Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, November 19, 2016
On Saturday, we’re headed out to Aqueduct where we are thrilled to welcome back our friend and returning guest handicapper Steve Pozzuoli (@pozzmiester).
For months, Steve has provided his free picks & analysis every Saturday on the New York circuit. His write-ups are thorough and extremely insightful. We encourage you to give him a follow on Twitter when you get a chance. Good luck to everyone playing along.
Take it away, Steve…
There are 5 two year old races on the card today. It’s always nice to have the potential to see some horses who may turn out to be good ones on a card that otherwise is not very inspiring. Good luck to all!
Suggested $.50 Pick 5: 2,7/2,6,9/1,7/4,6,9/9= $18
Race 1 – Maiden Special Weight 2YOs 6 Furlongs on the dirt
#7 Sicilia Mike 7/5
#2 Guick 5/1
#5 Zonic 8/1
If #7 Sicilia Mike runs back to either of his first two career races, he wins this easily. He gets the services of Irad Ortiz and should get the job done. #2 Guick was bet pretty strongly in his debut, but didn’t run a step. He will get better off of it, but he will have to take a big step forward to defeat Sicilia Mike. #5 Zonic is a second time starter for Albertrani, where he doesn’t really excel. He should run better, especially with the addition of Lasix.
Race 2 – $35,000 Claiming 3YO+ 1 Mile on the turf
#6 It’s a Given 8/1
#9 Veya 7/2
#2 Ready Strike 4/1
I will be banking on Johnny V to get #6 It’s a Given to the lead where he is most comfortable. There isn’t a ton of early pace on paper so he could have the tactical advantage cutting back to the distance of his only two career victories. #9 Veya doesn’t win often which is the concern, but his numbers fit in very well with this group. He is another with some tactical speed, so he shouldn’t get beat because of a bad trip. #2 Ready Strike will be coming from off the pace but is an honest type who has improved since moving to Jacobson’s barn.
Race 3 – Maiden Special Weight 2YOs 6 Furlongs on the dirt
#7 Sunday Soldier 6/1
#1 The Caretaker 9/5
#8 Can’t Stop History 5/2
I will take a shot with the second time starter for Asmussen, #7 Sunday Soldier, just because he will be a much better price than the top two choices. Asmussen historically moves his horses way up in their second career starts (23% last 5 years). He is coming off a little bit of a layoff, but the workouts make it seem like he has enough foundation to run well. #1 The Caretaker is a second time starter for McLaughlin, another who does very well in this scenario (25% last 5 years). If he improves off of his first start he will win, but he is going to be a very short price. #8 Can’t Stop History improved in his second start cutting back in distance. I like that Jose Ortiz decided to stay aboard, and his last workout was very good.
Race 4 – Maiden Special Weight 2YOs 1 Mile on the turf
#6 Adonis Creed 5/1
#4 Asphalt Paving 6/1
#9 River Deep 10/1
I will try to beat the heavy favorite, Condo Prince, who is trying turf for the first time, even though his numbers are by far the best. One of my favorite angles is a second time start going dirt to turf and sprint to route, which is what #6 Adonis Creed gets to do here. It doesn’t hurt to have McLaughlin’s second time start numbers in his corner, either. Irad Ortiz stays aboard instead of going back to the heavy favorite, which is very interesting. #4 Asphalt Paving has the same angle and it may be even more telling because Levine had him entered on the turf in the first start, but it was rained off. He still ran very well, but it could have been a product of the off track and his sire being Speightstown. I will give him a look in here. #9 River Deep is a first timer for Barclay Tagg with some good workouts on display. Tagg does pretty well with first time starters going a route of ground.
Race 5 – The Notebook Stakes 2YOs 6 Furlongs on the dirt
#9 Gold for the King 3/1
#4 Macho Miah 5/1
#5 Caught a Heater 8/1
If I am alive in multi race wagers to my single, #9 Gold for the King, I will feel very good about my position. This horse seems to be one that does not want to go a route of ground at this point in his career and he cuts back to the 6 furlongs. He has two bullet workouts since his last race and looks to be in top form. #4 Macho Miah was trending upwards until he went a mile last time. He gets the cut back today and his 6 furlong races have been very good. Tom Morley doesn’t usually win with first time starters, which means that if he does get one home, they are probably pretty talented. That’s the case with #5 Caught a Heater. He was visually impressive in that debut and looked to have much more in the tank.
Race 6 – $62,000 Optional Claiming F&M 3YO+ 1 Mile on the turf
Suggested $.50 Pick 4: 1,7,10/1,2,3,4,5,6/5/3,10,11= $27
#7 Stella Rose 5/2
#1 Azaelia 5/1
#10 Kathy’s Humor 8/1
I will give #7 Stella Rose one more chance, as she comes out of two races where she had adventurous trips. My hope is that she gets a much cleaner ride here and can really show her stuff. I would love Rosario to ride her the same way he did on the Traver’s undercard putting her right off the leaders where she had a clean trip and won. #1 Azaelia is a second time North American starter for Shug. Most times European horses come over here is because they don’t really like the softer going, which is exactly what this one ran on in the NA debut. Here she will get a firmer surface and gets Lasix for the first time, as well. I would expect her to improve. #10 Kathy’s Humor may end up finding herself on the lead by default because there isn’t much speed on paper. With an aggressive jockey aboard, I would expect him to send her and hope for the best.
Race 7 – Maiden Special Weight 2YOs 6 Furlongs on the dirt
#2 Miggsy 6/1
#4 Category Two 10/1
#1 Your Secret’s Safe 3/1
I will be playing against the favorite on the outside as I really have not been impressed with his first few starts and he has a bad post draw. #2 Miggsy is a first time starter for Rudy Rodriguez who has continued his hot end to the Belmont fall meet. His numbers aren’t as impressive, but he’s had 7 runners finish second or third, so they could be much better. This one sports a bullet workout 10 days ago and looks to be ready to go. #4 Category Two is a firster for Weave who does respectably with first timers. I like the breeding here, but it is not a win early pedigree, unfortunately. Hopefully he can outrun his odds. #1 Your Secret’s Safe is a logical horse. Trained by Chad Brown, he has run ok in his first two starts and will be adding blinkers for this race.
Race 8 – The Artie Schiller Stakes 3YO+ 1 Mile on the turf
#5 Blacktype 5/1
#1 Jay Gatsby 5/2
#2 Kharafa 8/1
#5 Blacktype loves the mile distance, has 4 consecutive 100+ Beyers, and looks to be set up well from a pace scenario in this race today. This is his third start off the layoff and if he improves, he will be very tough to beat. I will single him in multi race wagers and make a nice win bet, especially if he stays near his ML. #1 Jay Gatsby has a bit of seconditis. I needed him big time in the two second place finishes at Saratoga, so I feel a little bit snake bitten with this horse. I am sure now that I put him second, he will jump up and beat me. I don’t know about the mile distance for him, as it is the first time in his career he will be trying it. He certainly warrants merit, but I will play against. #2 Kharafa really has turned the corner in his last few starts, but it could have been a product of having a slight cut in the ground. He may still get that here as it did rain earlier in the week. If the turf is rated less than firm, move his chances up.
Race 9 – $16,000 Claiming 3YO+ 6 Furlongs on the dirt
#10 You Know I Know 4/1
#3 Dad’z Laugh 3/1
#11 Risetotheoccasion 8/1
This race goes through the three first off the claim horses for three trainers that excel with the move: Linda Rice, Rudy Rodriguez and David Jacobson. Put a line thrugh the last race for #10 You Know I Know as it came on a sloppy surface, which he has never shown an affinity for. His races before that will win this and I expect Rudy to have him back to those races. #3 Dad’z Laugh is dropping down in class off the claim for Linda Rice. He should be on the lead, which will be a big advantage in this race. He gets a big time jockey upgrade to Jose Ortiz, which only adds to the appeal. #11 Risetotheoccasion is also dropping down in class and has the ability to be forwardly placed, but does not need the lead. It should be an interesting race and I fully expect these three horses to be fighting it out down the lane.
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