11/22/2012 3:26PM

Aqueduct: Remsen looks like day's biggest handicapping puzzle


OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Of the four graded stakes offered at Aqueduct on Saturday, the Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen for juveniles appears the most challenging from a handicapping standpoint.

Ten 2-year-olds – eight of whom have just a maiden win to their credit – will try to stretch out in distance and give their connections hope they have a Kentucky Derby horse in their barn. In fact, the Remsen is a qualifying race for the Kentucky Derby, offering points (10-4-2-1) to the top four finishers.

As with most any juvenile stakes, the focus begins with trainer Todd Pletcher’s stable, which sends out the trio of Micromanage, Overanalyze, and Delhomme.

Micromanage and Overanalyze – both owned by Mike Repole – will be coupled in the wagering, while Delhomme, owned by WinStar Farm and Twin Creeks Racing, may offer the better value.

Delhomme, a son of Dixie Union, won a one-mile maiden race after racing greenly in his debut sprinting at Saratoga.

“It looked like he got a little idle on the lead, but Cornelio [Velasquez] didn’t feel like he was at the bottom of the horse by any means, so I don’t think stretching out is going to be any problem for him,” said Whit Beckman, assistant to Pletcher.

The way Micromanage closed winning his seven-furlong debut at Saratoga, it would certainly appear that he would like stretching out in distance. He finished fifth, beaten 10 lengths, in the Grade 1 Champagne – won by his undefeated stablemate Shanghai Bobby – on a day when closers were at a disadvantage.

“In the Champagne, he broke seven or eight out of it, and nobody was really making up ground that day, he never really got involved in the race,” Beckman said. “I’d say he’s got more potential than that.”

Overanalyze won the Grade 2 Belmont Futurity when he broke poorly and rallied from last. In the Grade 3 Iroquois, Overanalyze broke with the field, dropped back and steadied around the turn, then tried to close, finishing eight lengths behind five-time winner Uncaptured. His ability to stay 1 1/8 miles could be questionable.

Vegas No Show won the Dover Stakes at Delaware going a mile and 70 yards around two turns. In the Grade 2 Nashua, he got squeezed in midstretch and then finished the race on his wrong lead when second to the Pletcher-trained Violence. Trainer Kelly Breen adds blinkers to Vegas No Show for this race.

Normandy Invasion was a good-looking 9 1/4-length winner of a one-mile maiden race here Nov. 2. Trainer Chad Brown expressed some reservation about running him back on just three weeks’ rest.

Trainer Barclay Tagg is looking forward to stretching Indy’s Illusion, a son of A.P. Indy, out in distance following his maiden win over next-out winner Frac Daddy in an off-the-turf, one-mile race at Belmont on Oct. 4.

“He’s built like a distance horse, he’s bred to be a distance horse, and he looks like a distance horse,” Tagg said.

Irsaal, Keep the Canoli, Stormy Len, and Quinzieme Monarque complete the field.