Tannery, Hyper square off in Red Smith - NBC Sports

Tannery, Hyper square off in Red Smith
November 13, 2013, 9:00 pm

Fresh off a victory in the October 27 E.P. Taylor at Woodbine, Tannery will be out to make a little history against the boys in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct.

The 1 3/8-mile Red Smith, the final graded turf stakes of the New York season, has not been won by a filly or mare since Drumtop took back-to-back renewals in 1970-71 when the race was known as the Edgemere Handicap.

Tannery, who also captured the Sheepshead Bay in May, has tried males once already this season. In the August 17 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga, the four-year-old had one horse beaten with a quarter-mile remaining, made a seven-wide move turning for home and rallied to finish fourth behind Big Blue Kitten.

Subsequently second to loose-on-the-lead stablemate Laughing in the Flower Bowl Invitational, Tannery shipped north for last month's E.P. Taylor, where she overcame a dawdling pace to win by a head.

"She's a really good filly who hasn't done a whole lot wrong; she's fired every time," trainer Alan Goldberg said. "I think she could have been in the top three in the Sword Dancer with a little better trip. Both she and Laughing are talented, but while Laughing can be a bit worrisome and temperamental, this filly is much more laid back. You can put her on a van, race her, bring her home -- she'll do anything."

Alex Solis will ride Tannery, who prefers yielding-to-soft ground.

Hyper, who also competed at Woodbine on October 27, is the probable favorite. Hero of the 1 1/4-mile Bowling Green Handicap at Belmont in September, the Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred next took on leading foreign invaders in the Canadian International, where he fell three parts of a length short of globetrotting Joshua Tree, who was winning that 12-furlong test for a third time.

The Phipps Stable homebred Imagining seeks the biggest win of his career in the Red Smith. Following a second in the 2011 Hollywood Derby, the talented five-year-old has not been a factor in subsequent graded attempts. However, the chestnut has won a pair of overnight stakes in his last three starts: the $100,000 Idle Rich at Saratoga and the $100,000 Bowl Game at Belmont.

Nutello, third in the Sword Dancer in his U.S. debut, ran well below par in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic last time and is capable of better, while Howe Great seeks his first stakes win of the year after placing in quartet of Grade 3 events this year: the Poker, Oceanport, Cliff Hanger, and Knickerbocker.

Others of note are Mission Approved, the 2011 Manhattan Handicap winner making just his second start off a 23-month layoff, and Slip and Drive, who upset last Saturday's $100,000 Japan Racing Association at Laurel at odds of 22-1.

Marvin's Miracle, third in the With Anticipation at Saratoga in late August, takes a drop in class in Saturday's $100,000 Vigro Libra for New York-bred juveniles. The gray made an early lead before faltering to seventh in the Pilgrim at Belmont last time.

The one-mile grass test has also attracted the top three finishers from last month's $100,000 Island Sun. The filly May Shares beat her male rivals by a widening 4 1/2 lengths in that one-mile feature at Belmont.

The $100,000 Move It Now, a one-mile dash for older New York-breds features divisional mainstays Bond Vigilante, Moneyinyour Pocket, Brigand, Spa City Fever, Zetterholm, and Awesome Vision.

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