Aqueduct: Bu­sanda Stakes

Daily Racing Form Saturday Stakes Preview - - FRONT PAGE - – Steve An­der­sen – David Gren­ing

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Trainer Todd Pletcher has won four of the last five run­nings of the Bu­sanda Stakes, and the main rea­son he hasn’t won five straight is that he didn’t have a run­ner in the 2012 edi­tion.

On Satur­day, Pletcher will seek his fourth straight Bu­sanda vic­tory when he sends out Alto Belle in the $100,000 stakes for 3-year-old fil­lies, sched­uled for a mile and 70 yards over Aqueduct’s in­ner track. An ex­pected win­ter storm puts Satur­day’s card in jeop­ardy of be­ing can­celed.

The Bu­sanda of­fers 17 qual­i­fy­ing points (10 -4-2-1) to the top four fin­ish­ers to­ward the Ken­tucky Oaks on May 6. In 2013, Princess of Syl­mar won the Bu­sanda en route to an up­set vic­tory in the Oaks.

Alto Belle, a daugh­ter of Trappe Shot, won a maiden race by 18 1/2 lengths on Nov. 20 over Aqueduct’s main track. She hasn’t run since, ow­ing in large part to the fail­ure of a first-level al­lowance race to fill. Prior to her win, Alto Belle fin­ished se­cond in an off-the-turf maiden race at Bel­mont in Septem­ber and sixth in a turf race at Bel­mont in Oc­to­ber.

Irad Or­tiz Jr. has the mount on Alto Belle from post 5.

Irad’s brother Jose will be aboard Flora Dora, whose lone vic­tory from four ca­reer starts came in the $500,000 My Dear Girl Stakes, a divi­sion of the Florida Sire Stakes, at Gulf­stream Park in Oc­to­ber. Since then, she has fin­ished se­cond to Big World in the Grade 3 Tempted, a one-turn mile at Aqueduct, and fourth, beaten three lengths, by Lewis Bay in the Grade 2 De­moi­selle at Aqueduct.

It took Sca­toosh six races to earn her first vic­tory, but that came by a widen­ing 4 1/2 lengths over the in­ner track on New Year’s Day. She gets Ken­drick Car­mouche, who had also been the reg­u­lar rider of Flora Dora. Sca­toosh is trained by Leah Gyarmati, who is 7 for 23 at the in­ner­track meet.

The maiden win­ners Dreams to Re­al­ity, Ken­tucky Road, and Arch or Noth­ing and the maiden She’s So Fine com­plete the field.

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