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Feb 01, 2013

Eight set to go in Withers


Ozone Park, NY (Sports Network) - Eight 3-year-olds have been entered for Saturday's $200,000 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct. The 1 1/16-mile stakes is a prep event for Aqueduct's $1 million Wood Memorial on April 6.

Last year's Withers was captured by trainer Kiaran McLaughlin's Alpha, who would go on to win the Jim Dandy and Travers at Saratoga. McLaughlin goes for a second straight victory with a pair of colts in the coupled entry of Long River and Valid.

Starting from the inside post, Long River will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., while Junior Alvarado will be aboard Valid from the No. 2 hole. Both horses are owned by Darley Stable.

Long River finished fourth in the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct on Jan. 5, just 3 1/2-lengths behind Vyjack. Valid will be making both his 2013 and stakes debut in the Withers.

McLaughlin also won the race in 2009 with Mr. Fantasy and 2007 with Divine Park.

Jerome runner-up Siete de Oros will break from post six with Maria Remedio in the saddle. Siete de Oros is owned and trained by Ramon Preciado.

Siete de Oros missed winning the Jerome by a head versus Vyjack. He finished third in the Pennsylvania Nursery at Parx Racing on Dec. 8 after notching back-to-back wins at the suburban Philadelphia track.

With two wins in five career starts, the gelding has banked $118,950.

Here is the field in post position order for the Withers: Long River, Irad Ortiz Jr.; Valid, Junior Alvarado; Revolutionary, Javier Castellano; Escapefromreality, Jose Ortiz; Amerigo Vespucci, Erick Rodriguez; Siete de Oros, Maria Remedio; Champion Boy, Eddie Castro and Smooth Bert, Mike Luzzi.

Post time for the Withers is scheduled for 4:18 p.m. (ET).

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