2023 Gotham Stakes Betting Odds and Contenders Preview

Gotham Stakes Betting odds and Contender Information at Aqueduct race grounds.

The 2023 Gotham Stakes will be run Saturday, March 4, at Aqueduct. The Grade 3 race, which covers a one-turn mile over the Aqueduct dirt, drew an overflow field: fourteen horses in the main group, plus one also-eligible entrant. The race offers a purse of $300,000, plus 50-20-15-10-5 Road to the Kentucky Derby points for its top five finishers. That means the winner is virtually guaranteed a spot in the starting gate at Churchill.

Leading runners in the Gotham field include Jerome winner Lugan Knight, multiple stakes winners Recruiter and Howgreatisnate, and Grade 2-placed Carmel Road. This race will show whether these horses can continue down the trail or whether one of the later bloomers will step forward in the final local prep for the 100-point Wood Memorial.

Stars who have won the Gotham include breed-shaping sire Native Dancer (1953), dirt mile world record holder Dr. Fager (1967), Triple Crown winner Secretariat (1973), and Belmont winner Easy Goer (1989). The most recent Gotham winner to go on and win a Triple Crown race was Red Bullet (2000), who went on to upset the Preakness.

Gotham Stakes 2023 Information

Race Date: Saturday, March 4, 2023
Track: Aqueduct Racetrack
Post Time: 4:56 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
Distance: one mile
Age/Sex: three-year-olds
Where to Watch: FanDuel TV, CNBC
Where to Bet: and FanDuel Racing

Gotham Stakes Odds

This is the field for the 2023 Gotham Stakes including post positions, trainers, jockey, and morning-line odds for each runner.

PostHorseTrainerJockeyML Odds
1Clear the AirWilliam WaldenJack Gilligan30-1
2HowgreatisnateAndrew SimoffJ. D. Acosta10-1
3Mr. SwaggerJuan AvilaCarlos Olivero10-1
4UncorrelatedChad BrownManuel Franco10-1
5Carmel RoadTim YakteenEric Cancel6-1
6General BankerJames FerraroFrankie Pennington30-1
7TransectPaulo LoboJoe Talamo15-1
8Fort WarrenBrittany RussellJevian Toledo12-1
9ClubhouseTodd PletcherKendrick Carmouche20-1
10Lugan KnightMichael McCarthyDylan Davis6-1
11Slip MahoneyBrad CoxTrevor McCarthy5-1
12Raise CainBen ColebrookJose Lezcano30-1
13Eyeing CloverBrad CoxFlorent Geroux4-1
14RecruiterCathal LynchAngel Cruz12-1
15 (AE)Radio RedDanny GarganJose Gomez50-1

Radio Red is on the also-eligible list. He will only run in the Gotham if another entrant scratches.

Gotham Stakes Prep Results

All fifteen entrants in the Gotham Stakes come out of different races.

Only three were last seen in graded company; all hit the board in those races but none won. Both former Bob Baffert runners, who have been moved to new barns for Derby eligibility, come out of graded races in southern California. Carmel Road was second in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) and Fort Warren was third in the San Vicente (G2). General Banker also comes out of a graded race; he was last third in the Withers.

Five others come out of ungraded stakes. The leader of that group is Lugan Knight, who won the Jerome in game fashion. Clubhouse was most recently second in the Jimmy Winkfield, a sprint at Aqueduct, while Raise Cain last finished fifth over the Tapeta in Turfway’s Leonatus Stakes. Both Howgreatisnate and Recruiter are undefeated horses coming out of stakes wins at Parx, though both will get tested for class in the Gotham.

The rest of the field has not yet tried stakes company. Eyeing Clover comes out of an allowance win on dirt at Fair Grounds, while Transect last won an allowance at Turfway and tries dirt for the first time in the Gotham. Clear the Air was also last seen in an allowance at Turfway, though he finished fourth that day and will need to do much better.

Slip Mahoney comes out of a third-out maiden win over the same course and distance as the Gotham, while Mr. Swagger and Uncorrelated both come out of debut maiden sprint wins at Aqueduct. The also-eligible entrant, Radio Red, broke his maiden in his most recent start in a maiden special weight sprint at Aqueduct, though his field was restricted to New York-breds.

Gotham Stakes Contenders

These are the contenders in the 2023 Gotham Stakes, organized by post position:

Clear the Air: Perhaps he is a better horse now than the last time he tried dirt, on debut last August. His maiden win on January 6 at Turfway off a long layoff looked good, but he finished a troubled fourth. That gives him upside, though he has to both go much faster and prove he can handle the dirt from a tough inside draw in a huge field.

Howgreatisnate: He is perfect in four starts on the mid-Atlantic circuit, including a restricted stakes in Delaware and an open sprint at Parx. However, he stretches to a mile for the first time and moves out to the New York circuit for the first time. His tactical speed is a plus, and perhaps he can make it a mile given the bottom side of his pedigree, but make sure to demand a price due to the class move.

Mr. Swagger: He broke his maiden in stalk-and-pounce fashion about a month ago on debut, and second-place Register came back to win again in gritty and fast fashion, franking that performance. It’s a good effort to start, and the step to a one-turn mile is a logical next try distance-wise off a 6 1/2-furlong win. However, he will have to handle a huge field for the first time and will be forward in a race that has a lot of pace.

Uncorrelated: Like the horse just to his inside, he comes off a sprint maiden win on debut, and also showed a stalking style. He is bred to stretch out to this mile and beyond, though he also handles a big field for the first time. Though, the win on mud while right up on a somewhat fast pace is a positive: the pace should be honest here, too, and rain through Friday into Saturday morning suggests he may get a wet track again.

Carmel Road: The first of two previous Bob Baffert trainees who have shifted barns, he has a class advantage over most of his foes since he has run his last two starts in graded company. The second-place finish in the Los Alamitos Futurity was particularly solid, and the kind of effort that suggests the cutback to a one-turn mile may suit well. However, he’s another speed horse in a race full of them, and he has been off for two and a half months.

General Banker: With ten starts, he has the experience many of his foes lack. However, after breaking his maiden eighth-time out in New York-bred company, he has managed two no-threat thirds in Kentucky Derby preps. His Jerome was troubled enough to give him some shot to improve in the Withers, but again, he was no real factor. He has some upside on the cutback to one turn and with the likelihood of rain, though underneath shares look like his ceiling.

Transect: He is undefeated in a pair of races at Turfway, a maiden, and a first-level allowance. He traversed six and a half furlongs each time, positive signs for the one-turn mile, and he showed two different running styles in both of those races. That is another good sign; this may be a good place to revert to the midpack style he showed first out against a big field. Between that, his dirt breeding, and trainer Paulo Lobo’s success with shippers, he has some longshot appeal.

Fort Warren: The second of the Baffert defectors, this son of Curlin turns up in the barn of Brittany Russell. Both of his races have come over extended one-turn trips, with a debut maiden win on the front end but then a no-threat third in the San Vicente (G2). The extra distance is a positive, but he handles a big field for the first time in this race, and also will have to prove that he can either win from off the pace or fight off more early speed than he had to on debut.

Clubhouse: It took a while for him to get going, but he graduated by open lengths in a seven-furlong maiden special over a good track two back, and then finished second in the Jimmy Winkfield over shorter. His form suggests that this son of Speightstown needs a bit more distance, meaning the stretch out to this one-turn mile gives him upside. He will need to take a step forward, but with a pressing gear and high-percentage connections, that wouldn’t be much of a surprise.

Lugan Knight: He tried the one-turn mile for the first time on January 7 in the Jerome, and won in game fashion over the perennial bridesmaid of the New York spur of the Kentucky Derby trail, Arctic Arrogance. This will likely be a tougher test, though he has already proven he does not need the lead, and his trainer Michael McCarthy is as strategic as it gets with where and when he ships his horses. If he runs back to the Jerome he fits, and if he takes a step forward, he has a serious shot.

Slip Mahoney: It took him three tries to break his maiden, but two back he missed by only a head to the well-regarded Tapit Trice (a next out winner), and he came back to win by a head himself. He has shown speed in both his one-turn mile efforts, but to his credit, he was able to to battle on over the trip. And, trainer Brad Cox has been very sharp at Aqueduct. It is a concern that Dylan Davis hops off to ride another horse, though it’s less concerning that the horse is Jerome winner Lugan Knight, compared to virtually anyone else.

Raise Cain: He was a well-beaten fifth in the Leonatus on synthetic last out, but two back, he ran a credible second in the Gun Runner on the Fair Grounds dirt, and he returns to a conventional dirt surface for this. He has to bounce back from a tough post, but his race in the Gun Runner suggests he can be competitive and his sharp maiden-breaker going seven furlongs at Keeneland suggests the one-turn mile might suit him well.

Eyeing Clover: Both of his wins have been by daylight, though both have come on the front end and neither have come in stakes company. Though the far-outside post may be a bit less bad at a one-turn mile compared to if this were a two-turn race, it’s a big enough field with enough speed that he will probably have to either use a lot of that speed early (and battle others), or prove he can come home from off the pace.

Recruiter: He is perfect in four starts on the mid-Atlantic circuit, including open stakes wins at Laurel and Parx, though he has yet to run in a points race much less show up on the NYRA circuit at all. The last-out win showed a few good things: he showed he could stalk, and the seven-furlong form can bode well for a mile. He is well-proven on a wet track, as well, and his last two races have come back fast enough to fit here.

Radio Red (also eligible): His first two starts had him well-beaten in the mud against New York-breds. He finally caught a fast track last out, and the figure came back fast in his open-length win. However, that was still only against New York-bred horses. Now he stretches to a mile, which may prove a challenge with his pedigree, and the weather suggests he will have to deal with a wet track again.

Gotham Stakes Past Winners Past Performances

Six of the last ten winners of the Gotham have come out of stakes races at Aqueduct, though not all have been Derby preps. Samraat (2014) came out of a win in the Withers (G3), while El Kabeir (2015) was most recently second in that race, and J Boys Echo (2018) was third. Vyjack (2013) came out of a second in the Jerome. More recently, it has been another stakes that has supplied Gotham winners: Haikal (2019) and Morello (2022) both came out of wins in the Jimmy Winkfield, a sprint stakes at Aqueduct.

Two other recent winners of this race came out of stakes at Gulfstream. Mischevious Alex (2020) won the Swale (G3) in his start before the Gotham, while Enticed (2018) was fourth in the Holy Bull (G2).

Only two of the last ten Gotham winners came out of non-stakes races. Shagaf (2016) came out of an allowance win at Gulfstream and made his stakes debut in the Gotham. Weyburn (2021) came out of a maiden special weight win at Aqueduct and won his first try against winners in this race.

Gotham Stakes Undercard

The Gotham will be run as the ninth of ten races on Aqueduct’s Saturday card. The day features two other stakes races: the $200,000 Busher is a points race for Kentucky Oaks prospects, while the $150,000 Tom Fool (G3) features older dirt sprinters. You can watch and wager on Aqueduct and racing all over the country on FanDuel!

About Aqueduct

An oldie, but a goodie, Aqueduct (familiarly called the Big A) opened up in 1894 in Queens, New York. The track was closed in 1956 for renovations, with an updated version opened up in 1959. The only racetrack within the New York City limits, it has been updated several times since then. In 1975 they laid an inner track, and in 2017 the inner dirt track was replaced with a second turf course.

Aqueduct has been the site of many moments in racing history. In the 1944 running of the Carter, fans witnessed the first—and still only—triple dead heat in a stakes race when Brownie, Bossuet, and Wait a Bit crossed the wire at the same time. Between 1963 and 1967, Aqueduct hosted the Belmont Stakes as Belmont was being renovated. In 1973, Secretariat’s retirement ceremony happened at Aqueduct.

In 2013, Aqueduct embraced its position as a true city track by inviting street artists to paint murals in the grandstand of Aqueduct. An exciting overlap of classic racing scenes and modern style, the murals help make Aqueduct a fascinating, unique destination to enjoy a day of horse racing.

Gotham Stakes FAQ

Q: When is the Gotham Stakes?
The 2023 Gotham Stakes will be run Saturday, March 4 at Aqueduct. It is the ninth race on the day’s ten-race card.

Q: Where is the Gotham Stakes?
It takes place at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, New York.

Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Gotham Stakes?
Two trainers have three wins in the Gotham Stakes: Kiaran McLaughlin and Shug McGaughey. McGaughey is still actively training, though he does not have an entrant in this year’s edition. Among trainers with a horse in the Gotham this year, Todd Pletcher leads with two. He won with Cowtown Cat (2007) and Stay Thirsty (2011), and returns this year with Clubhouse.

Q: Who is the favorite for the 2023 Gotham Stakes?
Eyeing Clover is the 4-1 morning line favorite for trainer Brad Cox, off of a smart allowance win at Fair Grounds. However, Slip Mahoney (5-1), Lugan Knight (6-1), and Carmel Road (6-1) are not far behind, and none of them would be a surprise to be favored in this competitive affair come Saturday afternoon.

Q: Who is the best Gotham Stakes jockey?
Six different jockeys have won three editions of the Gotham: Jorge Velasquez, Angel Cordero, Jr., Jacinto Vasquez, Richard Migliore, Ramon Dominguez, and Mike Smith. Smith is still actively riding, but takes a call in the San Felipe at Santa Anita instead. Among jockeys who are entered in the 2023 edition, Jose Lezcano leads with two. He will ride Raise Cain in 2023.

Q: Who won the 2022 Gotham Stakes?
Morello won the Gotham in 2022 for trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Jose Lezcano. Asmussen does not enter a horse this year, but Lezcano rides Raise Cain for Ben Colebrook.