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Connections Eye Black Type for Xigera in Mother Goose

After running a graded stakes-quality speed figure in winning the Seneca Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs last month, Rigney Racing’s Xigera  was considered for the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Santa Anita Park before her connections opted for a less ambitious spot.

That alternative race comes a week before the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in the Oct. 28 Mother Goose Stakes (G2) during the Belmont at the Big A meet. The 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies is one of three stakes on Saturday’s 11-race program at Aqueduct, along with the $300,000 Forty Niner Stakes (G2) and the $135,000 Awad Stakes.

A longtime fixture at Belmont Park in late June or early July, the $250,000 Mother Goose was repositioned on the New York stakes calendar this year.

The timing suits Xigera, who earned a 102 Equibase Speed Figure Sept. 23 in winning the 1 1/16-mile Seneca Overnight Stakes in 1:41.92. The victory was her third in four starts this year and fourth in eight career races. She crossed the wire 6 1/4 lengths in front.

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That race understandably had her connections excited for further opportunities with the  3-year-old daughter of Nyquist  .

Reflecting on Breeders’ Cup consideration, “We talked in circles about it and decided that maybe the best thing at the moment would be to get her a graded black type win, if we can,” trainer Phil Bauer said.

Xigera has a top-level stakes placing from her 2-year-old year in the 2022 Alcibiades Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, but no existing graded stakes wins. She took the ungraded Tepin Stakes on turf this summer at Ellis Park.

“She’s one of the favorites in the barn because she is one that takes her race anywhere and we’re certainly excited to try,” Bauer added.

Kentucky-based jockey Julien Leparoux travels to New York for the ride.

Her Rivals

Entries: Mother Goose S. (G2)

Belmont at the Big A, Saturday, October 28, 2023, Race 8

  • Grade II
  • 1 1/8m
  • Dirt
  • $250,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 3:48 PM (local)

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