(Jockey Javier Castellano / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)
From the NYRA Media Team:
Oak Bluff Stables’ Therapist will attempt an eighth stakes win when squaring off against a talented field in Saturday’s $100,000 Artie Schiller for 3-year-olds and upward going one mile over Aqueduct Racetrack’s inner turf.
Trained by Christophe Clement, who co-bred the New York-bred son of Freud in partnership with his owners, Therapist was recently second to graded stakes-winner Somelikeithotbrown in the Mohawk versus state-breds on October at Belmont Park’s New York Showcase Day.
In his 2020 bow, Therapist captured the open First Defence on June 7 over Belmont’s Widener turf, defeating eventual graded stakes-winner Majestic Dunhill and next-out winner Flavius.
“His last race came up pretty tough,” Clement said. “He’s been training well, maybe a week earlier than I would like to run him back, but that’s the way it is.”
Since breaking his maiden at first asking against his Empire State-bred counterparts in July 2017, Therapist has won five of his seven stakes victories against open company, including the Laurel Futurity and Awad during his juvenile campaign, as well as the Cutler Bay at Gulfstream Park in March 2018 and the Elusive Quality in April of the following year. Therapist has amassed $598,345 in lifetime earnings with a career ledger of 8-2-5 in 20 starts.
“He’s a very nice horse,” Clement said. “He’s been a lot of fun over the years and has stayed consistent.”
Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano will pilot Therapist for the first time from post 10.
Three sons of the event’s namesake sire, who won the 2005 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Belmont Park, have been entered in Saturday’s race, including AJ Suited Racing Stable and Madaket Stables’ graded stakes-winner Hawkish. He will seek his first trip to the winners circle since taking the Cliff Hanger in in May 2019 at Monmouth Park.
Trained by Jimmy Toner, Hawkish became a graded stakes winner early in his career when taking the Grade 3 Penn Mile in June 2018 at Penn National, and arrives off a distant tenth in the restricted Tapit on September 9 at Kentucky Downs.
Bred in Kentucky by co-owners AJ Suited Racing, Hawkish is out of the unraced Unbridled mare Bridal Memories, who is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1-winner Winter Memories, who also was trained by Toner.
Jockey Manny Franco will be in the irons from post 3.
Ninety One Assault, also sired by Artie Schiller, arrives off a sharp second-place effort in the Henry Clark on September 7 at Laurel Park for trainer Tom Morley, who co-owns the gelding with Paul Braverman.
The multiple Louisiana-bred stakes winner will attempt a first stakes triumph against open company. He previously found success in the Louisiana Champions Day Turf on December 14 and the Dixie Poker Ace on February 29, both at Fair Grounds Race Course.
“He’s a horse that’s out of conditions and he’s my horse so I would never want to run him for a tag,” Morley said. “It’s a steppingstone to the Louisiana-bred stakes program over the winter, but I expect him to run very well. He was a fantastic second at Laurel, and a repeat performance of that will put him right there.”
Jockey Dylan Davis rides from post 8.
Trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer sends out Artie Schiller progeny Clear Vision, who arrives off an allowance victory over the Laurel Park lawn.
Owned by Everett Dobson’s Cheyenne Stables, Clear Vision received a six-month layoff after two off-the-board efforts at Fair Grounds Race Course over the winter and emerged off the bench in victorious fashion when besting winners over good ground at Laurel Park.
Jockey Joel Rosario will be aboard from post 7.
Trainer Chad Brown will saddle Juddmonte Farms’ Delaware [post 4, Irad Ortiz, Jr.] and e Five Thoroughbred Racing and Mike Ryan’s Valid Point [post 9, Jose Ortiz] in attempt to bring both stakes winners back to winning form.
Delaware, a 4-year-old son of 2012 Cartier Horse of the Year Frankel, is seeking his first triumph since winning the Group 3 Prix Daphnis last August at Deauville, while under the care of French conditioner Andre Fabre. His best effort since joining Brown’s barn was a close runner-up finish to stable mate Front Run the Fed in an optional claiming tilt on July 5 at Belmont Park.
Valid Point is attempting his first triumph since winning the 2019 Grade 1 Secretariat at Arlington Park. The 4-year-old son of Scat Daddy finished eighth in all three of his 2020 starts, most recently the Grade 3 Salvator Mile on September 20 at Monmouth Park, which was his only start on dirt.
Completing the field are Ballagh Rocks [post 1, Jose Lezcano], Rinaldi [post 2, Nik Juarez] and Hembree [post 5, Kendrick Carmouche].
Backsideofthemoon [post 6, Manny Franco], Sea Foam [post 11, Joel Rosario] Chilly in Charge [post 12, Jorge Vargas, Jr.] and Compound It [post 13, Harry Hernandez] entered for the main track only.
The Artie Schiller is slated as Race 9 on Aqueduct’s 10-race program, which offers a first post of 11:50 a.m. Eastern. America’s Day at the Races will present daily television coverage of the Aqueduct fall meet with coverage to air on FOX Sports and MSG Networks.