(Saguaro Row / Photo by Chelsea Durand & Courtesy of NYRA)
From the NYRA Media Team:
Saguaro Row started her 2020 campaign with a victory in the $100,000 Interborough and will look to follow the same path for the start of her 6-year-old season as she bids to repeat in the seven-furlong sprint for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up on a special Monday holiday card at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The 100th Interborough running on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will feature Saguaro Row, who posted a 2 ¾-length score last January in the contest for her lone win in three starts on the year, looking to rebound off a fourth-place effort last out in the Garland of Roses on December 6 going six furlongs on the Big A main track.
Owned by Newtown Anner Stud Farm and her breeder, Mark Breen, Saguaro Row has been a late-blooming success story for trainer Mike Stidham, having posted four of her five career wins since turning 4 years old in 2019. Both of her stakes wins have come at Aqueduct, including a 4 ¼-length victory in the 2019 Pumpkin Pie at the Interborough’s distance.
The Union Rags mare has been training at Fair Hill since the Garland of Roses, including a bullet five-furlong work in 1:00.60 over the all-weather training surface on January 9.
“She’s definitely shown that she prefers that surface up there at Aqueduct, so we’re hoping to get back to our wining ways,” Stidham said.
Last year, Saguaro Row followed her Interborough triumph with a sixth-place finish in the Grade 3 Barbara Fritche in February at Laurel Park. Stidham then gave her a 10-month layoff, choosing to have her fresh in time for the Aqueduct winter meet. After her first race back, her conditioner said he’s hoping for a trip that sees her avoid being hemmed to the inside.
“She’s training very well,” Stidham said. “Her first race back, she wasn’t quite 100 percent tuned up and she’s never run well down on the inside, so we’re hoping now with a race under her belt and a better trip, that she’ll come back into form. We’re just hoping for a better trip but I think she’s 100 percent ready and tight for this one.”
Jockey Trevor McCarthy will pick up the mount for the first time, drawing post 2.
“Trevor rides a lot for us when we have our full stable at Fair Hill and Monmouth and when we’re running in the Mid-Atlantic all summer,” Stidham said. “He knows her, so we’re happy to have him. He’s a top rider and I think he’ll fit her well.”
Godolphin’s Alisio also was making her first start off a long layoff last out, running ninth in the Primonetta on November 28 at Laurel in her first race in 11 months. In her previous start, she registered a triple digit Beyer Speed Figure for her win against optional claimers on a sloppy and sealed Aqueduct track in December 2019 for then-trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.
With McLaughlin retiring to become a jockey agent, Alisio was transferred to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott’s care. The 5-year-old Ghostzapper mare made her stakes debut two months ago and will now return to the track where she has registered all three of her career wins, posting a 3-1-0 ledger in four starts at the Big A.
Dylan Davis will ride from post 3.
Ten Strike Racing’s Portal Creek made her first stakes appearance in 26 starts last out and rewarded the patience with a runner-up effort to Sharp Starr in the Grade 3 Go for Wand on December 5.
Trained by Juan Carlos Guerrero, Portal Creek has finished on the board in five straight races. Meet-leading rider Kendrick Carmouche, aboard for her start last month, will have the return call from the outermost post 6.
Stakes veteran Needs Supervision will return to Aqueduct for the first time since a fourth-place finish in the 2019 Grade 3 Go for Wand. The Jeremiah O’Dwyer trainee had made five straight stakes starts at Laurel in 2020, posting a runner-up effort in the What A Summer going 6 ½ furlongs and respective third-place finishes in the Nellie Morse and Primonetta before a fifth last out in the Grade 3 Allaire DuPont on December 26.
Owned by Howling Pigeon Farms, Gary Barber, Wachtel Stable and Madaket Stables, the 5-year-old daughter of Paynter will have the services of Manny Franco from the inside post.
Rounding out the field is Bella Aurora, the winner of the 2019 Gin Talking for trainer Michael Trombetta, who will be making her first start in New York [post 4, Jorge Vargas, Jr.] and Call On Mischief, claimed for $62,500 last out from a second-place effort in a six-furlong sprint on December 18 at Aqueduct, for new trainer Kelly Breen [post 5, Eric Cancel].
The Interborough is carded as Race 7 on Aqueduct’s eight-race program, which offers a first post of 12:50 p.m. Eastern.