Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Nine races are part of today’s Aqueduct card, with a first post time of 12:20 PM EST. We’ve got Mike Mahon (@MikeMahonPA) with picks & analysis of the program. Good luck to everyone playing along!
Race 1, 1 Mile, Allowance $50,000
7 w 4
I hate to open the card with chalk, but 4 Scarf It Down and 7 Shadow Rider are your morning line favorites and most likely be fighting off one another at the wire. Shadow Rider looks more comfortable at this distance. I Scarf It Down gets into a dual with any of the front runners, look for 5 New Moon to pick up the pieces.
Race 3, 1 Mile, Allowance $67,000
Nobody’s really jumping off the page at me here, and I can’t find a reason to bet against 2 Boule. She’s not overly impressive, but neither are any of her challengers. This is her second try off a layoff, and if she’s able to settle in to the distance, she should be ok. I don’t like her anywhere near the 4/5 morning line, so I’ll put 4 Spring for More underneath at 20/1. 6 Maddizaskar is coming in second off a claim and making a massive jump in class. She didn’t thrive at this level before, and I’m not finding a compelling reason to think today will be any different.
Race 4, 6 1/2 Furlongs, Maiden Claiming $50,000
9, 11, 1 to win
9 Causforcelebration and 11 Shiny Medal are both first time geldings. I always play those blind, bro. Based on more pragmatic facts, I like 1 It’s Hot Out. I don’t want to say it’s his race to lose because he’s drawn an outside post, but he’s a speed horse and the race begins along a straightaway. In my mind he looks like the strongest runner regardless of position.
Race 5, 6 Furlongs, Claiming $12,500
1, 5 box
5 No Hiding Place switched trainers a couple of times in the fall, and comes in off a nearly fifty-day layoff. The drop in class should prove beneficial, and he could be leading down the stretch. 1 Power Nap is a closer that’s somewhat pace-dependent. If there’s some heat in front of him, he could be a threat.
8 Bluegrass Singer is a bit of wildcard here – he was competitive at a much higher level earlier in the year, but more recently continues to creep down in class and today runs at his new all-time low tag. He hasn’t been impressive lately, and I wouldn’t take the risk anywhere near the 3/1 morning line.
Race 6, 6 Furlongs, Maiden $55,000
This is a very deep field of a dozen 2-year-old fillies that have never won a race, more than half of which have never even run a race. Of the five that have been to the track before, 4 Puffery is the only gal that looks like she might be a racehorse. She stayed close to the lead but couldn’t run down Pure Silver, who won her next race as well. Puffery has taken an unusually long break, but has been training well. 7 Lady Vicki boasts a precocious bloodline, as her dam has produced five winners from six starters. Baker doesn’t win a lot with first timers, but look for Lady Vicki to land in the money. 11 Velma is a Pletcher horse, so you know she’ll be heavily bet. I’d prefer to take the longer odds that will most likely be offered by Asmussen’s 10 Queen Apollo – her dam has produced four winners from four starters.
Race 7, 6 Furlongs, Claiming $25,000
3 w 7 w 1
This run could be quite a shock to the 3 Gehrig – he drops in class, cuts back from a mile and switches to dirt. He ran well on the grass at higher levels, and could steal this one today. 7 Gorelli is also taking a significant class drop. 1 Nut Nut comes in first off the claim and stays at the same level after finishing third by seven lengths. He’s competitive at this level, but not a winner.
Race 8, 6 Furlongs, New York Stallion Series Stakes $150,000
5/6 w 5/6 w 2
A slim field of 6 two-year-old fillies compete in the headline of this afternoon’s card. 5 Miss Hot Stones in on an uptick, but you have to dig too deep to find reasons to bet against her – her last work was 4F at 0:49.3 and prior to her last win her work was 4F at 0:48. She’s also switching riders for the first time. Depending on the payout, I’m inclined to go with 6 Wegetsdamunnys – she’ll go as fast as she needs to win, and will do so as long as she’s the pace setter this afternoon. Look for 2 Pure Silver to round out the trifecta.
Race 9, 1 Mile, Claiming $12,500
3 w 11
I think 1 Nonna’s Boy will set the pace but can’t outlast the 3 Are We Not Men, who should be pressing close behind throughout the contest. 11 Docs Legacy should also be in a nice position to close down the stretch, at least get close enough for second.
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