Next, Next looks to repeat in Brooklyn Stakes at the Big A

Fresh off a scintillating 11 ¼-length victory to kick off his 6-year-old campaign, the peripatetic Next returns to New York in search of a second straight win in Friday’s $200,000 Brooklyn (G2), which launched his current four-race winning streak.

Next won last year’s marathon, run at 1 ½ miles at Belmont Park, by 2 ½ lengths. The Doug Cowans trainee next took the Birdstone at Saratoga Race Course by 11 ¾ lengths and closed out his 2023 campaign with a 25-length romp in the Greenwood Cup at Parx Racing.

Next. Coglianese Photo.

Next is seeking a repeat in the Brooklyn Stakes

He opened his 2024 season coming off an eight-month layoff by setting a track record of 2:27.93 for 1 ½ miles in the Isaac Murphy on May 1 at Churchill Downs, which put him over the $1 million mark in earnings with a record of 10-0-1 from 20 starts and gave him his fourth straight triple-digit Equibase speed figure.

“We were expecting a big race,” said Cowans, who claimed Next for $62,500 on behalf of owner Michael Foster in April 2022. “I had him a bit more ready this year than I did last year when he ran third, and we were pretty confident bringing him out. He’s held his form for a long time, and we gave him the break just because there’s no racing for marathoners in the winter.”

Since the claim, the gelded gray son of Not This Time has won seven of nine starts, including his first graded stakes score in the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G2) in November 2022 at Keeneland Race Course.

“We try to take good care of him and run him in the right spots,” said Cowans. “It’s been easy enough on him, so I think he holds his form because he’s just well within himself all the time.”

Next and Crupi Headline Brooklyn Stakes Field at Aqueduct Racetrack

Next will be making his first appearance at Aqueduct Racetrack in the 1 3/8-mile Brooklyn under regular rider Luan Machado. The pair will leave from post 6 as a heavy 4-5 favorite.

Among the six marathoners lining up against Next will be Crupi (7-2) who has compiled a 2-2-1 in six starts at the Big A, including stakes wins in the Discovery and Queens County at the end of 2023. Most recently, Crupi earned his first graded stakes win with a last-to-first effort in the Suburban (G2) at Saratoga.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, a five-time winner of the Brooklyn, Crupi leaves from post 3 with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard.

Rounding out the field, from the rail out, are graded stakes-placed Lure Him In (10-1), Isaac Murphy runner-up Dai Vernon (10-1), and Suburban third-place finisher Masqueparade (12-1), along with Drake’s Passage (4-1) and Spencer’s Boy Luna (30-1), both making their graded stakes debuts.

The last horse to win back-to-back Brooklyns was Waquoit in 1987-88.

Post time is 4:42 ET.

For those who bet on horse racing … the picks:

1 Next 2 Lure Him In 3 Crupi

The field for the $200,000 Brooklyn Stakes (G2), from the rail out, with jockey, trainer, odds:

1 Lure Him In (Flavien Prat, Saffie Joseph, Jr.), 10-1

2 Dai Vernon (John Velazquez, Bill Mott), 10-1

3 Crupi (Irad Ortiz, Jr., Todd Pletcher), 7-2

4 Masqueparade (Kendrick Carmouche, Rob Atras), 12-1

5 Drake’s Passage (Many Franco, Christophe Clement), 4-1

6 Next (Luan Machado, Doug Cowans), 4-5

7 Spencer’s Boy Luna (Charlie Oliveros, Eric Reed), 30-1


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