Aqueduct, Race 3: The Are We Dreamin Stakes at six furlongs for fillies and mares
I know that Merry Meadow, Conkate, and Galloping Giraffe all appear to be faster on paper, but I think Vicki’s Dancer (#2) has run deceptively well in her two starts for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. First she was hard-used early in the Iroquois Stakes to try and go after the loose on the lead Cluster of Stars before fading. She likely could have run a faster figure that day if allowed to employ her preferred closing tactics. Then last time she won a slow running of a New York-bred stakes race that I believe was more a function of a slow pace than the quality of the competition. I won’t be surprised to see her run a figure in the 80s today and that would certainly be good enough to compete with these fillies.
$10 Win 2
Aqueduct, Race 4: Claiming $20,000 at six furlongs for fillies and mares
La Bella Valeria (#3) is taking a significant drop in class out of some tough N2X New York-bred races and should be able to handle this field. She is also getting a positive rider change and should work out a good stalking trip. I’ll bet her to win at decent odds and will use her with fellow class-dropper Magma (#9) in the exacta.
$15 Win 3
$2 Exacta Box 3/9
Aqueduct, Race 7: Claiming $30,000-$25,000 at one mile and 70 yards
Itsagoodtendollars (#2) got one of the more puzzling rides of the year on the NYRA circuit last time as he is clearly a speed horse, yet Jose Ortiz wrangled him back early to race from last place behind a glacial early pace. Itsagoodtendollars was clearly unhappy, but Ortiz just made a ridiculous tactical error and never let him run a step. I expect the instructions will be to send him early today with the rider change to Esquivel. Itsagoodtendollars doesn’t need the lead to be successful, but he does have to be involved in the pace. I’ll bet him to win, but will also use him in the exacta with the David Jacobson entry of Tiz Gianni (#1) and Hailstone (#1A). I know this turf-to-inner-dirt angle has not worked so well for Jacobson recently, but unlike some others sent out from this stable recently, both of these horses have previously run decent dirt races. Don’t be surprised to see one or both of these running late if the pace heats up.