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What you need to know for 04/29/2017

Horse racing: Brown saddling favorite in Empire Classic

Horse racing: Brown saddling favorite in Empire Classic

Readtheprospectus broke his maiden at Belmont Park on New York Showcase Day last year. He hasn’t los

Readtheprospectus broke his maiden at Belmont Park on New York Showcase Day last year.

He hasn’t lost since.

Trained by Mechanicville native Chad Brown and co-owned by William Lawrence, who is a Shaker High School graduate, and Klaravich Stables, Readtheprospectus returns to Showcase Day, renamed Empire in place of New York, on a seven-race winning streak that makes him the 2-1 morning-line favorite in the Empire Classic.

“He’s put a nice streak together for us, and we hope he’s got another one in him,” Brown told the New York Racing Association.

The $250,000 Empire Classic is one of seven stakes totaling $1.25 million in purses for New York-breds on today’s card.

Among those that Readtheprospectus will face is 5-2 Saratoga Snacks, owned by Bill Parcells. Saratoga Snacks finished third in the John Morrissey at Saratoga Race Course and was entered in the Grade I Forego but was scratched.

Readtheprospectus will carry topweight of 124 pounds and will break from the outside of the eight-horse field, with Saratoga Snacks just to his inside.

He has won seven straight, but has only recently jumped into stakes company, winning the Commentator at Belmont in June and the Spite The Devil on Sept. 19.

In that race, Readtheprospectus beat two horses who are back for the Empire Classic — Spa City Fever, who was second by a half-length, and Bigger Is Bettor, who won the Evan Shipman at Saratoga and was second to Awesome Vision in the Saratoga Sunrise.

“I think he’ll be fine at a mile and an eighth, plus he has the prep race under his belt,” Brown said.

Saratoga Snacks has won six of nine starts, including two wins at Saratoga, where he broke his maiden in 2011.

He had also been considered for the six-furlong Hudson on the Showcase card, but will run in the Classic after finishing second to Lunar Victory in that race last year.

“I was talking with Bill, and he asked me, ‘Is he training just as good, worse, better than he was last year as a 3-year-old heading into the race,’ ” trainer Gary Sciacca said. “I said, ‘Bill, he’s probably training better.’ ”

MORE SHOWCASE

Cluster of Stars is skipping the Breeders’ Cup and instead will try to remain undefeated in a return to statebred company as the 2-5 favorite in the Iroquois.

She’s coming off wins in the Grade II Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct and the Grade II Gallant Bloom at Belmont.

In juvenile stakes, Court Dancer, who broke her maiden at Saratoga before a fourth in the Matron, is even-money in the Joseph Gimma, and Wired Bryan is 6-5 in the Bertram Bongard.

Wired Bryan He has the distinction of having run in all three juv­enile graded stakes at Saratoga, winning the Sanford before finishing second in the Saratoga Special and fifth in the Hopeful.

He went back to statebreds for a win in the New York Futurity at Finger Lakes.

Effie Trinket is 3-1 in a wide-open Ticonderoga off a win in the John Hettinger at Belmont.

She was second to Summer of Fun in the Auntie Mame at Sar­atoga, where she was 2-for-2 last year with wins in her career debut and the Aristie.

Grade III Poker winner King Kreesa is 5-2 in the Mohawk after finishing seventh to Little Mike in the Grade I Joe Hirsch Turf Invitational at Belmont, which was his fifth graded stakes start of the year.

He was second to Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Fourstardave at Saratoga.

The field also includes Grade II National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame winner Notacatbutallama.

He’s coming back in just two weeks after a fourth in the Jam­aica.

“All is well, and we’re planning to run,” trainer Todd Pletcher said Friday morning.

Palace is 3-1 in the Hudson off a win in the Chowder’s First at Saratoga.

VELAZQUEZ PASSES DAY

John Velazquez became North America’s all-time leading money-earning jockey on Sunday at Belmont Park, breaking Pat Day’s record and reaching $297,922,320 in career purses.

According to Equibase, the 41-year-old Velazquez entered the card $26,519 shy of Day’s mark of $297,914,839, which the retired Hall of Famer held since 2005.

With four mounts, Velazquez finished third in the first race, fourth in the third race and third in the fifth race to come within $7,919 of the record before breaking it with $15,400 earned for a second-place finish aboard Bit Bustin in the ninth.

“It’s something that happened to happen, and I’m glad it happened,” Velazquez told NYRA.

Earlier this year, Velazquez, who was inducted to the Hall of Fame last year, became the all-time leading rider at Saratoga, breaking Jerry Bailey’s record of 693 winners, and in July posted his 5,000th career victory.

MUSEUM PROGRAMS

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will present its annual Breeders’ Cup Preview Program on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. in the museum’s Hall of Fame Gallery. Veteran handicappers Tom Amello and Jeff Carle will provide analysis and predictions of each Breeders’ Cup race. The program is free and open to the public.

The museum program will feature a trivia contest for prizes from the museum’s gift shop. Breeders’ Cup apparel will also be on sale in the museum shop.

Former New York state racing commissioner Harry D. Snyder will share his lifetime of memories of racing in Saratoga Springs during a special program at the museum at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

The program is free and open to the public and will be hosted by Michael Veitch.

Snyder will discuss a broad range of topics, including the 1957 Gov. Harriman legislation that guaranteed a minimum of 24 racing days at Saratoga, as well as the centennial and sesquicentennial celeb­rations of racing in Saratoga and Saratoga racing’s prominence on the national level.

AROUND THE TRACKS

Silsita is the 7-2 favorite in a packed field for the Grade II Raven Run at Keeneland today.

She won the My Princess Jess and was sixth in the Lake Placid at Saratoga, and was 10th behind Princess of Sylmar in the Kentucky Oaks.

Another Lake Placid filly, Nellie Cashman, was second to Overheard in the Grade III Pin Oak Valley View at Keeneland on Friday. Nellie Cashman finished first in the Lake Placid, but was disqualified and placed third. . . .

Frac Daddy has had a checkered career, but completed a personal triple on Thursday when he won an allowance at Keeneland, giving him victories on synthetic, dirt and turf.

Sixteenth in the Kentucky Derby and 14th in the Belmont, Frac Daddy won a turf allowance at Saratoga and was sixth in the Saranac. . . .

Take Control, who was pointing toward the Breeders’ Cup Mar­athon, was euthanized on Wednesday after breaking down during a work at Santa Anita.

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