Aqueduct, Race 2: Claiming $35,000-$25,000 at six furlongs
David Jacobson appears to have a strangle-hold on this race with an entry (one of which will participate) and new acquisition Whatabouthonor. However, I’m going to take a shot against him with Indy Sea (#3), who drops in class and turns back on the dirt. He appears to be more of a turf horse at first glance, but I think he deserves another chance on the main track. He beat Silver Max over a muddy track as a two year-old and then did not race on dirt again until last month at Aqueduct when he finished behind Sliver and Onions and Nevada Kid in a tough spot. Today he gets needed class relief and turns back in distance, which may not pose a problem. His pedigree indicates that a dirt sprint may be within his scope and a projected slow pace in this race should allow him to stay within range of the leaders early.
$10 Win 3
Aqueduct, Race 4: Maiden Claiming $35,000 at six furlongs for NY-bred two year-olds
It’s worth watching the replay of Lulu Rocks (#3) most recent effort as he would have likely finished in the money if not for some serious trouble at the top of the stretch. Just as he was getting under way coming to the quarter pole, the horse directly to his inside veered out into him, losing the rider and then bumping Lulu Rocks’ hind quarters, causing him to lose his action for a stride. If you project his Beyer up to a number in the low-50s without the trouble then he becomes a pretty formidable foe for this field. His morning line odds of 7-2 represent good value.
$10 Win 3 (WINNER; Payout: $33.50)
Aqueduct, Race 7: Optional Claiming $14,000/N1X at six furlongs for NY-breds
The Brothers Rap (#2) is likely going to go off at a large price in this race, but I think he’s one of the prime contenders. He took a couple of races to find himself as a two year-old, but really put things together in his third start when he was stepped up in class to face some tough New York-bred allowance horses. He did get a fast pace ahead of him, but still made a nice late run through the stretch to finish a few lengths in arrears of Go Get the Basil and Escapefromreality, who have both since confirmed their status as two of the best NY-breds in their crop.
In his most recent race back in January (Replay), The Brothers Rap was stretched out in distance and a rough trip was his undoing. Sensing a slow pace, Rodriguez tried to advance along the rail down the backstretch, but found himself in a tight spot entering the far turn and was forced to steady The Brothers Rap all the way back to last place losing nearly five lengths in the process. The Brothers Rap re-rallied mildly in the stretch, but could not make much of an impact late in a slowly-paced race dominated up front.
Now he returns eleven months later in a sprint and with even a small step forward he should be able to contend with any of the favorites in this race. Charlton Baker shows excellent numbers bringing horses back from this sort of layoff and I expect a big performance out of this gelding.
$15 Win 2
$2 Exacta 3/4/11/12 with 2
Aqueduct, Race 9: Claiming $12,500N2L at six furlongs for fillies and mares
All of the scratches have really changed the complexion of this race, most notably by allowing also-eligible runner My Cousin Zinny (#15) to draw into the race. This filly loves a wet track and has spent the majority of her career facing better fields against maidens. When she was dropped into a cheap maiden claimer at Finger Lakes last time she blasted clear early and ran a time that would certainly beat this field. She should be the main speed from the outside in this race and I think she’ll take them all the way on the front end once again.
$10 Win 15