Graded action is on the card at Aqueduct this Saturday, as the G2 Hill Prince Stakes is the fifth race on the card in New York, due off at 1:48 PM ET. A field of ten will compete in the race this weekend, which covers a total distance of 1 1/8 miles on the turf. A purse of $250,000 is available to connections, and it could unearth a potential three-year-old to keep an eye on in 2024.
Race History & Records
The Hill Prince Stakes was first staged in 1975 when it was previously known as the Hill Prince Handicap. It was listed as a Grade 3 race for the first time in 1981, before it was upgraded to a Grade 2 contest for the first time in 2018. Street Game was the most dominant winner of the race, landing success by over seven lengths in 2011.
Angel Cordero Jr and Jerry Bailey are the two most successful jockeys in the race after recording four victories apiece. Meanwhile, Will Mott is the most successful trainer with four wins.
Integration will rank high among the likely winners for many this weekend, as the three-year-old for trainer Claude McGaughey III chases a second straight win in graded company.
He was in excellent form on his previous start, landing the G3 Virginia Derby over 1 1/8 miles at Colonial Downs. That success scored a career-high speed rating of 103, and makes him the standout pick on ratings this weekend.
I’m Very Busy
Chad Brown has three chances in the Hill Prince this weekend, but I’m Very Busy could be the standout selection. The three-year-old was tenth in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last winter, before returning to action in July when finishing fourth over 1 1/16 miles at Saratoga.
He was last seen at Belmont at the Big A, as he scored a mighty speed figure of 105 when winning over a mile in allowance company from Fredo. I’m Very Busy is back up in grade this weekend, and takes on the extended distance for the first time.
Todd Pletcher sends Crupi to the Hill Prince Stakes this weekend. The three-year-old landed a first victory in stakes company on his previous start, beating Winters Lion in the Discovery Stakes over 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct.
That success over course and distance makes him a solid chance this weekend, but it is worth noting that this is his first start on the turf. Still, he holds some classy runs on the dirt, including a decent fifth in the G1 Pennsylvania Derby. He will be an interesting runner on this first start on the turf.
Hill Prince Stakes Prediction
This looks like a very trappy contest at Aqueduct this weekend, with a number of contenders holding very strong claims. While I’m Very Busy deserves respect from the Chad Brown yard, it could be argued that Freedom Trail boasts the best form on paper.
The runner is one of the most battle-hardened competitors in this field, having run with huge credit over course and distance against older rivals to finish second in allowance claiming company at the end of September.
On that run, he scored a speed rating of 97, and he has also finished strongly in graded company when fifth in the G2 Pennine Ridge Stakes. At a price, he could be the one worth siding with for trainer John Terranova II. I’m Very Busy, along with Classic Catch could complete the Exacta, with the latter transferring to the turf after a strong finishing second on the dirt in the Jockey Club Derby.