Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, February 17, 2018
There’s a nine-race card in Queens, New York this Saturday, headlined by the Haynesfield Stakes, for New York-breds going a mile. It’ll be the third of nine races on the program, the first of which is scheduled to go off at 12:50 PM EST.
We’ve got Mike Mahon (@MikeMahonPA) with picks & analysis of the program. Mike’s been writing about New York racing for a while now, and we’re happy to have him back for the Aqueduct meet. Give him a follow on twitter if you can.
Good luck, and take it away, Mike!
Race 1, 6 Furlongs, Maiden Claiming $25,000
8 to win
I don’t like 8 Carthon despite the big drop in class. He hasn’t run well against better competition, and I’m not inclined to think he’ll excel against worse because he’s lost to better. Instead I’ll go with 1 Daring Destiny because he keeps creeping closer despite the losing streak, and draws the rail today. I’ll put 7 Barefoot Angel underneath because he likes to land in the money.
Race 2, 1 Mile, Maiden Claiming $40,000
4 to win
Despite the implications across the country today, here’s a handful of three year olds that find themselves far off the Derby trail. This is, like, the equivalent of the Blair Witch woods. There’s no way 4 Buster Brown Boy goes off anywhere near his 12/1 morning line odds. Cut that in half for no other reason than he hasn’t run as poorly as the others. Dig a little deeper to see his dam has three winners from three starters, and you’ve found today’s winner.
Race 3, 1 Mile, Haynesfield Stakes
6 to win
This one sets up nicely for 6 Papa Shot. He should be able to settle in and let the rest of the field press each other for the first seven furlongs, then cruise past them down the backstretch. There’s a lot of front-end speed here, with 5 Hit It Once More the most likely candidate to get out front a cajole the pressers to try and catch him. I don’t see any of them sustaining that pace for a mile, though.
Race 4, 1 Mile, Claiming $14,000
4 w 2/10 w 9/10
4 Mr. Euro’s got a new lease on life since bouncing out of Asmussen’s barn and setting up camp with Jason Servis and company. He ran the best race of his life at this distance, and may just be better off at this distance. He may have found his niche, and I’ll key him to win. There could be some value here with such a deep field. I see some similarities with 2 Z J Wins – he may be better suited for longer stretches. At 30/1, I’m willing to take a risk. 10 Fielding Gold is a safer play to place, while 9 The Orphan Miracle may also be competitive at this level. I just don’t like 1 Baratti on dirt, so I’ll leave him out.
Race 5, 6 1/2 Furlongs, Maiden Claiming $40,000
9 to win
Upset play of the day – 9 Climb the Ladder. She is ecstatic to be back on the dirt, and should be able to handle today’s field if she gets out front prior to the turn. Given the long stretch run leading up to the turn, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Race 6, 6 1/2 Furlongs, Allowance $57,000
2, 5 exacta box
I like 2 Mizzen Max on top of 5 Strawberry Tequila. The former is a young gunner on the upswing, while the latter has shown an inclination for placing at this level.
Race 7, 6 1/2 Furlongs, Claiming $25,000
8 to win
I’m running with 8 Alum today. This first time gelding looks poised to perform. It would be nice to see 2 Truly a Moon Shoot pay out underneath.
Race 8, 1 Mile, Allowance $67,000
2,3,5 trifecta box
There’s a little too much front-end speed in this one for my liking. After the sprinters die out, I’ll take a look at the pressers. 3 Nigel’s Destiny and 5 Borsa Vento should be right on top of each other at the wire, with 2 Starship Zeus closing in. I don’t often box a trifecta, but there’s some value here if it plays out the way I suspect.
Race 9, 6 Furlongs, Claiming $10,000
3, 4 exacta box
2 to win
I know it’s a chalky way to conclude, but I’m going with 3 Power Nap and 4 Pegasus Red. If you’re feeling brave, go with 2 Lenny at 15/1.
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