Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, November 3, 2018
While most of the eyes of the racing world are on Churchill Downs today, it’s also opening weekend at Aqueduct! There’s a 10-race card there today, highlighted by the Turnback the Alarm Handicap. The first race will be at 11:00 AM EDT.
We’re happy to have Mike Collins (@cottycollins21) providing picks & analysis of all the action. He handicapped Saratoga Wednesdays on the site earlier in the year, and he’ll now be sharing his thoughts on Belmont on Saturdays.
Good luck to everyone playing along! Take it away, Mike!
Happy Breeders’ Cup everyone! I know you’ve all been handicapping Churchill for a week and most of your attention will justifiably be in Kentucky, but make sure you check out opening Saturday at the Big A as well. We have a very nice 10-race card, so please see my selections below and the suggested early pick 5 play. Good luck today!
6 – Point of Honor – trained up in Saratoga leading into this debut, sports some nice works and Weaver hits at 20% with first-timers. Prefer over the Chad Brown runner (below) for anticipated price difference.
8 – Utiki – tired late in both of the first two starts, but will cutback today in hopes of finding her ideal distance. Good route to sprint figures for Englehart as well.
4 – Cambier Parc – Seems to be training perfectly into the debut for Chad Brown, who hits on 20% of his debut runners and always has to be taken seriously.
5 – Zap Zap Zap – dances every dance (save the 6/2 Belmont effort), and though he’s been claimed three times this year he winds up in the Rudy barn and broke his maiden in his only previous start over this track.
2 – Borsa Vento – 4 for 7 at this distance, 2 for 4 over this track. The 6F slop try at Monmouth wasn’t the right spot for him, and I think today he finds his comfort zone again.
1 – Fleet Irish – toss the last in the Belmont slop and you have a very solid horse throughout the summer of 2018. Will try to come from off the pace, and I like his chances to grab the third spot.
4 – Admiral Blue – looks like Rudy thinks his off-track performance warrants another turf try, and we like him on soft turf or wet dirt in this spot, especially at the 8-1 ML.
6 – Glenrichment – it’s been a rough 2018 for this guy, but the race two back over this lawn was good and we’ll take a look after his second layoff since April.
10 – Follow the Signs – last we saw him he was winning for Steve Asmussen at Sartatoga. Clearly the best horse on paper, but I question the 0 for 3 at this distance and any horse going away from the previous barn will have to prove it at short odds.
6 – My Roxy Girl – quite simply, we’re going with the horse that’s hit the exacta in 7 of 8 over this track. A very nice work on 10/25, she should sit a trip just off the leaders and rally late.
7 – Pas de Deuce – in WAY over her head last out in the stakes try at the Spa, drops down and cuts back in hopes of turning the tables. All the workouts have been solid and this looks like her comfort zone.
5 – Beyond Discreet – the Finger Lakes shipper is going to take a ton of money, and while the form is solid and likely the best in this bunch, shipping down state and going off as a favorite on the NYRA circuit is a whole new ballgame. Short price puts her in the third spot for me.
2 – Beach Front – Looks like one-turn is his preferred style and he should sit a perfect stalking trip.
8 – Wicked Grin – similar to the 2, this one will also be just off the pace and ready to roll in the lane. Will be my biggest exacta play of the day.
1 – Smooth Tales – first-timer with a few nice drills and goes out for a barn (Linda Rice) that does well with debut runners and turf sprinters.
3 – Plainsman – two bullets leading into this and should get the perfect stalking trip. Brad Cox does very well off this break (31-60 days) and also hits at 29% after winning the last start. Loaded.
1 – Snap Decision – hasn’t been able to win in 2018, but has a nice closing kick and should get a setup today with a good amount of speed signed on. Rounds out exacta in late-running fashion.
7 – Cloud Computing – Preakness winner comes back after a long layoff for a barn that hits at 27% in this scenario. Obviously have to respect this one, but at this price against a salty bunch we’ll let him beat us once before using on top.
2 – Itgot Grandma – 29% first-time win rate for this barn, and the workouts have been very sharp.
10 – Umbrage – 10/21 bullet for the Clement barn, who does very well with 2yo’s and gets the outside draw for the one-turn effort.
8 – Bernin’ Thru Gold – the debut was very impressive and the recent works have been solid. Expect an improvement in the second try.
9 – Wicked Freud – hard-knocker looking for his first breakthrough in over a year, but usually runs well at the Big A and is 3 for 4 ITM at this distance.
4 – Sycamore Lane – The move to the Bill Mott barn has appeared to work, as he scored two back in Saratoga before a tough trip at Belmont last month. 2 for 2 in the exacta at Aqueduct as well.
6 – Indebted – another one where the distance could be ideal, as he’s 9 for 13 ITM at the 1 1/16. Effort at Saratoga was good, maybe that was a turning point for this one?
4 – Divine Miss Grey – have to roll with the chalk on this one, as she’s 5 for 5 in the exacta locally, sports three fantastic recent works and should get a perfect stalking trip.
7 – Forever Liesl – let’s back up the chalk with a bomber on the outside! It’s certainly a jump in class, but this one has the versatility to control her own destiny and I will love to find out backing her at 15-1.
1 – Teresa Z – late runner will hope to get a pace in front of her, but the recent form has been very sharp and she cannot be ignored.
6 – Laska – the debut was solid when she made a very bold late move to grab third, and there is reason to believe the second try will be better. 8-1 on the ML is very juicy for this one.
8 – Red Robe – first-timer for Chad Brown on the grass, debuting at greater than a mile. Normally that’s a layup, and even though the works don’t jump off the page I’m just going to trust the process and use her accordingly.
2 – On the Town – good in debut, looking for another jump up in the second try for a solid barn.
.50 Early Pick 5: 4,6,8 / 2,5 / 4,6,10 / 6,7 / 1,2,8 = $54
2018-2019 Belmont / Aqueduct Top Selections (as of 10/20)
- Week 1 (10/20) – 11: 5-2-1, 87.7% ROI ($22 wagered, $41.30 returned)
- Total: 11: 5-2-1, 87.7% ROI ($22 wagered, $41.30 returned)
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