Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Sunday, February 25, 2018
There’s nine races at Aqueduct on this Sunday afternoon, with no stakes races, but plenty of great action nonetheless. 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 another muddy course and have handicapped for one. As a buddy of mine recent said, it seems like I always getting stuck with the muddy cards. 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 – 2,4,6 / 4 / 1,2 / 3,4 / 6 = $6
Aggressive Pick 5 Ticket- ALL / 4,6 / 1,2,4 / 1,2,3,4,5 / 6 = $120
Race 1- 6-2-4
#6- Fot- We start the day with a tough 6 horse field. I will side with a horse that has shown the ability to get to the lead and likes the off-track. Those facts have been profitable the past two days and will hope that trend continues. Add Paco Lopez to the mix and if this horse can clear from the outside, 10-1 will look like a gift. He only has Shamrocked to contend with early. Beat him to the lead and cash big.
#2- Shamrocked- The aforementioned Morning Line favorite looks like a vulnerable favorite; especially with other speed signed on. He is well rested and exits a race where the 2nd place finisher came back to win impressively.
#4- Lightening Buzz- Have to be respected on the drop down and going back to trainer Patrick Quick who has success with this horse in finishing in the exacta in 5 of his 8 lifetime races in this barn.
Race 2- 4-5-6
#4- Binkster- McCarthy should have this one on the lead and he clearly has no issue with an off-track. Two back he ran against much tougher company and was taken out early. This is the softest field he has seen in his brief career and that might be enough. I would either single here with a small price or hit the all button.
#5- Theresa’s Boy- Takes a much needed class drop for this low jockey / trainer connections. Speed figures fit but has the look of a horse who will be a bad favorite.
#6- Ucantcatchmybreth- I would expect this horse to go off as the favorite due to the Rudy factor. He showed speed first time out and you can expect even more speed with Paco aboard. Breeding says he may not be a fan of the off-track.
Race 3- 1-2-4
#1- Westerdale- He will be making his first start of his 3-year old campaign after being nominated for the Triple Crown trail. He will also have the advantage of drawing the rail post and lately you want to hug that rail. The addition of blinkers is interesting. Look in the barn to see if he has grown and how he looks on the track.
#2- Labeq- He is another who will be making his first start of his 3-year old campaign and also adds the hood. Bred to love the slop.
#4- Racing Raven- I am never a fan of these 3-year old maidens for Todd Pletcher. Todd has had a decent meet, but the ones that have been winning are the ones training down south. This one has stayed up north the entire time.
Race 4- 4-3-1a
#4- Sir Ballantine- I absolutely love the trainer switch here to Danny Gargan. He has some time to work with this horse to get him ready and the fact he is protecting this horse by not sending him to the claiming ranks is a great sign. With the speed to his inside, I hope Dylan Davis gets to the rail and makes a winning move around the last turn. The price is right.
#3- Combat Controller- He won last time for us on a jail move but did so while holding on for dear life. He would need to improve a bit to be a contender. He should be on the lead and if the track is playing the same that could be all he needs. If track plays the same early, then this is a nice win bet.
#1a- Go Big or Go Home- 1st off the claim for trainer Robertino Diodoro is usually a good sign. However, he has only had a couple of weeks to work with this horse so I am not sure how much of an improvement is expected.
Race 5- 6-8-4
#6- Mr. Massena- At 9/2 ML odds, I will make this my single in the Pick 5. He is the lone speed and on a jail move (although not going to a better trainer). Am I concerned that I am putting my trust into Angel Arroyo? Yes. Should I be? Yes. Just get him out and to the rail. If he is not on the lead within the first 5 seconds of the race I might need to go to Best Buy and shop for a new TV.
#8- Arthur Avenue- Takes the much needed drop to the MCL ranks. Speed figures fit and his best races have come when routing on the dirt.
#4- Catch A Cab- I would not be surprised if this horse took a lot of the early money as a “wise guy” pick. He was caught racing wide last time on an inside bias track. Prior to that he ran into a nice horse named Blewitt. Might be a nice pick if looking to spread.
Pick 4 play- 2,3,7 / 2,5,6,8,9 / 1,2,3,5,6 / 6 = $37.50
Race 6- 2-7-3-6
#2- Tale of Mist- This is kind of a hunch play for me on the “delayed jail move”. Last time out trainer John Toscano entered this horse after a long break for 25k after claiming him from Linda Rice for the same price. He lost by 7 lengths and is now bumping him up in class? To me that says confidence. It is hard to like these 1 for 18 types but he has races in his PP’s that crush these.
#7- Asphalt Paving- The horse to beat off his last race in where he stumbled badly and still finished a nice 3rd behind the winner and next out winner. He clearly likes the off track and it would not surprise to see this horse in the winner’s circle.
#6- Have Another- Is a huge play against for me in this spot. Will look to crush this triple by leaving out the ML favorite.
Race 7- 5-8-9
#5- Miracolo- I am completely against Todd Pletcher’s first time starter. Here are a few things to think about when betting this Pletcher:
- Pletcher is horrible with 3 yr old firsters
- His good stock has been training down south; even his NY breds.
- This horse draws the rail for his first time out. Not ideal.
- Pletcher almost never wins when starting a horse in the MCL ranks.
So I landed on an old buddy of mine. Miracolo is sired to Bustin Stones who is one of my favorite NY-bred Sires. They are usually very fast early and love sprinting. He gets Paco Lopez, so if he is a typical Bustin Stones, he should be early on muscle with a top lead jock. There are no world beaters here and no speed on paper. Let’s get em.
#8- Can’tweallgetalong – Let’s break down all 6 of his starts:
Feb 2 – Routed wide on an inside favoring track (Toss)
Jan 13- Got hit at the start against a better group (Toss)
Aug 9 & 24 – Routed on the turf (Toss)
July 15- Earned his fastest speed rating against much tougher and was stuck in traffic and checked throughout the race. (Toss)
June 23- Got slammed at the start and had Rosario on him (Toss).
He has yet to actually run a legit race. If Arroyo gets him out early and clean, who knows what he can do……at 12-1.
Race 8- 3-6-5
#3- Daddy DT- He is a Level 2 jail move after winning off a Level 1 Jail move. He should be on the muscle with a chance to score a nice upset. The ML favorite seems like a horse I have been chasing and just flat out does not like to win.
#6- Doyouknowsomething- I have been chasing him for some time now. He ran a decent 4th in the Jazil stakes, only finishing a half length behind the winner. Last time out he was pressured early and that was too much for him to withstand at even money. The outside post will not help; especially with other speed signed on.
#5- Speith- The mile master should have this one sitting right off the leaders. If the track is playing fair then this horse gets a serious upgrade.
Race 9- 6-2-11
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