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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Gotham Looking at Eight for Now


A potential field of eight is shaping up for the Gotham Stakes on March 7.

Ocean Knight, winner of his two career starts, won his debut over in inner track at Aqueduct by 4 1/2 lengths. The son of Curlin tested graded stakes company in his next start in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and emerged with neck victory after a wide trip. Ocean Knight worked today for the Gotham at Palm Meadows Training Center.

"He worked very well; 49 and change, just what we were looking for," said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. "He ran very well at Tampa, but (owner Stonestreet Stables) has Carpe Diem to potentially run in the Tampa Bay Derby, and they'd prefer to split them up. We get to run out of our own barn and he already has a win at Aqueduct, so it's an easy decision. We're happy."

McLaughlin is also likely to saddle Classy Class, who finished third in the Withers. Classy Class has a maiden win and a fourth-place finish in the Remsen Stakes to his credit. He finished third in the Withers Stakes after breaking from post 1.

"We thought Classy Class ran very well in the Withers," said McLaughlin. "El Kabeir challenged him a lot earlier than we were expecting, and he ran on well. Next time, we'd prefer to see him come from off the pace; he doesn't need to be on the lead."

Owner Mike Repole is likely to send out an entry of Blame Jim and Dontbetwithbruno. The former most recently finished second in an optional claimer at Gulfstream Park, while the latter broke his maiden last out on Feb. 1 at the Big A.

Others likely for the Gotham include Withers runner-up El Kabeir; maiden winner Combat Diver, recently second in the Miracle Wood Stakes; maiden winner Lieutenant Colonel; and Tencendur, fourth in the Withers.

Edited NYRA release with additional content by Dick Downey


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