Long Island Stakes Odds, Field & Picks

The stakes action stays on the lawn at Aqueduct, with Sunday’s schedule led by the G3 Long Island Stakes, with G3 winner Vergara holding a distinct class edge over the likes of Atomic Blonde and R Calli Kim. The supporting feature is the ungraded Artie Schiller, in which the prolific Pioneering Spirit and the comebacking Masen take on last year’s winner Big Everest in a very competitive contest.


Long Island Stakes

G3, $300,000, 1m 3f turf, 3yo+ females, 1.46pm ET

In the post-Breeders’ Cup weeks there are plenty of opportunities for second-tier horses to hoover up some good purse money, and the Long Island – the main event at Aqueduct on Sunday – is a case in point.

Graham Motion has trained the winner of the Long Island twice in the last six years and has found a good spot for Vergara (6-5), who is a little in-and-out but has a stack of talent when she is in.

She stalked and pounced to win the 2023 G3 Ladies Marathon at Kentucky Downs over a mile and five-sixteenths, digging in hard to score by three-quarters of a length, and three starts ago she was not that far adrift of star mares McKulick and War Like Goddess when fifth in the 2023 G2 Glens Falls at Saratoga over a mile and a half. She led at the stretch call before being swamped, the slight cutback will help, and she should get a decent trip with her preference for being forward.

The ex-Italian filly Atomic Blonde (3-1) has a similar profile to her barnmate Soldier Rising – the ability is certainly there but she cannot buy a victory, going zero-for-six since moving Stateside on the whole spectrum from G1s to allowances.

She turned in a decent performance in the 2023 G2 Canadian at Woodbine over a mile-eighth, hitting the show behind champion Moira albeit beaten six and a half lengths, but then sank without trace when eighth in the 2023 G1 EP Taylor at the same track at boxcar odds.

If she cannot win in Canada she will struggle below the border, and her best form in the old country came on soft turf.

Class is the issue for the late-blooming R Calli Kim (5-2), who is three-for-three in 2023 in claimers and allowances, bringing up the hat-trick with a wait-and-come-late score at Keeneland over a mile and a half. This is obviously harder but she has stamina in the bank and deserves another crack at stakes level, and her trainer won this 12 months ago.

Pace may well come from Whatlovelookslike (5-1), who made her stakes breakthrough in July but has not been getting it done at that level lately, only making the show in a state-bred stakes here over a mile-eighth last time. She stretches back out – she has won at this distance – but could struggle to make it stick up in grade.

The others are strictly here for the day out. Rhombique (20-1) has a one-for-19 count and seems to find even allowance grade too hot; Unruly Julie (20-1) owns a similar profile, although she did make the winner’s circle at Colonial Downs two starts ago, a weak Virginia-bred stakes; Embrace Me (50-1) finished behind Rhombique last time and has missed the board on every start bar her maiden win.

2023 Long Island Stakes Odds

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
WhatlovelookslikeIrad Ortiz, Jr.+500
VergaraJohn R. Velazquez+120
Atomic Blonde (GER)Joel Rosario+300
R Calli KimJose L. Ortiz+250
RhombiqueDylan Davis+2000
Embrace MeTrevor McCarthy+5000
Unruly JulieManuel Franco+2000

This is a golden opportunity for VERGARA, who has a big class edge over some less accomplished rivals and should get her ideal trip near the speed.

Artie Schiller Stakes

Ungraded, $150,000, 1m turf, 3yo+, 3.42pm ET

The Artie Schiller has drawn a tight and competitive field and would not look out of place with Graded status, and it provides the narrow morning-line favourite with good prospects of continuing his fabulous run of form.

A switch to turf has transformed Pioneering Spirit (7-2), who is six-for-eight since moving to the lawn and also made the show in the 2023 G1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga in August, albeit finishing well down the track.

He fits in very well at this level, and although his recent stakes win here can be ignored from a form standpoint, as he had only one rival, his comfortable defeat of Bring Me A Check (12-1) in a stakes at Saratoga over a mile-sixteenth gives him strong credentials to continue his prolific year. He cruised by two and three-quarter lengths at the Spa and is very versatile as regards distance requirements.

Twelve months ago Big Everest (4-1) rolled gate-to-wire to take the Artie Schiller by a half-length and continued in good order for a while, but his last two starts have been below par. Last time he was only fourth in a Monmouth Park stakes over a mile-sixteenth, when the extra yardage was not the issue, and needs to recapture his zing – the return to the Big A, where he is three-for-three, could help.

Chad Brown loads both barrels, with Masen (4-1) making his second start after exactly a year off the track. His comeback was the worst run of his life – ninth in the 2023 G2 Nearctic over six furlongs at Woodbine – but he went far too fast on the lead through freshness and emptied right out.

He will do much better back at a mile, a distance at which he has twice hit the board at G1 level, and that back-class gives him a clear edge in this field.

His barnmate Exact Estimate (6-1) is coming from an entirely different direction, making his stakes debut after a narrow success here in a mile-eighth allowance, getting home by a neck with his stamina reserves drying up with every stride. The cutback will suit and he looks ready for the upgrade.

St Anthony (8-1) has rediscovered his mojo of late, and produced a clear career-best last time when drawing off to beat Wicked Finn (30-1) by two and a quarter lengths in a stakes at Monmouth over a mile. Given his resurgence he may yet be capable of a little more.

Although Jerry The Nipper (9-2) is consistent – on the board in all but one of his last 12 starts – he is zero-for-seven in stakes and cannot get the job done in state-bred company, so may well struggle here.

2023 Artie Schiller Stakes Odds

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
Pioneering SpiritJose Lezcano+350
Bring Me a CheckDylan Davis+1200
James AloysiusJavier Castellano+800
Big Everest (GB)Joel Rosario+400
Jerry the NipperJose L. Ortiz+450
Exact EstimateIrad Ortiz, Jr.+600
Wicked FinnJunior Alvarado+3000
Masen (GB)Manuel Franco+400
St AnthonyPaco Lopez+800

This could be another purse for PIONEERING SPIRIT, who has held his form very well since switching to turf and could be capable of further improvement.

Stick around for the newest Kentucky Derby Odds and Sign-up and get up to a 10% horse rebate. We offer the best horse rebate, in the Business!

Daily Horse Betting Rebate

Don’t forget to come back and check the weekend racing results and the latest horse racing news around the world.

Make sure to follow Horse Racing Tote on social media for more Long Island Stakes updates and the 2023/2024 Road to the Kentucky Derby news!