Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, December 29, 2018
Welcome to another Saturday at the Big A! We have a solid nine-race card to dive into this afternoon, so let’s get into it and bring home some winners. Good luck to all!
7 – Brazen Prince – rough start in the last try at Parx, but finished well from the outside and should get a faster track today. Draws outside again here for a barn hitting at 21% second off the break, and picks up Diaz for the first time (J/T 36%).
5 – Midnight Entree – $400k purchase price jumps off the page, but the last start for Pletcher was bad enough that a barn switch was necessary. Rudy picks her up and drops her into MCL ranks for the first time, and the works leading in look sharp. Price will be short I’d imagine, so I’m trying to beat her on top.
6 – American Wish – this race looks very poor on paper outside of the top two selections, so I’ll roll with the first-timer and hope lighting strikes in the trifecta.
4 – Wicked Freud – the 25th career start will be the very first on dirt for the gelding, and I like his chances in a race that features some tough-luck horses. Can he keep his stalk and pounce style in-tact on the new surface? If so, he should have some pace to sit off.
1 – Proud Zip – the other Rudy entrant here should go off as the favorite and deservedly so. He’s 3: 2-1-0 at the distance and has won locally earlier in his career. He’ll show early zip, just depends on who else fires with him.
5 – Oneballnostrikes – the last two were rough, but like most of this field he’ll drop all the way down to the $8k tag here and should fit in. Will likely be near the lead early.
3 – Catania Rose – has had absolutely zero luck locally, but comes back in a week to face likely her weakest competition to date. He’s worked pretty well all fall, so maybe she finds her spot here and settles in nicely near the rail.
6 – Discount Diva – first timer for Linda Rice will probably fit in here as the barn hits on 23% of their maiden claimer debuts. Modest works leading in, but this field doesn’t have much that should scare her.
4 – Youth Gone Wild – only the second dirt start today, and likely the first she’ll see on solid footing. She’s ran some tough races, and finishes well more often than not. Fair price to throw into the show spot.
5 – Big Thicket – drops way down in class for Linda Rice after a very subpar effort in $65K allowance company last out, but the barn excels off this layoff (24%) and he has enough early speed to clear. Three career wins at the distance doesn’t hurt either.
3 – Call Me – the Pletcher trainee won last out locally in November, and put up a bullet work on 12/15. Looks loaded here, but the price will be very short and he might need the lead to win in a field that has early speed. Will try to beat.
2 – Thank You So Much – had a nice fall in Delaware, winning twice in lesser company than today but did so coming off the pace in both. Claimed from Asmussen for Toscano after a bad start on 11/21, but I like the closing kick in this spot.
5 – Enjoyitwhilewecan – this will be the second choice of the two Kiaran starters, and she makes the debut against salty company here, but the 12/15 work was ultra-sharp and the price will be very fair to find out if she can surprise.
2 – Alisio – the favored filly from the McLaughlin barn has looked very impressive in the first two starts in this company, just missing in both. Will add blinkers in hopes of breaking through, but will be odds-on in a tough field.
3 – Solent – first timer for Chad Brown working nicely into the debut, feels likes a reach to toss entirely.
7 – Espresso Shot – both career dirt starts have been impressive and she came from off the pace against a few of these last month to grab second. Her first two career starts showed some early speed and she’ll need that today to stay close. The 12/23 bullet signals to me that she’s taking a step forward and I think she stalks and pounces at a nice price today.
2 – Forever Changed – this one has been building up to her first stakes try after two wins here at the Big A, and she has shown the ability to rate which will be necessary here. The works look good and everything is trending upwards.
10 – Take Me to Hardoon – ran a nice third last out at six panels behind the 6 and 7 here, but will likely appreciate the added distance today.
3 – Jump Ruler – 5 for 6 ITM locally and 5 for 5 ITM at today’s distance and ran well off the layoff at this level earlier in the month. The wins come when she gets the lead and never looks back, so the 11/21 bullet and Breen’s 21% success rate off the layoff could signal exactly that today.
1 – DJ’s Favorite – handled her business at every call last time out taking them gate to wire. 0-1 at today’s distance but draws inside and should be firing from the bell. I expect her to be prominently involved at the top of the lane.
5 – Indy Union – 1 for 1 at the distance and will go as a short price, but the late-running style could fit here if things get heavy up front.
2 – Mr. Buff – wire to wire wins in the last two and last week’s work shows he’s stayed sharp since the 11/28 triumph. Draws inside and should get every chance to set up shop up front. Likely not getting more than the ML on this one, but he looks loaded.
3 – Twisted Tom – switches to the Mott barn after a nice run with Chad Brown, but the last two starts left a lot to be desired. He should get a set-up today, however, and his stalk and pounce style could have him rolling late to complete the exacta.
7 – Caledonian – stretching out big time here and I don’t think he’s a win candidate, but he’s been ITM 7 out of 11 lifetime and could round out the triple at a big number.
8 – Cross Multiply – finished OK last-out and has hit the board in 8 of 17 career starts. Tough race to peg, but I like the price and the 11/8 workout.
4 – The Mason Factor – very sharp work 12/23 leads into the second start off the layoff for Englehart, a spot where the barn connects at 24%.
12 – Dublin Leprechaun – two nice starts locally over the last month, maybe today is the day?
2018-2019 Belmont / Aqueduct Top Selections (as of 12/22)
- 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)
- Week 6 (12/1) – 10: 2-1-3, -60.5% ROI ($20 wagered, $7.90 returned)
- Week 7 (12/8) – 9: 3-2-2, -32.2% ROI ($18 wagered, $12.20 returned)
- Week 8 (12/15) – 9: 2-2-0, 37.7% ROI ($18 wagered, $24.80 returned)
- Week 9 (12/22) – 9: 0-2-1, -100% ROI ($18 wagered, zero returned)
- Total: 82: 19-17-10, -16.2% ROI ($164 wagered, $137.40 returned)
Win Rate = 23.1%