It won’t be easy to come up with the trifecta in Saturday’s $250,000 Withers (G3) but there is $200 waiting for the horseplayer that does.
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The Withers is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race and drew a field of 11 three-year-olds that will travel 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct on Saturday.
Five contenders in the field exit the Jerome which was won by Courvoisier from the Kelly Breen barn. The son of Tapit is the 9-2 third choice in the Withers.
“He’s always been a big boy. He was a big boy at birth and he’s filling in,” Breen said. “He’s a nice horse and I think that the longer the better for him. We have high hopes for him – let him show it on the track.”
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The 3-1 morning line favorite is the Chad Brown trained Early Voting. The colt broke his maiden in his debut on Dec. 18 over the Aqueduct main track going one mile, sent off as the 4-5 betting favorite.
“It really seems like he’s progressed well off his first race. His works have been excellent and I’m excited to see him run back,” said Brown assistant trainer Dan Stupp. “He’s bred to run all day and we thought the longer the better since we’ve had him.
Here is a quick look at the Withers field:
1 Constitutionlawyer 7-2
The Ray Handal trainee broke his maiden in his third career start, earning his diploma in the mud at the Withers 1 1/8-mile distance. He looks dangerous with early speed and the rail.
2 Grantham 10-1
Trained by Mike Maker, this colt ships in from Turfway Park where he graduated in his second career start. His maiden breaker came on the Tapeta surface going 1 1/16 miles. He looks as if he still has some upside.
3 Smarten Up 10-1
This colt came with a good late rally while wide to finish in the runner up spot in the Jerome at 21-1. The colt broke his maiden two back at his home base at Parx Racing.
4 Gilded Age 10-1
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott sends out this colt, who broke his maiden at Churchill Downs in his last start, which was his fourth career outing. The $600,000 purchase has a nice pedigree, by Medaglia d’Oro out of the stakes winner Angela Renee.
5 Courvoisier 9-2
The Jerome winner picks up a new jockey in Ruben Silvera as Jose Ortiz decided to stick with the Chad Brown trained Early Voting. The colt won at 4-1 last out and his 9-2 morning line seems high.
6 Unbridled Bomber 12-1
The colt was sent off at 13-1 in the Jerome which was his stakes debut. He was off poorly and finished evenly after being outrun early. The colt looks capable of moving forward off his last effort with a better break.
7 Noneedtoworry 30-1
A Parx invader who beat first level optional claimers in slow time in his last outing. He has shown improvement but would need to take another big jump up here to be competitive.
8 Un Ojo 20-1
The Tony Dutrow trainee had a rough trip last out in a neck loss in a New York Stallion Series race going seven furlongs. He looks slow but the barn is coming off a solid 2021 campaign.
9 Early Voting 3-1
The colt took plenty of action in his debut and did not disappoint. He pressed the early pace, took command and finished strongly to break his maiden going a one turn mile. The colt should move forward off that effort but is going to end up a light price.
10 Mr Jefferson 20-1
The colt was beaten 10 lengths in a fourth-place finish in the Remsen and then 10 ¾ lengths in the Jerome last out in a sixth-place finish. Tough to make a case he turns the tables in this spot.
11 Cooke Creek 6-1
This colt drew a tough post but has enough tactical speed and should be able to get a good position sitting just off the pace. The colt was only beaten two lengths in the Jerome in a third-place finish and was a decent second in the Nashua two back. He looks eligible to move forward off his last effort and should end up a decent price.