Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, December 1, 2018
It’s Cigar Mile day at Aqueduct and we have four graded stakes to dive into, as well as the rest of a very nice 10-race card. We brought home a $22.60 winner last week to get us back to a positive ROI for the meet, and hope to build on that today. Good luck everyone, let’s get to the windows early and often!
5 – Gauguin – exits some pretty solid allowance company and drops in for the optional tag today for Bill Mott. The last effort at Belmont was OK considering the bad break, and the works leading into this try tell me he’s on the up and up. Hopes to be right off the speed.
9 – Hierarchy – Broke through on the fourth career try last out and comes into this one looking very sharp. Retains the services of Johnny V and would prefer a speed duel up front to run into late.
3 – Hoboe – won at this level locally last out and hopes to stalk and pounce in the lane. Loses Johnny V to the 9 but picks up Manny Franco in the attempt to grab two in a row.
10 – Midnight Curfew – broke slowly in the debut but still finished up OK considering. Englehart hits on 21% of his second-time maiden starters and Irad hops on for the first time after the very nice 11/24 drill. At a nice price this one seems worth the shot to improve.
8 – Lion Dance – his debut was sharp for Jimmy Jerkens and the worktab since returning from the Spa is exactly what you want to see headed into the second try.
1 – Closeau – Another one making his second career start, this one for Bill Mott after an OK debut at Belmont last month. 11/24 work was good, and we can expect improvement from this barn.
9 – Three Perfections – we’re tossing the last considering the fact that he was eased late. Everything before that shows a horse that always seems to run and this will be his second try dropping into the claiming ranks. If he’s near the lead early I really like his chances.
10 – Bobby G – first start for Englehart here (26%) after being claimed last-out. The last two efforts were impressive as he never really had running room. With a good trip against these he could be the one to beat.
8 – Mr. Massena – if this stays on the grass then he’s a player at a nice price. He’s 1 for 2 locally and does have a win at today’s distance. Pretty solid works and a penchant for being near the lead.
Race 4 – Demoiselle, Grade II
1 – Enliven – have to go with the chalk here, as she appears to be the speed and has the inside jump. I expect Joe Bravo to get here out quick and never look back.
3 – Filly Joel – broke her maiden in emphatic fashion last-out at Belmont and is hoping to find another level today. Will likely try to run from the jump, let’s see if she can keep up.
7 – Molto Bella – She’ll likely hope for the pace to collapse for her to run on late, and the small field with the outside draw should allow her to relax and find her spot.
7 – Something Joyful – taking her second crack at allowance company today after flattening late at Belmont last month. The Englehart barn is very adept with sprinters on both surfaces, and I think there’s enough speed in here to set her up on the turn. She also gets Castellano back, which can only be viewed as a positive.
11 – Spa Treatment – she’s 2 for 3 ITM at the distance, gets Jose back in the irons today and comes off a very nice closing second in the last try. Her only two poor efforts in the last year can be attributed to gate trouble, so if she can avoid that fate here it’s game on.
12 – Way Smart – solid running lines for this field and always puts herself into the race. I think she’s possibly the favorite and the best horse in the field, but the price won’t be there so I prefer others for the top two slots.
Race 6 – Go For Wand, Grade III
1 – Marley’s Freedom – brutal trip in the BC F&M Sprint breaking from the 13 slot and being hung wide all the way around, but ran on for a close 4th and should appreciate the class relief today. She’s the class in this field and the inside draw should benefit her front-running style.
2 – Browse – I’ll look to round out the exacta with the 15-1 shot (or more??) that has achieved that feat 9 out of 17 times in her career. She sports two VERY nice works earlier this month and seems like she can be rated.
5 – Your Love – nothing wrong with this Chad Brown filly, as she’s 8 for 9 in the exacta for her career and will likely take the race to the 1 early. Have to respect her chances.
14 – Dr. Shane – he’s 3 for 4 ITM locally, and 5 for 6 ITM at this distance on the lawn. Coming off a 5-wide trip in the last that ultimately left him coming up short, he’ll need to use that early spped to find his spot before the turn.
3 – Almithmaar – should show speed early from an inside post, keeps Johnny V and sports a nice set of workouts heading into today.
10 – Fear – he’s 4 for 8 ITM at the distance. Tossing the two-back try, and hope the 11/18 drill is an indicator that he has another gear to tackle the class jump. Jose Ortiz stays on after the last race, which is a good sign.
Race 8 – Remsen, Grade II
6 – Maximus Mischief – five straight BULLETS with two wins for fun since September, and I think he gets the jump on the 5 today and takes them right around.
5 – Network Effect – chalky exacta but unfortunately this looks like a two-horse race. Chad Brown has this one coming out of stakes company and must be respected. Just give the slight speed advantage to the 6.
1 – Jungle Warrior – in a field with horses that will try to be near the lead, this late-runner with G1 experience feels like a logical play to pick up the pieces.
Race 9 – Cigar Mile, Grade 1
2 – Sunny Ridge – absolutely loves the distance (5 for 5 ITM) and goes out for a barn that hits at a 29% clip on layoffs such as these. He has enough speed to pop from the gate, but Irad should be able to keep him off the early lead and have him loaded into the lane. This a pure pace play as I feel he is the perfect candidate to jump on what could be blazing fractions.
8 – Patternrecognition – three straight monster efforts for this Chad Brown runner who will be involved immediately if he can break well. Everything about this one screams upward movement, but the pace is a concern and I think ultimately it will limit him to a place finish.
5 – Copper Town – similar to the 8, this is a very impressive horse that has done nothing wrong in four career starts. With the presence of the 1 in here (a toss for me at the price and travel schedule), I worry about the three of them running each other into the ground. Too good to toss completely, however.
8 – Gehrig – 3 for 6 in the exacta locally and always gives a good account of himself. Would prefer to sit just off the leaders and make one run.
11 – Quest for Fire – SPEED. One career start and it was a glorified workout. Should be the favorite here and deservedly so. I’ll look to get this exacta home with the big price on top, however.
10 – Smokin Platinum – he’s been very tough in his last two starts and should get a nice set-up here if he can avoid the wide trip.
2018-2019 Belmont / Aqueduct Top Selections (as of 11/24)
- Week 1 (10/20) – 11: 5-2-1, 87.7% ROI ($22 wagered, $41.30 returned)
- Week 2 (11/3) – 10: 2-3-1, -47% ROI ($20 wagered, $10.60 returned)
- Week 3 (11/10) – 8: 1-3-1, -54% ROI ($16 wagered, $7.40 returned)
- Week 4 (11/17) – 7: 1-1-1, -73.5% ROI ($14 wagered, $3.70 returned)
- Week 5 (11/24) – 9: 3-1-0, 63.8 % ROI ($18 wagered, $29.50 returned)
- Total: 45: 12-10-4, 2.7% ROI ($90 wagered, $92.50 returned)