Apart from the Wood Memorial Stakes, a Kentucky Derby prep race, these are three other 2021 Graded Stakes highlights for the action at Aqueduct on April 3.

2021 Graded Stakes: Carter Handicap (Grade 1) Preview

The 7-furlong, $300,000 Carter Handicap is the first Grade 1 race on the 2021 NYRA calendar. It features 5 horses in search of a shot at sprinting stardom.

The Carter has its own page in horse racing history as this is the only American Thoroughbred stakes race that finished in a triple-dead heat.

That event took place back in 1944, when Bossuet, Brownie, and Wait A Bit all 3 crossed the finishing line at the same time.

Out of the 5 Runners, 3 Are Favorites:

  • Mischevious Alex: This horse is going after a third win in a row under new trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. after victories in January and February. With that said, this is a horse that finds trouble when venturing into Grade 1 territory.
  • Shoplifted: This horse is great when competing versus B and B-minus stakes runners, but still needs to prove himself in a Grade 1.
  • Mind Control: This is the only horse returning from 2020’s Carter, although he finished sixth back then. This is also the only horse for the 2021 Carter with a Grade 1 victory on the resume.

2021 Graded Stakes: Excelsior Stakes (Grade 3)

The Excelsior will be part of the exciting 11-race card on Saturday at Aqueduct Racetrack’s main track that also features the Grade 2 Wood Memorial (KD prep race), the Carter handicap, the Bay Shore, and the Gazelle.

Mr. Buff, a horse that has already acquired millionaire status, is the stand out for this 7-horse race and will try to finally win a graded race. It has a total of 17 victories, but it has failed to seal the deal in a graded stakes race in 5 tries.

Gazelle Stakes (Grade 3)

This year’s edition of the Gazelle Stakes will feature a battle between Search Results and The Grass Is Blue.

These 2 three-year-old fillies will be the only winners of stakes races among the 8 runners in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep race.

Make sure to check Horse Racing Tote for all the latest horse news on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, graded stakes, updated odds, last-minute results and so much more.

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