Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Thursday, November 22, 2017
Before the Thanksgiving festivities start, Aqueduct has a great nine-race card lined up. As usual, the headliner is the Fall Highweight Handicap, which will go as race 8 on the program. First post time is scheduled for 11:50 AM EST.
We’ve got free picks & analysis of all the action from Rob Harding (@Harding_Rob)! We thank Rob for providing his thoughts on the holiday program, and encourage you to give him a follow on twitter. Good luck to everyone following along!
Happy Thanksgiving with a great nine race card on tap. The rain has passed so hopefully the entire card will be on the grass today.
#8 Interrogation 6-1 ML
#5 Pavini 7-2 ML
#2 Blank Slate 6-1 ML
I am against the race which most of these come out of, among them the 3,6, and 7. Most of these were on or just off of a very slow pace and could not sustain their bids, allowing the winner to come from dead last at the top of the stretch to mow them down late. With this being said, it leaves me with #8 Interrogation who comes in off an 11 month layoff for Christophe Clement, but gets a big jock upgrade from Bravo to Jose Ortiz, had trouble in the debut, stretches out by Kittens Joy, and was 4-1 in the debut. I would doubt we get 6-1, but I will take anything above 3-1. That leaves me with the first time North America Chad Brown horse #5 Pavini, as well as his stretchout #2 Blank Slate who was making some decent progress going shorter in the debut. If you are playing the pick 5 and have the budget, I would throw in #1 for KM. Although he comes out of the race I’m against, KM’s numbers with blinkers on are tough to ignore.
#7 Abdaar 5-1 ML
#1X Are We Not Men 4-5 ML
#3 Taoiseach 6-1 ML
This is a real head scratcher. I see 2/3rds of the entry being extremely vulnerable at the 4-5 ML, those being #1 Tug of War and 1A West Hills Giant. However, if #1X Are We Not Men runs, the entry is a must include on any multi race wagers. His last was definitely good enough to win this and would be no surprise. However, I am going to go with #7 Abdaar on top. Jacobson claimed this one three back off Robertino Diodoro, usually a recipe for disaster, and after two very dull efforts, Jacobson shipped this one to Laurel’s basement level where he woke up with a dominating win. He returns to the NYRA circuit, and after showing me that he still has some ability and Jacobson might be able to keep him sharp now, that’s where I will side in a puzzling race to say the least. I will round it out with #3 Taoiseach, who I would like a little more if it weren’t for Schettino’s putrid numbers off 2-6 month layoffs (0-27).
#1 Marzo 2-1 ML
#6 Westerdale 7-2 ML
#4 Gravitating 5-1 ML
The 3rd race is a MSW with some real heavy hitting trainers with a lot of very positive training percentages. With that being said, I truly have no real opinion in this race. I am going to guess that #1 Marzo, 2nd time out for Pletcher, didn’t like the mud last time out and actually does have a hint of ability, as Pletcher babies who get slammed at the SPA usually are live. With a good break, we will know very quickly whether this one will be in a 50 claimer next time out. My 2nd pick is going to be the #6 Westerdale, 2nd time out for Tom Morley, who should be on the engine after dueling and submitting late in a solid final time of 1.17 going the 6.5 panels. This one is out of Flat Out who turned into quite the horse late in his career, and so I would expect this one to enjoy the stretchout in distance and could be alone on the lead. Finally, I will close it out with #4 Gravitating for Tony Dutrow, as his blinkers on #s are gaudy (7 for 21). If you are playing the early p5, I would highly suggest using everyone in here as really any six of them could win.
#5 Alien Invasion 10-1 ML
#7 Gothams Storm 6-1 ML
#8 Barbarossa 8-5 ML
#5 Alien Invasion won FTO for a trainer in Maker who doesn’t win first time out, in an off the turf sprint at Saratoga over the summer. Maker subsequently threw him into the deep end into stakes and the horse did no running. Finally gets back to what the connections had deemed as the preferred surface when this one’s career began and is a generous price at 10-1 ML in a race where I find the favorite’s to be vulnerable. #7 Gotham’s Storm won nicely stretching out to today’s distance and showed big improvement 2nd time out for Weaver. Will need to show a little more improvement to win today but based on the last would not surprise me. #8 Barbarossa is stretching out from 7F off a big run at Belmont in October. I am always hesitant to use a horse stretching out to the distance for the initial try at a short price, and so while this one needs to be used, I will look elsewhere up top.
#4 Sir Maurice 30-1 ML
#6 Fielding Gold 12-1 ML
#2 Combat Controller 5-1 ML
Another bad claimer on the dirt here in the 5th, and yes I have picked a horse who has lost his last 4 races by a combined 56 lengths. The thing is, how can you trust anyone at a short price in this field? How can you take Baratti at 2-1 taking the drop to the basement after showing very little in his dirt races in the US to date? If this race was on turf, I would be using him, but I am completely against him here. #4 Sir Maurice has not run well since he won on this very track in mid-April, earning a number that day that puts him squarely in the mix today. I will chalk up the lack of running over the summer to facing better horses at Belmont and Saratoga, but if this one comes running in the stretch at 50-1, you will know whos cheering. #6 Fielding Gold is another coming in off two dull efforts, but Toscano laid him up for 4 months after that and the race in May puts him in the mix here. #2 Combat Controller goes out for a good conditioner and could certainly hit the board based off prior efforts to date.
#2 Eloweasal 8-1 ML
#5 Driven by Speed 3-1 ML
#1 True Charm 20-1 ML
I probably need two hands to count the amount of times I’ve played #2 Eloweasal, but it seems Pat Kelly has this one going the best she ever has, posting the two highest beyers based on the PPs I am looking at, and in a race where many of these were within a half-length of each other, it will all depend on the trip and a price is a must in those types of races. #5 Driven by Speed is now 3 for 7 lifetime and has found a home sprinting on the grass for Pletcher. Would be no surprise. #1 True Charm is my stab at an unlikely longshot. This race doesn’t really have a TON of early zip in it for a turf sprint on the grass, and this one really hung around nicely and putting up some pretty good fractions last time out before succumbing late. If this one gets an uncontested lead in the early stages, it could make for a very interesting stretch drive at long odds.
#7 Party Boat 7-2 ML
#10 Rymska 3-1 ML
#8 Taperge 5-1 ML
The favorites look tough to beat in here, so I won’t go crazy in the writeup. #7 Party Boat has kept some nice company, particularly hooking Proctor’s Ledge twice at Saratoga who turned into a pretty good turfer for Brendan Walsh. I don’t think Rymska and Taperge are quite on Proctor’s Ledge’s level, and so I think it might be this ones time to get into the winners circle. #10 Rymska and #8 Taperge are both very solid turf runners out of the Chad Brown barn who exit a 1-2 finish at Laurel in a stake and neither would be any surprise to me if they win the Winter Memories tomorrow.
#1 Great Stuff 12-1 ML
#4 Threefiveindia 5-1 ML
#3 Stallwalkin Dude 2-1 ML
I am operating under the assumption Seymourdini will scratch out of this race to run in the Cigar Mile, and so with that being said, I will side with #1 Great Stuff. David Jacobson is a good trainer, but I particularly love when he gets a cheaper horse fit and then steps them up into deeper waters to see if they fit. This is the case for #1 Great Stuff, who stretched out and did it really well winning his last race nicely. Jacobson now cuts him back with the added fitness and puts him into a stakes race against his heralded stablemate. #5 Threefiveindia is sharp right now for Chad Brown after only missing by less than a length in the G2 Phoenix at Keeneland, and would be no surprise. #3 Stallwalkin Dude is a great story. I remember when he started his career as a cheap claimer for low profile connections in Florida before being claimed by Jacobson a little more than three years ago. Fast forward to today and hes won 19 races and banked more than 1.6m and can run with anyone on his best day. With that being said, hes coming in off a three race losing streak, albeit against tougher, and he is getting up there in age. I am hoping it’s Jacobson’s other runners time to shine, but a great running of the Fall Highweight on top.
#5 Meads Bay 12-1 ML
#11 Shes Da Nuts 15-1 ML
#1 Acorn Street 2-1 ML
Not a huge fan of the entry here, so I will side with John Terranova’s 2nd time starter #5 Meads Bay at 12-1 ML. The positives: Terranova is 16% 2nd time out, 29% first time blinkers, and this one had trouble first time out. A lot of positives in a race that lacks a lot of depth. #11 Shes Da Nuts tries the turf out of Bodemeister after not doing much on the dirt in the initial try while sprinting. I like that this one was 3-1 first time out and maybe the turf is really where this one wants to run. #1 Acorn Street is a defensive use but not really crazy about her chances, although she does drop like many of the others today.
Good luck, and enjoy the turkey and stuffing!
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE. PICKS & ANALYSIS FOUND ON THIS SITE ARE MERELY OPINIONS BASED ON SUBJECTIVE ANALYSIS. PICKS DO NOT GUARANTEE ANY SUCCESSFUL OUTCOMES WHATSOEVER. PICKS ARE PROVIDED TO GUIDE YOUR STRATEGY TO PLAYING THE RACES. MATERIALS FOUND ON THIS SITE ARE IN NO WAY INTENDED TO ENCOURAGE GAMBLING. WHERE LEGAL, ALL WAGERS SHOULD BE MADE RESPONSIBLY AND ARE DONE SO AT YOUR OWN RISK.