Maximus Mischief Now Probable Fave For Saturday's Remsen Stakes

David Schwab

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 5:04 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018 5:04 PM UTC

The Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct is the first major stakes race for juveniles in December. The clock is ticking for a few 2-year-old thoroughbreds to make a final impression before their 3-year-old birthday on Jan. 1.

The big story leading up to Saturday’s $250,000 Grade 2 Remsen Stakes -- open to 2-year-old thoroughbreds -- was Code of Honor’s return to the track after taking second in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park this fall. As the likely favorite, he has been officially ruled out of this race to maintain his training schedule in Florida for a 3-year-old debut early next year.

This should open things up a bit in what is expected to be a limited field for Saturday’s main event at Aqueduct Racetrack in New York. There are a few interesting choices that will have a good shot at making that final splash in their juvenile campaign.

Tracking The Top Contenders

Code of Honor would have been my top choice to win the 2018 Remsen, which will be run on the dirt track at Aqueduct over a distance of 1 1/8 miles. This is a longer run than all of the probable 2-year-old entries in this race are accustomed to, which adds value to other colts in the projected field.

Trainer Robert Reid is expected to enter Maximus Mischief, coming off his recent victory in an Allowance race on Oct. 20 at Philadelphia Park, at a distance of seven furlongs. In his only other outing this year, the 2-year-old Kentucky-bred colt also took first at that track in late September in a 5½-furlong Maiden Special Weight race. He completed that run on dirt in 1:04.81.

This sire of Into Mischief has caught the early eye of both bettors and horse racing fans with a Horse Racing Nation rating of 6.03.

Listed as possible on the early entry form, trainer Mark Henning’s Bourbon War is another contender to work into an exacta and trifecta play. This Kentucky-bred colt will also be making his major stakes debut after besting the field at Aqueduct on Nov. 14 with a victory in a 1-mile Maiden Special Weight race on dirt in 1:40.60. With a bit of home-track advantage in his favor as well as some success at a longer distance, he could open some eyes on Saturday as he closes out his juvenile campaign.

To his credit, he has a strong pedigree in Tapit with a progeny that goes back to AP Indy and Unbridled. Bourbon War has earned a solid 5.46 HRN rating for his limited efforts in his early career.

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As close to a three-horse dead heat as you will ever see pic.twitter.com/OH6pP0YLMm

— Mike Hogan (@MHoganSays) November 21, 2018
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One To Watch

I am really hoping that trainer Chad Brown decides to run Network Effect in Saturday’s race. He is listed as probable after taking second in the Grade 3 Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 4. He was second to Vekoma with a winning time of 1:36.62 covering the 1-mile run on dirt. This Florida-bred colt opened his racing career on a solid note with a victory in a Maiden Special Weight race at Saratoga in early August. He posted a winning time of 1:24.62 in the seven-furlong run.

The son of Mark Valeski out of the Klaravich Stables is definitely the most interesting colt in the Remsen field as far as future potential. He may not be Brown’s best hope on the 2019 Kentucky Derby Trail, but a victory in the Remsen would definitely point him in the right direction coming up on his birthday on New Year’s Day.

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