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Gin Gin Seeks Kentucky Oaks Spot in Busher

With only 14 spots in the starting gate available for the Kentucky Oaks (G1), the scramble for qualifying points has much different look than the more celebrated chase for Kentucky Derby (G1) points.

Yet in the case of the March 2 Busher Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct Racetrack, a victory in the mile $200,000 race for 3-year-old fillies should be enough to deliver a starting spot in the May 3 Lillies for the Fillies at Churchill Downs.

Especially if you already have some points in the bank.

Which is the case with the two most intriguing starters in the field of seven.

Calumet’s homebred Gin Gin , a daughter of Hightail  , already has 26 points and is seventh on the Oaks leaderboard, mostly due to a win in the mile-and-an-eighth Busanda Stakes at the Big A.

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Meanwhile, Parkland Thoroughbreds and Sportsmen Stable’s Jody’s Pride  will make her 3-year-old debut after finishing second for trainer Jorge Abreu in the Nov. 3 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). The American Pharoah   filly has 15 points and is 18th on the list.

Gin Gin, out of the Hard Spun   mare Before You Know It , has two wins and two seconds in five starts for trainer Brad Cox and was second in the Rags to Riches Stakes.

“She’s always been very steady in the mornings and a good workhorse. She always carries good flesh and she obviously handled everything very well at Aqueduct last time. She’s cutting back to a one-turn mile, but she broke her maiden going seven-eighths at Churchill so we’re pretty confident she can handle a one-turn race,” Cox said.

Cox said the April 6 Gazelle Stakes (G3) at the Big A was a possibility for Gin Gin based on what happens Saturday.

“Hopefully, we’ll get a good trip and she can continue to march forward and if all goes well we can look at the Gazelle afterwards,” Cox said. “They only run 14 in the Oaks and we didn’t get in last year with Punchbowl, so you do have to make sure you get enough points.”

Jody’s Pride, bred by Steve Weston of Parkland Thoroughbreds and named after his wife, fell a neck short in the Juvenile Fillies, suffering her first loss in three starts. She had previously won the Matron Stakes at Aqueduct. 

She is a daughter of the Scat Daddy mare Jody’s Song.

Entries: Busher S.

Aqueduct Racetrack, Saturday, March 02, 2024, Race 7

  • STK
  • 1m
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 4:01 PM (local)

Tom Fool draws a field of eight

As one of the four stakes on Saturday’s card, the $175,000 Tom Fool Handicap (G3) drew a field of eight older sprinters headed by Lea Farms’ Super Chow  (Lord Nelson), a decisive winner of the Big A’s Toboggan Stakes (G3), and Susan Moulton’s Manny Wah  (Will Take Charge ), the runner-up in the Toboggan.

Super Chow will once again be ridden in the six-furlong stakes by Madison Olver, who registered her first graded stakes victory in the Toboggan.

Entries: Tom Fool H. (G3)

Aqueduct Racetrack, Saturday, March 02, 2024, Race 9

  • Grade III
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $175,000
  • 4 yo’s & up
  • 5:06 PM (local)

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