Gotham Stakes: Highly Motivated Leads Field of 8 at Aqueduct

Posted By Fairway Jay on March 4, 2021

Road to the Kentucky Derby: Gotham Stakes

The Grade III Gotham Stakes is a Championship Series race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The 68th running of the $300,000 race is a 1-turn mile test for 3-year-olds, and the final prep before the Wood Memorial on April 3.

The race distance was reduced to 1-mile in 2018, and was contested at 1 1/16 miles from 2006-2017.


Gotham Stakes

The top four finishers will received 50-20-10-5 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The winner will earn enough points for a spot in the starting gate to the May 1 Kentucky Derby.

Saturday, March 6, 2021. Post, odds, jockey, trainer. Race 9 with post time 5:07 p.m. ET.

1 – Atlantic Road (30/1)

  • Jockey: Jorge Vargas, Jr.
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher

2 – The Reds (30/1)

  • Jockey: Pablo Morales
  • Trainer: John Kimmel

3 – Highly Motivated (8/5)

  • Jockey: Javier Castellano
  • Trainer: Chad Brown

4 – Wipe the Slate (6/1)

  • Jockey: Kendrick Carmouche
  • Trainer: Doug O’Neill

5 – Crowded Trade (9/2)

  • Jockey: Eric Cancel
  • Trainer: Chad Brown

6 – Capo Kane (5/1)

  • Jockey: Dylan Davis
  • Trainer: Harold Wyner

7 – Freedom Fighter (5/2)

  • Jockey: Manny Franco
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert

8 – Weyburn (20/1)

  • Jockey: Trevor McCarthy
  • Trainer: Jimmy Jerkens

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Race Contenders Including Highly Motivated Profile

Highly Motivated is a son of Into Mischief, who produced last year’s Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Authentic. Highly Motivated has won 2-of-3 starts following his runner-up maiden debut. His recent race was an off-the-pace win in the minor Nyquist Stakes at Keenland in November on opening day of the Breeders’ Cup. That 6 1/2 furlong race produced a 104 Equibase Speed Figure, and he’s now stretching out with a solid work tab in place for trainer Chad Brown.

Trainer Chad Brown’s other runner is Crowded Trade, who won his only start in late January over this track sprinting 6 furlongs.

Leading trainer Bob Baffert has Freedom Fighter ready to fire as he ships him East off a pair of races in California. That includes a runner-up finish in last months San Vicente (G2). He led most the way before finishing a close second to the heavy favorite going 7 furlongs.

Wipe the Slate is also being shipped across the country. The son of Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist has a win and runner-up finish showing good speed, but finished last of six runners in his stakes debut in the Robert B. Lewis (G3).

Capo Kane has won 2-of-4 starts and is the only runner returning off last months 1 1/8 mile Withers Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct. Capo Kane finished third and five lengths behind the winning favorite. But Capo Kane ran on the lead for 1-mile, and produced a 95 speed figure. He’ll duel on the lead again with Freedom Fighter in a race projected with more speed. Capo Kane also won the 1-mile Jerome Stakes going away over a muddy track.

Some of the biggest names in racing have won the Gotham, including, Native Dancer (1953), Jaipur (1962), Secretariat (1973), and Easy Goer (1989). The sensational Secretariat won the Gotham on his way to a Kentucky Derby victory and winning the Triple Crown.

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FairwayJay is a leading national sports and betting analyst and provides insight and information you can bet on to engage and assist the avid fan. His tee-to-green coverage and racing contributions have been provided to Churchill Downs, Twinspires, TVG, Forbes, TheLines, numberFire and PlayUSA platforms. Follow on Twitter: @FairwayJay

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