Aqueduct / Laurel
“Rain, rain, go away, come again another day” . . . Just enough rain or too much? Who knows since the current weather seems to be doing different things from zip code to zip code much less from Maryland to New York. Keep an eye out on track conditions. Watch track bias and look for trends over the day. This is not the day to place the bets and go to the links. This is watch and strategize time. Lots of short fields so look for the angles.
PICKS FOR FRIDAY, FEB. 8, 2019:
Overcast and above freezing with VERY high humidity so even if it isn’t raining it will be moist unless the sun and the wind comes out. Who knows? Stay tuned!
AQUEDUCT RACE RACE 3
$25K for older fillies and mares at 6f. 5-Lady Bergen looks tough in this spot but the irregular race schedule does give pause. Plenty of speed so no lead will be uncontested. Look to the outside for the only closer in the field, 6-Moondance Joy. She ran second to the favorite 3 back and has been a regular since her year long vacation. If her bid can move up from mild, she will be there at the end.
Pick: $10 W/P/S 6-Moondance Joy
AQUEDUCT RACE 6
Starter allowance for older fillies and mares at 6 ½ f. Welcome to Rob Atras’ world, we are just living in it. Winning at 56% for the meet? Yep. Top riders? Yep. Good form horses? Yep. 1-Science Fiction looks to continue the parade. She has shown improved form with each of her last three races and should show this field her heels all the way around. No one has current form on the level but the threat should be 5-Sweet August Lady. Why? Chad Brown and Manny Franco win at 35% together. Play this one both ways? Mick will.
Pick: $10 W/P/S 1-Science Fiction
Pick: $10 W/P/S 5-Sweet August Lady
LAUREL RACE 4
Claiming $5K n3 for older boys at 6f. A perfect race to find a dropper for an unappreciated barn since all the others have proven inept at this level in previous efforts. 2-Far From Awesome, despite the terrible name, looks to be that sort as he gets back to a level where he can be competitive. His races this time last year win this and he should move up with the class relief. And he will pay well.
Pick: $10 W/P/S 2-Far From Awesome
LAUREL RACE 8
Optional claimer for older boys at a mile. 5-Crush It looks well place here and this is the kind that Mary Eppler does great work with. His fade last out could open the door for 7-Totalitario, a horse that may be better suited to today’s one turn distance. They are the stand outs so put them together and hope someone else in the field draws some interest.
Pick: $2 Exacta box 5/7
And now for some quickies:
AQUEDUCT RACE 8
NY bred maiden 3 year old boys at 6f. A race full of horses from low percentage barns forces a look to the outside. 9-Fleet Warrior was outclassed at MSW condition but gets huge call relief today. Distance, pilot, barn all line up on this one. Go hard if the odds tick up.
LAUREL RACE 6
$16K n3 for older fillies and mares at 7f. Look no further than 3-Jazzy Juder, a mare that current connections bought at auction in December. Her race two back wins here and Mike Gorham is just getting to know this one. The faster the track, the more likely she stays the distance.