Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Sunday, April 15, 2018
There’s a big day of racing at Aqueduct this Sunday: nine races, including two stakes races. Steven Schwartz (@albundypolkhigh) will be providing FREE picks & analysis of all the racing action. Be sure to give Steven a follow on twitter for updated thoughts throughout the program.
Good luck to everyone following along!
I have handicapped today thinking that all races will be on a fast track and firm turf. Make sure to check back with me on changes based on the track condition and scratches. Let’s take some chances. Let’s cash some tickets. Let’s get ‘em. Make sure to follow me on twitter @albundypolkhigh. I often make changes to picks based on surface and the betting board.
Conservative Pick 5 Ticket – 3,7 / 3 / 1,7 / 7,10 / 4 = $4
Aggressive Pick 5 Ticket- 3,6,7 / 2,3 / 1,7 / 3,5,7,10,12 / 3,4 = $60
1st race – 7-6-3
#7- Asphalt Paving – There looks to be a ton of speed signed on here so I am looking for a closer. The looks to be the best of the closers and on a major class drop. If it is a fair track and you can close on the outside, 7/2 will be an overlay.
#6- Lightning Buzz – Similar pace style as my top pick but is a 6yo still looking for win #2. This gelding manages to cash a check on most days but always comes up short. No reason to think today will be any different.
#3- Truly a Moon Shot- He is probably the horse to beat and the one that should lay just off of the main speed horses. If he runs his last race he is probably a winner. But if you throw out his last race which was an impressive 2nd at this level, what race in his past performances do you see that puts him in the winner’s circle?
2nd Race – 3-2-4
#3- Pray for Bourbon – I am not going to lie. This is my favorite race of the day (who else can say that?). This will be strong play for me today as I love two horses and will be playing heavy exactas and tris with them. The first of the two horses is a horse that two back was entered as a jail move. That day he was bumped all over the track on a day that happened to be one of the biggest rail bias days of the meet. Next time out he ran into an off track against tougher and was forced wide. That day was favorable to speed. Today is the day, if on a fair track, that we cash on this guy. He has been on my virtual stable and attracts Irad. Let’s get em.
#2- Leah’s Dream – The only horse that has a shot to beat him is this horse who should be alone on the lead and 2nd off the jail move. Last time out he tired after stumbling out of the gate. We can forgive that effort and if that is the case is still on the Jail move. If they allow Jose Ortiz to walk around the park in his first race back to NYRA then the race is over. Strong exacta box for me here.
#4- Hexameter- The ML favorite is a play against for me here. She has been stuck in this condition for 7 straight races and no need to think today is the day she breaks through. Her lone win was on a sloppy track which is another knock against her.
3rd Race – 7-1-4
#7- Gleason – Hawkish is by far the one to beat but I want to take a small shot against him with a Pletcher horse trying the turf for the first time. His breeding on the dam side says that the turf should not be an issue. He might also find himself on the lead as the only horse with any type of early speed. Jersey Joe didn’t come here for nothing and it would not be the first time that a horse was allowed to walk on the lead and win on turf in NY.
#1- Hawkish – He is the deserving favorite after an impressive late running win at Gulfstream. He then followed it up with a rough trip in the Grade 3 Palm Beach. If he runs his race without any issues, then he wins.
#4- War Chest- He is another with a slight chance in here. His last race he encountered a lot of trouble and he looked to have some run in him.
Race 4- 10-7-5
#10- Tiz A Chance – I am not sure if he can win in this spot but the word is he has been kicking down the barn and training like a beast for his return to the turf. There is a ton of speed on paper and he should be sitting in a nice spot on the outside of the speed horses. He can get first jump on the big closers. Worth the shot at 6-1.
#7- Wicked Freud – I am always a sucker for Jose Lezcano routing on the turf. He is arguably the most underrated jockey when routing on the turf and manages to always give a good ride. The projected pace setup should suit this big closer and his speed figures fit. Must respect.
#5- Mascarello- I am slightly against this heavy ML favorite. He is coming into this race on back to back wins but that was back in November and when it appeared that Bond was winning every race. Prior to those two races, he speed figures are a cut below most of these. He can win but is a terrible play.
Late Pick 5 Play (C)- 4 / 3,7 / 5,7,8,10,11,12,13 / 5,6 / 6,8 = $28
Late Pick 5 Play (A)- 3,4 / 3,7,9 / 5,7,8,10,11,12,13 / 5,6 / 6,8,9,10 = $168
Race 5- 4-3-6
#4- Micozzi – Was not shocked she lost last time as I always say Rice droppers are a terrible play. Will be shocked if she loses in this spot.
Race 6 – 3-7-9
#3- Cumbria – This horse is getting the “tool box” treatment with a change in distance, surface and lasix. With strong breeding to turf and routing, I have to assume that his first attempt in March was a prep race for today. The dam Honoria hits at a 15% first time out on turf. As a NY bred, there were no turf races available to her over the winter and there was no need to ship the horse down south. This is the spot and today is the day they have been waiting for. Did I mention it is one of the few 4yo in the race against younger. Let’s get em.
#7- New Pass- You have to respect this horse after just losing first time out to March X Press who runs later in the card. Trainer Tom Bush usually needs a race off the long layoff but the horse might be good enough to overcome the trainers negative stats in this spot. Must respect.
#9- Elegant Jem- Another 4yo that attracts Jose Lezcano routing on the turf.
7th Race – 12-7-13
#12- Elevated Vision – This might be my crazy play of the year and we will probably get close to 40-1 on this horse. However, the general rule in a race as wide open as this is to find the best value. This 3yo of Great Notion is entering the race undefeated in his two dirt races. I am expected a big improvement as her breeding suggest she should love the green even more. Her damn, Sparking Number hits at a 16% rate of horses trying the green for the first time. Not saying she will win, but she is definitely someone to consider in your multi-race bets and underneath in the tri and super.
#7- Out of the Flames- She is your likely favorite as Simon Callaghan ships this horse east for this spot. I am always suspect of West Coast turf horses shipping. I am a firm believer that the West owns the dirt races and we own the Turf. I am also not sure how the success this horse has had on the downhill turf will translate to the frigid AQU turf course. Must respect but far from a lock.
#13- Africa – Must respect Chad Brown and Irad in this spot. Last time out in the Ms Grillo back in October, he took some action on the toteboard but did not appear to be mature enough to run with that field. She is now in an easier spot and Brown had 6months to work with her. When will you ever see 10/1 on Brown and Irad?
8th Race- 5-6-4
This appears to be a two-horse race between the two favorites. I will side with the better value of the two horses and the one most likely to get a jump on the favorite. It is worth noting that the cutback in distance might be just what Blue Prize needs.
9th Race- 6-8-9
#6- Princess Maeve – This is a terrible selection. I will admit it. Frankly you should not play this horse. But I married to one of the lone 4yos in a race with 3yos. Horse is on a Level 3 jail move for Rudy which is not his strongest but still decent. He will be a huge price and even if she doesn’t win here, we make money on these horses over the long haul.
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