New Year’s Day Affectionately Stakes

Affectionately Stakes at Aqueduct

AffectionatelyHappy New Year everybody! To kick off the 2014 racing year, we are going to cover the Affectionately Stakes at Aqueduct. The Affectionately Stakes was named in honor of the “Queen of Queens” or “Queen of Aqueduct”, Affectionately, who won 28 of her 52 starts including 18 stakes wins.  Affectionately’s 2-year-old season included victories in the Spinaway, Sorority and Polly Drummonds. She won consecutive Interborough Handicaps in her 3 & 4 year old campaigns. Other wins in her 4 year old campaign included the Vosburgh Stakes and the Correction. In her final season at 5, Affectionately won the Top Flight, Distaff, Vagrancy, Correction, and Liberty Bell, and defeated older males in the Toboggan Handicap. In her impressive first season, Affectionately was named Co-champion Filly of 1962, an honor that was repeated in her final season. At 5 she also earned the title for Champion Sprinter.  Affectionately was only the second mare to win more than $500,000. She was inducted into the Hall of Fame in ’89 and is listed as #81 in the Blood-Horse Magazine List of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century. Let’s take a look at the 2014 Affectionately Stakes at Aqueduct.

2014 Affectionately Stakes at Aqueduct

Teen PaulineThe $100,000 Affectionately Stakes is the 3rd race on the card at Aqueduct on New Year’s Day and will spotlight a field of 5 fillies and mares, 3 years old and up traveling 1 1/16 mile. The 8/5 morning line favorite is Centring. Centring has a host of place and show performances in all three grades, including her recent 2nd place outing in the Grade 2 Go For Wand Handicap in November. She was beaten in that race by Royal Lahaina who is 2 to 1 on the morning line in this race. All eyes will be focused on these two mares, and rightfully so. But I have two others you should consider. For a value play, I really like Todd Pletcher’s Teen Pauline at 7/2 on the ML. For starters she has a great jockey/trainer combo in Pletcher and jockey, Irad Ortiz, Jr. Her speed figures are comparable to the two co-favorites here and she should make a strong run in this race. For a longshot, I’m looking at Welcome Guest at 10 to 1. She’s a little out-classed here, but has run 2nd to Centring at this distance in the past. If she can capture the front end and control the pace here, she could very well upset this field. Good luck everybody and have a safe and successful 2014!



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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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