Saturday at Aqueduct

Saturday, November 22

Aqueduct

Race 5: The New York Stallion Series at seven furlongs for NY-bred fillies and mares

10 – Storied Lady
8 – Saythreehailmary’s

Uncle Southern (#2) is the horse to beat, especially now that she is projected to be the lone speed after the scratch of stablemate Miss Narcissist. However, there are some questions that Uncle Southern has to answer today: 1) Can she be as effective on a fast track? and 2) can she negotiate seven furlongs successfully? I don’t think this field came up as deep as some other New York-bred stakes we’ve seen on this circuit recently, so I can’t totally toss her from consideration, but I’m still taking a couple of shots against her at what should be a short price.

I’m not that interested in Sunny Desert or Vicki’s Dancer, who are both likely to take some play in this post. I know that Sunny Desert has had excuses for a few of her races this year, but I can’t shake the feeling that she just isn’t the same horse that she once was. She can certainly win this, but people are still going to bet her based on her 2012-2013 form, and I highly doubt she’ll be getting back to those efforts. She’s not for me. Vicki’s Dancer is a consistent runner who handles all surfaces, but she rarely gets the job done and had absolutely no excuse last time after getting a perfect trip.

My top pick is STORIED LADY (#10). I’m of the opinion that foes like Princess Violet and Carameaway are far better racehorses than the fillies and mares she meets in this spot. All things considered, I don’t think she ran that badly in either of her last two starts, and she should appreciate this slight drop in class today. I believe she’s best going distances from seven furlongs to a mile, so today’s conditions should suit her. I know there isn’t that much pace on paper, but Storied Lady is quick enough to place herself in mid-pack early. As long as she isn’t left with too much to do late, I think she’s Uncle Southern’s biggest threat.

The other runner that I’m interested in using at a bit of a price is SAYTHREEHAILMARY’S (#8). I was impressed by her first couple of efforts, but was disappointed thereafter as she had trouble building on her impressive maiden score. I realize that she was facing a weaker field last time, but I liked the way that she won that race, and she earned a Beyer speed figure that makes her competitive with today’s group. The time off apparently did her well, and with even a slight step forward off that effort, she’s a contender here. I also like that she has shown the tactical speed to stay close early, which should be an asset in a race lacking much pace.

$15 Win 10
$10 Win 8
$4 Exacta Box 2,8,10

 

Race 7: Allowance N1X at one mile on the turf

9 – Idle American

I admit that I’ve been a fan of this horse, but you can’t deny that many signs point to IDLE AMERICAN (#9) running one of his better races today, and his best efforts will indeed be good enough to win this. He’s a horse that has often needed a race off a layoff, so it’s no surprise that he wasn’t quite ready for his return at Belmont last time. He was too eager early and Taylor Rice let him run off down the backstretch as the connections were apparently just giving him the race to get fit. Now he gets back to his favorite turf course, and lands in a race that should feature a fair pace for him to run into. (Idle American is actually 6-3-2-0 on the Aqueduct turf, and 20-0-3-5 on every other surface.)

Asset Inflation (#8) is the horse to beat, but I don’t quite trust him going two turns. Adirondack Dancer (#4) and Shatak (#10) have run well enough to win on occasion, but neither of their recent form inspires any great confidence. I’ll use them, but will be focusing on Idle American here.

$15 Win 9 (Payout: $115.50)
$5 Exacta 4,8,10 with 9

 

Race 8: The New York Stallion Series at seven furlongs for NY-breds

6 – Readthebyline

West Hills Giant is the horse to beat and a deserving favorite, but the lack of pace in this spot has to be of at least minor concern. As far as I can see, READTHEBYLINE (#6) is the fastest early, and I expect him to be alone in front down the backstretch. Loki’s Vengeance and Chapman should be in pursuit, but the former isn’t really a frontrunner and the latter has a history of not breaking sharply.

I know that Readthebyline looks like a stretch off his recent form, but let’s keep in mind that he’s not a turf horse, and prior to that he actually put in a game effort going today’s distance against a group of hard-knocking starter allowance foes at Saratoga. And, if he can ever get back to that May 7th effort for Michelle Nevin, he is going to be awfully tough to run down. I know that he was somewhat aided by a track that was kind to inside speed that day, but he still put in a dazzling effort. Even going back to the summer of 2013, he ran races for his original connections that would make him a major player here, so I don’t think he’s actually that much of a stretch, provided that he actually does show up with a good effort. Now that he’s been claimed back by the duo of Michelle Nevin and Vincent Scuderi, and lands in a spot where he can control the pace, I can’t resist him.

West Hills Giant (#1), Loki’s Vengeance (#4), and turnback Gridley Here (#7) are the others I would use.

$15 Win 6 (Payout: $97.50)
$5 Exacta 1,4,7 with 6

 

Today’s Wagers: $109.00
Today’s Payouts: $213.00