The eighth race on the card at Aqueduct on Saturday is the Garland of Roses Stakes. This race is for fillies and mares aged three and older, and a purse of $120,000 is available. The race will see a field of seven compete over six furlongs. Charlton Baker has a fine recent record in the race, having won the previous two editions with Glass Ceiling and Honor Way.

(5) Smash Ticket

There are a number of very interesting three-year-old fillies in the race this weekend, and the winner is likely to be among them. Smash Ticket is a runner for Rob Altas, and she has been in steady form throughout this season. She has won three from four starts, with her only finish outside of the top three coming last time out, as she was sixth in the G2 Raven Run.

However, before that, she was a winner in stakes company landing the Weather Vane Stakes at Pimlico over six furlongs. This is the perfect distance for her, and she should take a prominent position from stall five.

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(6) Disco Ebo

Disco Ebo is another of the interesting three-year-old runners in the race this weekend. This filly is trained by Robert Reid, and she has bounced back to solid form after a disappointing run of results between December 2021 and August. She has won on each of her previous two starts, which includes a very fine display over six furlongs last time out.

That win was scored at the end of November in the Youngstown Oaks at Mahoning Valley, reaching a rating of 96. There was enough to like about that performance to suggest that she could play a key role this weekend.

(7) Beguine

Beguine may be a contender that many will overlook this weekend, as she is without a victory since breaking her maiden at Oaklawn in March. However, that effort was followed with a decent second in the G3 Fantasy, before she was outclassed in the G2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico.

But, her latest performance does put her back in the picture this weekend, as she achieved a career-best speed figure of 100 when finishing second in an allowance at Aqueduct over 6 ½ furlongs. That was a visually impressive display, and back at the track this weekend, she may be a key player for Exotic players.

Garland of Roses Stakes Pick: (2) Hot Peppers

I think Hot Peppers is very difficult to overlook this weekend after a three-month break for Rudy Rodriguez. The three-year-old was targeted toward the G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint before being scratched, and has been in solid form throughout 2022. She has won five from eight starts, and is proven in much higher grade than many of her rivals this weekend.

The three-year-old was the winner of the G3 Victory Ride at Belmont in July, before finishing a very solid second to Chi Town Lady over seven furlongs in the G1 Test. Her latest start came back in September, finishing fourth over six furlongs in the G2 Prioress. If at her best, she will take an awful lot of beating this weekend.

 


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