Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Sunday, February 18, 2018
There’s nine races at Aqueduct on this Sunday afternoon, headlined by the Broadway Stakes. 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 am expecting a muddy course and have handicapped for one. It is also worth noting that the track was very kind to inside speed yesterday. Make sure to check back with me on changes based on the track condition. 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 – 2,5 / 1 / 2 / 2 / 4,7 = $2 (Many Many times)
Aggressive Pick 5 Ticket- 2,3,5 / 1,2,3 / 2,3,4,5 / 2 / 4,5,7 = $54
Race 1- 2-5-3
#2- Mercurian – In a race that is lacking a super star or a horse who likes to be on the lead I will take a shot with this first time starter for Linda Rice. I am normally not a big fan of first time starters for Linda Rice but she is hitting at a 36% clip when her firsters are attempting to go at least a mile.
#5- String Section- She is by far the horse to beat but has never stretched out before and I have a hard time taking heavy favorites attempting to do something for the first time. However trainer Jason Servis is a winning at a crazy 40% clip when stretching horses out.
#3- Mo Flash- I was never a big fan of this horse after only going for a third of her sire fee. However she has a right to improve off her last effort which she spent the entirety of the race racing wide on an inside biased track. She has never broken cleanly from the gate so it would be interesting to see what she can do with a clean break.
Race 2- 1-3-2
#1- Full House- I am actually a little disappointed I chalked out here but “The Mile Master” gets a horse that should be alone on the lead. If the track is playing the same as Saturday then she is likely to make it back to back winning efforts. She has had some gate issue in the past which is concerning. I will be spreading deep in this leg of the pick 5.
#3- Crimson Frost- She failed as the favorite down in Laurel in a 100k stake race. Prior to that she went 7-wide and closed nicely to finish behind next out winner Divine Miss Grey. She will be against the track if it comes up similar to yesterday but her best effort was on an off-track.
#2- Truth in the Lies- She has early zip which will help and has a few excuses in her prior races due to rough starts that will make her a decent bet if you consider value.
Race 3- 2-5-4
#2- Empire Line – This Triple Crown nominated horse will look to make it a perfect 3 for 3 in his early career. It is interesting that jockey John Velazquez flew into NY to ride this race. That lone angle makes this horse a stand-out. He will have to stay close to Nine Routes otherwise that horse might walk on the lead.
#5- Gio d’Oro- This Brad Cox trained horse might be the value of the race after breaking his maiden last time out. It is interesting to note that he lost to Empire Line 3-back and was the betting favorite that day. Maybe he is a late starter but he clearly has talent and will love the off going having Tale of the Cat in the bloodlines.
#4- Nine Route- He probably isn’t fast enough but he will be walking on the lead and that is enough to consider him in the money at a price.
Race 4- 2-4-5
#2- Blinded Vision – I get a jail move horse who should be alone on the lead? Take the heavy favorite and single. You will thank me later. Just hope the addition of blinkers will solve his gate issues.
#5- Reign Charger- Speaking of gate issues, this 30-1 ML horse has a shot at hitting the board to blow up your exotics. Must get out of the gate and hope to plod in for 3rd.
Race 5- 4-7-5
#4- Too Fast to Pass – It is hard to endorse horses claimed away from the Rudy barn but Gary Gullo does his best work going first off the claim. He should be alone on the lead with ultra-aggressive jockey Carmouche in the reigns. It also is a plus that Gullo recently claimed this horse so he knows him well.
#7- Morning Buzz- The cutback in distance is just what this horse needs and if he runs back to his race two-back then they are all running for second. He will have to overcome stalking from the outside post so watch to see how the track is playing.
#5- Heaven’s Runway- How often can you buy a horse for 25k who just ran in a Grade 3 and won a Grade 3 three races back? Rudy has terrible numbers off long layoffs and the huge drop is screaming red flag. Add in that he is a horse that hates the off going and you might be able to hit a big tri and/or super by tossing this horse off all your tickets. Of course he can always win the race on class alone. Not for me.
Pick 4 Play- 1,4,5,6,7 / 5 / 2,5 / 3,5,6,7,8 = $25
Race 6- 5-6-7
#5- Impazible Creek- If she gets out the gate she is your likely winner. Unfortunately that has been a big if of late.
#6- Magari- Trainer Bond does a great job when dropping horses from the MSW to the MCL ranks but this horse did not running last time out. Maybe the experience will help and an improvement can be expected.
#7- Miss Sizzle- Those that follow me know that I hate playing Linda Rice horses dropping in class. This is evident by Rice hitting at only 12% winners when dropping horses from MSW to MCL ranks with a ROI under a buck. She did show some early zip last time out which will help her here.
Race 7- 5-4-3
#5- Competitiveness – A Rudy jail move with speed? The only thing better is if Charlotte Mckinney was riding this horse.
#4- Sir Alfred- He is another jail move that should be stalking the pace and has a great shot to upset if the track is playing fair. He definitely needed his last which was his first race in over two years (and still got claimed). A son of Munnings should love the off going and is very dangerous here.
#3- Conquest Expresso- Another son of Munnings will get his first attempt in the off going and may love what he sees. The cutback should help but only if the track is playing fair or kind to closers.
Race 8- 5-2-7
#5- Picco Uno- He is flat out the horse to beat and will not have to deal with Quezon this time around.
#2- Sandy Belle- He will be alone on the lead at a price and loves the track and the off-going. She might just be a price play here.
#7- Startwithsilver- She is another who has gotten hot at the right time and you have to like when Linda Rice gets aggressive with her horses.
Race 9- 3-5-6
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