Defeated in a close finish in the Fall Highweight Handicap (G3) last year, the seemingly ageless Stallwalkin’ Dude is out to make amends in 2017.
The 7-year-old gelding was just nabbed near the line last year by Heaven’s Runway, to whom he was conceding 11 pounds, and he’ll have to concede between four and nine pounds to his rivals this year.
However, he’s maintained great form in 10 starts this year, winning two ungraded stakes and finishing in the money in a number of graded stakes, including a third-place finish in the Vosburgh Stakes (G1) Sept. 30.
Another 7-year-old who shouldn’t be ignored by punters is Green Gratto. Though he hasn’t finished closer than fourth in his last six starts, Green Gratto has a well-documented love for Aqueduct, where he seven of his nine race victories have come, including the Carter Handicap (G1) earlier this year.
Holding the fort for the younger brigade are two 4-year-olds, Seymourdini and Threefiveindia, and both should be highly competitive.
Seymourdini won his first three races in 2017, including the State Dinner Stakes at Belmont Park, before finishing fourth in the Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) at Belmont Park Oct. 28. Threefiveindia runs after finishing fourth in the Stoll Keenan Ogden Phoenix Stakes (G3), just three-quarters of a length behind the winner Whitmore.
Ready for Rye, second in the Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational Stakes Oct. 7, can be competitive again, while Life in Shambles and Great Stuff both enter the race off good allowance victories at Belmont Park. Hey Jabber Jaw and Schivarelli complete the field.