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Check out our predictions and odds for the Comely Stakes at Aqueduct!
PISTOL LIZ ABLAZEN
R Reid Jr
C McGaughey III
R Reid Jr
I Ortiz Jr
TIZZY IN THE SKY
*Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.
$10 Exacta Box - Falconet and Nostalgic = $20
$10 Exacta Box - Falconet and Kathleen O. = $20
$10 Exacta Box - Falconet and Sixtythreecaliber = $20
If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Falconet (9/2).
Away since suffering her first career loss in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, Kathleen O. returns on Friday to headline a field of seven sophomore fillies in Grade 3 Comely Stakes at Aqueduct.
The daughter of Upstart was one of the top choices in the most prestigious race of the year for 3-year-old fillies, but was well back early and could only manage a fifth-place finish behind Secret Oath and Nest in the 14-horse field back in May.
Trained by Shug McGaughey, Kathleen O. was an impressive winner in her first four career starts, including the Grade 2 Davona Dale and the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks. She began her career with a fast finish to win her career debut a year ago at Aqueduct.
Chief among her rivals in the 1 1/8-mile Comely is Nostalgic. The Godolphin homebred, trained by Bill Mott has not won since scoring in Aqueduct’s Grade 3 Gazelle in April.
The Medaglia d’Oro filly finished well back in the Kentucky Oaks after that, which started a five-race losing streak. An improved effort lasts out in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm should have her ready for the Comely.
Two others who merit respect in Friday’s $175,000 feature are the 1-2 finishers in September’s Seneca Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Sixtythreecaliber, a daughter of Gun Runner, earned her fourth victory in her last five starts that afternoon. Meanwhile, Falconet, the narrow runner-up, has not been worse than second in five career starts for trainer Todd Pletcher.
This daughter of Upstart has done little wrong in her first five career races. An impressive winner of three straight stakes races at Gulfstream Park early this year, as well as her career debut at Aqueduct, she traveled to the Kentucky Oaks as one of the fillies to beat.
Way back early in the large field, she could not sustain her rally in the stretch and was beaten four lengths. Her first career loss was far from a poor performance, but now she has been away for more than six months and comes back at nine furlongs.
She could prove too good for her Grade 3 competition on Friday, but I think it is not an easy spot for her at this distance and without much speed to set the table. I will take a shot to beat her as the clear favorite.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, this well-bred daughter of Uncle Mo has been very consistent since making her career debut back in March. She’s run well in all five career starts and has good early speed. That should benefit her in a race without much early pace.
After graduating to stakes company two starts back, she has carried over her fine form but has been unable to finish the job in either the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks or the Seneca Overnight. Still, both runner-up finishes were solid and a little improvement could get her over the hump.
Pace pressure could come from Tizzy in the Sky, but it’s still not likely to be strong early fractions. She is the top pick.
This daughter of Medaglia d’Oro has had some tough races over the last several months, but she seemed to return to good form last out when just missing against older mares in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm at Aqueduct.
Before all of her disappointments against the division’s best, she also has a nice win over the track and trip in the Grade 3 Gazelle. It seems like she has found both a track and a level that she prefers.
She will be coming from off the pace as usual here, but it will be interesting to see if she can lay a little closer early than Kathleen O. She is one of the ones to beat on Friday.
Trained by Tom Amoss, this daughter of Gun Runner has won four of her last five starts. The last one was her best yet when she wore down Falconet late to win the Seneca Overnight at Churchill Downs.
A similar effort on Friday puts her in with a real chance. She is not a speed filly, but she does have enough early pace to be in touch and in front of some heavy hitters from behind.
I have a feeling Falconet may move forward off the last, but still, this filly is an obvious threat and probably will have decent odds once again.
This daughter of Sky Kingdom has gotten off to a solid beginning in her racing career. After two solid performances to be second while sprinting at Belmont and Saratoga, she has been an easy winner of her last two going farther at Aqueduct.
Last out she dominated an allowance field gate to wire while going nine furlongs over the main track. Friday will be a test to see how good she has become.
The competition will be much tougher and she is unlikely to get an easy lead again. One of many in here with a shot, I do like a few others better.
This experienced daughter of Central Banker comes in off a career-best performance when she rallied up for second in the Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes.
It was a nice effort, but she never got close to the winner Society. Overall, she has run in nine stakes races with her only win coming against much easier competition at Parx.
Like a few others in here, she does her best running when relaxed off the pace early. I like the others better. She could rally for a piece, but I am not going to play her.
This daughter of Arrogate was a good rallying third behind Sixtythreecaliber and Falconet two starts back in the Seneca Overnight. She came back to run a decent second to a good older mare in a Keeneland allowance race last month.
In her only previous graded stakes try, she picked up some late pieces to finish fourth behind Nest in the Grade 1 Alabama. All in all, she is a pretty consistent filly who looks like she may have found a spot where she can contend at pretty attractive odds.
While there are a few other come-from-behind runners here that I like better, she cannot be dismissed.
This shipper from Parx comes in off a big win on a sloppy track last month. It was her first win in five tries in optional claiming after winning her debut in a maiden claiming event in May.
While the last one looks good on paper, and she has been consistent in her six-lifetime starts, the class is not there. This looks to be too big a jump up in competition to give her serious consideration on Friday.
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What: Comely Stakes (Grade 3)
Time: Friday, November 25 -- 3:14 pm Eastern time
How to Watch: Fox Sports
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
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