performance Horse’s Ralston, who invades from South Florida and makes his first start outside of the Sunshine State for trainer Carlos David.
The son of second-crop sire Tapiture defeated winners last out going 1 mile at Gulfstream Park West, where he led at every point of call to defeat stablemate Glory of Florida.
Jockey Kendrick Carmouche will pilot Ralston from post 4.
The Discovery is slated as Race 3 on Aqueduct’s 10-race program, which offers a first post of 11:50 a.m. Eastern. America’s Day at the Races will present daily television coverage of the Aqueduct fall meet with coverage to air on FOX Sports and MSG Networks.