Aqueduct, Race 1: Starter Optional Claiming $25,000 at six furlongs for two year-old fillies
I realize that House Red (#7) appears to be significantly slower than her rivals on paper, but I have a couple of reasons to pick her in this race. Firstly, I’m not exactly enamored with any of her rivals. I suppose Tuberose could improve off the claim by David Jacobson, which would make her formidable, but she’s going to have to do a bit better to prevail here. Bridget Maloney’s speed advantage might help her, but she rode an inside biased track last time so I can’t take her today. My Jimmy Chew Girl is routinely outrun early and that could compromise her chances in a race lacking much pace.
House Red was severely compromised by an inside-favoring track in her debut. Despite going off at 23-1, she actually took some money early on in the wagering for that race and Maggie Wolfendale made some positive comments about her in the paddock. On the racetrack, however, nothing worked out for her as she was hung up five-wide all the way around the turn and floated out even farther into the stretch at which point her jockey basically called it a day. Last time out at Parx she was admittedly facing no serious competition, but she won authoritatively under light handling despite some greenness. Two year-old fillies often show sudden improvement at this time of the year and I think we’ve yet to see the best of House Red, who should go off at a huge price today.
$10 Win 7
Aqueduct, Race 2: Claiming $25,000B at seven furlongs for fillies and mares
This one is simple. I don’t want any of the fillies who have never raced on dirt successfully or who are clearly better on turf. That leaves me with Coast of Sangria (#3) and Sugar Beach (#7), the two March layoff fillies. Chris Englehart is more reliable to have one ready off this type of layoff, but Coast of Sangria is the more attractive horse based on her prior form. I’ll also throw My Bella Beauty (#6) into the mix, since you can make the argument that she just improved with racing rather than on the turf. She won her debut impressively on the inner track here last year, so I think she’ll handle today’s conditions.
I’ll be betting against the David Jacobson entry, either of half of which would be a terrible option as the favorite.
$2 Exacta Box 3/6/7
Aqueduct, Race 6: Maiden Special Weight at one mile for two year-old fillies
Rosedale Arch (#3) ran like a horse who just needed a race in her debut and was ridden as such by Jose Ortiz, who only gave her some token encouragement down the lane. Six furlongs is definitely too short for her since she’s by route-influence Arch out of a dam who won the majority of her almost $400,000 in earnings routing on the turf. Grass may ultimately be the surface that this filly will prefer, but Albertrani’s two year-olds often make strong forward moves in their second career starts so I’m going to give this filly a chance at a big price.
I’ll also use Tiz So Sweet (#8), who could also show improvement stretching out in her second career start. Her dam was a Grade 2 winning sprinter, but there is plenty of route pedigree in her second family and I expect the one mile distance to be perfect for this daughter of Tiznow.
I’m mildly against U. S. S. O’Brien, who can obviously win, but would be a terrible bet at her morning line odds of even money and, given the way Chad Brown’s favorites are usually overbet, I’m guessing she’ll drift even lower.
$15 Win 3
$10 Win 8 (WINNER; Payout: $61.00)
Aqueduct, Race 7: Starter Optional Claiming $50,000 at six furlongs for fillies and mares
Trail Walker and Girl Code are the two logical options in here. Trail Walker is the “in form” horse who has already won at this level while Girl Code has some back class, but seems to have gone off form lately.
I’m going in a slightly different direction and will instead take a shot with Miss Da Point (#2). She appears to be a little inconsistent, but I would throw out her two recent wet track races, since she just doesn’t handle off going. Aside from those two poor efforts, her form is decent and if she can get back to that June 20th score at Belmont she’d be awfully tough to beat. I believe that six furlongs is her best distance and she should sit a great trip just off the pace of Madre Ditutticapi and Girl Code. I also like that she finally drew an inside post again since she’s been hampered a bit by wide trips recently. I would need around 6-1 or higher to back her strongly, but if the value is there she’s the contender I want to use most in this race.
$10 Win 2 (WINNER; Payout: $83.00)
Aqueduct, Race 8: Allowance N1X at 1 1/16 miles on the turf for NY-breds
I’ve been chasing Noosh’s Tale (#3) to no avail for a while, but I think in this race he’s found the right spot to make a return trip to the winner’s circle. At times he’s been hindered by rough trips and at other times he’s just disappointed with good trips, but this is not the strongest field for this level so I have trouble getting past him. If Phil Teator doesn’t give away too much ground early in the race, I think he can close them down in the stretch.
I also want to use long shot Sonnyandpally (#4), who has really stepped up his game since being gelded prior to that July 19th maiden win. He, too, has been hampered by less than ideal trips in a few of his races, none worse than last time when he was completely stymied in traffic and probably would have finished up with Toy Cannon if he had gotten a clear run (Watch the replay). He’ll be a big price in this race, but I think he’s a lot better than he looks and is a real threat to win this.
$15 Win 3
$10 Win 4