I don’t have quite enough time to compose a full entry, but I’ve posted my picks for Aqueduct’s races today with some quick explanations.
Race 1: $5 Exacta Box 1-6
I just think Irish Lion (#1) and Terminus (#6) are the two best horses in this race. Irish Lion probably would have taken a big step forward last time for Rudy Rodriguez if it were not for a severe inside bias. Now he’s in the barn of David Jacobson and should show up with his best effort. Terminus has run very well in two of his last three starts and had the excuse of being wide off that same gold rail Irish Lion had to deal with last time. As for the others, Visionary Man’s last race is a bias-aided illusion and Springcourt is too cheap.
Race 2: $10 Win 7
I’ve picked Mac’s Ink (#7) by default here. It’s a weak field and he’s had major excuses in each of his two races (if you can even call that last debacle a race). The only time that he actually go the chance to compete, he was extremely wide versus a much tougher field. He’s bred to be okay since his dam is a full-sister to top NY-bred stakes winner Uncle Camie. Irad Ortiz, Jr. takes the call and I give him a shot at a decent price.
Race 3: $10 Win 5 (WINNER; Payout: $48.50)
I certainly wouldn’t be surprised by Comstock Prize or Reggie D winning this race, but I’m kind of married to Lost Decade (#5). He became a member of my “Horses to Watch” list after an under-aggressive ride two back that cost him the win. Last time, he was a little wide around the turn, but just didn’t fire his best shot. I’m hoping he rebounds today because either of his other two dirt efforts would win this.
Race 7: $15 Win 1
Cousin Michael is probably going to be a strong favorite, but I’m taking a shot against him with the stretching out Bob and Jim (#1). This one probably needed his return race and has “route” written all over his pedigree (his dam is a full-sister to a 9-furlong Cardinal Handicap (G3) winner). It would be wise for Cornelio Velasquez to send him from the rail with the addition of blinkers, but I like him to beat the favorite regardless of trip.
Race 9: $10 Win 8
It’s hard to love anyone in here so I’ve landed on The Winged Venus (#8) once again. Two back she was badly compromised by an inside bias and last time her rider just let the race get away from him around the turn and got this filly in gear way too late. She gets a positive rider switch and has run dirt races that can win this. Aside form the dubious favorite File Gumbo and distance-challenged My Sparky, who else is there to fear in here?
[4:00 p.m. update] – I’ve been out for most of the day so I’m just getting a chance to catch up on the earlier races.
I was happy to see Lost Decade ($9.70) come through off my “Horses to Watch” list and run back to his first couple of dirt races. He also got a good, aggressive ride from Pablo Morales, who has really struggled at this meet, but did the right thing by making Comstock Prize work a little harder than he would have liked early.
The same could not be said of Cornelio Velasquez on Bob and Jim in the seventh race. He’s a very good rider, but his major flaw is that sometimes he will come out the gate with a set-in-stone plan and not adapt to circumstances. His horse broke well and obviously wanted to go to the front with the addition of blinkers, but Cornelio was intent on taking him back. Bob and Jim may not have been able to beat the winner anyway, but it would have been nice if his rider had given him a chance.