Darley Stable’s Villanesca drew post post position no. 2 for her stakes debut on New Year’s Day in the 1 1/8-mile Ladies Handicap at Aqueduct. The 4-year-old daughter of Grade 2 winner Distorted Humor was broken and trained in Aiken by Tim Jones.
The chestnut filly is the 5/2 third choice on the morning line in the 6 horse field, and will carry 114 pounds. Regular rider Eddie Castro gets the return call on the Kiaran McLaughlin charge. Villanesca will be moving up in class and stretching out, after breaking her maiden in the final start of her sophomore campaign in a 6 1/2-furlong contest at Aqueduct on Dec. 5. The filly last breezed a half-mile on Christmas Eve at the Belmont Park Training Track, working in 51 1/5 seconds.
Darley Stable’s Valid was able to validate his status as the juvenile colt broke his maiden by 3 3/4-lengths in a 1-mile race Monday at Laurel Park. The son of Grade 1 winner Medaglia d’Oro was bred by Edward Evans, and was broken and trained by Tim Jones. Kiaran McLaughlin conditions Valid at the racetrack.