Gotham Stakes (G3) Cheat Sheet

Track: Aqueduct

Purse: $300,000

Distance: One Mile

Points: 50-20-10-5 to first four finishers

With all the speed horses in this race, the closer Haikal could get the perfect setup to pull a major upset.  Instagrand is good and he could just as well be much faster than the other runners, but he will face a lot of pace challenge and has a lot of things going against him like shipping, the distance and his layoff.  Much Better can sit off the pace and be successful, and with Baffert and Smith teaming up I would not count this horse out.  Mind Control hasn’t been getting as much attention, but this is his home track and it is his ideal distance.

1 – Family Biz (30/1)

  • Fed Biz – I’mclassyandsassy by Master Command
  • Edward Barker / Kendrick Carmouche
  • Running style: closer
  • 7-1-2-2
  • 3rd by 5 ½ lengths in 1-mile Jerome
  • Most recently 4th by 4 ½ lengths in 7 furlong Jimmy Winkfield
    • Facing several of the same challengers again
  • Would need very fast pace to be a major factor
  • Faces major class challenge

2 – Knicks Go (12/1)

  • Paynter – Kosmo’s Buddy by Outflanker
  • Ben Colebrook / Jose Lezcano
  • Press the pace
  • 7-2-1-1
    • Great juvenile season winning G1 Breeders’ Futurity by 5 ½ and 2nd in BC Juvenile
  • Looks to be going downhill since his juvenile season
    • 11th by 18 ¾ lengths as favorite in G2 KY Jockey Club in slop
    • 5th by 13 lengths as favorite in G3 Sam F. Davis
  • Cutting back in distance, but will have a lot of pace challengers to deal with
  • Needs big time rebound to prove he can still compete at this high level

3 – Mind Control (9/2)

  • Stay Thirsty – Feel That Fire by Lightning N Thunder
  • Gregory Sacco / John Velazquez
  • Pacesetter / press the pace
  • 5-3-1-0
  • Won 1-mile Jerome at Aqueduct by 1 ½ lengths in 3yo debut
    • Same conditions as this race
      • Mile seems like his best distance
    • Tougher field than he has faced with a lot of early speed to battle
    • Two year old season: Won G1 Hopeful in 3rd start before troubled trip led to 7th in G1 BC Juvenile
    • Contender

4 – Much Better (10/1)

  • Pioneerof the Nile – Dust and Diamonds by Vindication
  • Bob Baffert / Mike Smith
    • Duo rarely defeated together in NY and Baffert rarely send horses to NY to lose
  • Pacesetter / press the pace
  • 5-2-1-1
  • Stakes placed on turf, but looks to prefer dirt
    • Debut winner on dirt as a 2 year old at Del Mar
    • Never outside of the money on dirt
    • 3rd in the Sham (G3) after being near the hot pace
  • Recently front running 3 ½ length winner of allowance sprint at Santa Anita
    • 2-for-2 sprinting and 0-for-3 going long
  • Can perform well sitting off the pace, so if he does that he can hit the board

5 – Haikal (6/1)

  • Daheer – Sablah by Distorted Humor
  • Kiaran McLaughlin / Rajiv Maragh
  • Closer
  • 3-2-1-0
  • Won or lost by a neck in all three races
    • Broke maiden before winning the Jimmy Winkfield in last start
    • All starts have been at Aqueduct
  • Stepping up in class while stretching out to a mile for the first time
  • Projected speed in this race will set up his strong closing move, making him a live longshot

6 – Instagrand (1/1)

  • Into Mischief – Asset of War by Lawyer Ron
  • Jerry Hollendorfer / Javier Castellano
  • Pacesetter
  • 2-2-0-0
    • Undefeated
  • $1.2 million 2yo purchase won 2 sprint races by combined 20 ¼ lengths including G2 Best Pal
  • First start since August, going past 6 furlongs, and shipping outside California
    • Distance wise this race is good move to test his distance ability, but will be facing several other horses who prefer to run near the lead
      • Might just be faster than challengers given what we saw last year
    • Has had several solid workouts leading up to this and is the top choice, but not worth the price

7 – Not That Brady (5/1)

  • Big Brown – Lisa’s Booby Trap by Drewman
  • Rudy Rodriguez / Reylu Gutierrez
  • Pacesetter
  • 6-2-2-0
  • 3 length winner of Damon Runyon Stakes for NY breds before 2nd by head to Tax in G3 Withers
    • Cutting back in distance here
  • Had uncontested pace in last 4 starts, but he will not get that here
  • Needs to take step forward to win this against improved competition, but drawing outside of the other speed horses will help him
  • Has dealt with a quarter crack between races

8 – Tikhvin Flew (12/1)

  • Street Sense – Chatique by Deputy Minister
  • Steve Asmussen / Dylan Davis
  • Press the pace
  • 2-1-0-1
  • 1 ¾ length winner in debut before 3rd in Jimmy Winkfield by 2 lengths with both at Aqueduct
    • Home track advantage
  • Lackluster performance against NY-breds in last start
    • This will be first time running against open company
  • Has talent, but faces major class jump and this race seems like a tough test for him