2015 Withers Stakes Preview
After a break last weekend from the 2015 Kentucky Derby Preps, we come back this weekend with two stakes races for 3 year olds. The Withers Stakes will be here at Aqueduct while the other prep race will be the Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita Park.
The Withers Stakes will be a field of 7 horses going 1 1/16 miles on the inner dirt track with up to 10 points on the line towards the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard. This is a grade 3 event with a purse of $250,000 and a scheduled post time of 4:13 PM Eastern Time.
Below is a closer look at each of the seven entrants in the 2015 Withers Stakes. Free past performances can be found here.
1. Classy Class (2-1 Morning Line) – The second choice on the morning line is unraced since the grade 2 Remsen Stakes on November 29. That was his second career start after a 4 length victory in his debut. In the Remsen, he was battling for the lead before faltering to finish fourth by 9 1/4 lengths. He has solid works for this return while trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is 23% of a layoff of 45 to 90 days. He rates a solid chance in this spot.
2. Far From Over (5-1 ML) – He has raced once and it was here at Aqueduct over the inner track on December 12. He won that day by a nose going a mile and 70 yards and finishing third in that race was Tencendur. His works are decent, but the feeling here is that he is a step below the top horses in this race.
3. March (6-1 ML) – He has two career races with a second and and first in those two races. His first race was going six and a half furlongs before stretching out to a mile and 70 yards in his second race. He won the latter by a neck over next time out winner Dontbetwithbruno. He is an interesting possibility if a speed duel occurs and he rates right off the leaders.
4. Tencendur (12-1 ML) – He has been mentioned before with his third place finish in his debut where he was behind Far From Over. He returned in his second race to face New York breds where he won by three quarters of a length against nine foes. His ceiling appears to be an underneath finish.
5. Unrivaled (20-1 ML) – The longest shot on the morning line took 5 starts to break his maiden, which he did last out with a 15 length romp at Parx. That win came against open company in the Maiden Special ranks, but that race was on December 23. He will need to take a big step forward, as well as get a hot pace in front of him. Pass on his chances here.
6. General Bellamy (15-1 ML) – He broke his maiden on his third attempt with a three and a half length win at a mile on the main track. His last race was in the grade 3 Jerome Stakes where he had a poor break and ran an even race. He was able to grab third place behind El Kabeir who also returns for this race. He will need a speed duel to have a prayer to win, but he could hit the board again.
7. El Kabeir (8-5 ML) – The aforementioned winner of the grade 3 Jerome Stakes is faced with another outside slot. He won the Jerome with ease last time out by 4 3/4 lengths and won the grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club before that. His Jerome win provided a new dimension where he came from off the pace. That new dimension makes him ultra tough in this spot. He is the pick, albeit a chalky one, to win this race.
1. El Kabeir
2. Classy Class
3. General Bellamy
Check back on Saturday evening for a recap of the 2015 Withers Stakes and an updated Kentucky Derby Leaderboard.