Races at Aqueduct, Laurel and Parx
Does post position matter? It depends. It depends on the track, the horse, luck, track maintenance and many other things. But today the focus is on the horse. Obviously, horses that struggle to break cleanly are helped by not having the stall next to them full but that will leave them either outside or inside. Inside can get a horse pinched into the rail by a horse dropping down on them which can cost a length or send the jockey over the rail. Outside creates the longest route around, made worse if the horse breaks to the outside rail. So when can outside be good and when can inside be good? Inside is good for good breaking, early speed horses since it gives them the chance to get rail position and the lead. Then the question becomes are they good enough to see the race out. Outside is good for horses that don’t like to be behind other horses. These horses typically come in two kinds, ones that don’t like kickback and those that run up on heels. So in the end, the successful handicapper needs to know whether the post position fits the runner AND whether the track is favorable to that post position.
Picks for February 16, 2019:
Colder but clear. The front that came through was fairly dry so the tracks should be fast. If winds pick up, they may get cuppy as the day goes by.
Aqueduct Race 1
Maiden Special Weight for NY bred fillies and mares 3 and up at 7f. This is the first 3 and up race for the year so Spring must be just around the corner. But since all the runners are 4, it didn’t really matter. Looking outside to land the bomb, 6-Tales of Royalty! Although 5-Anne’s Song is coming off a good race last out, it was in the slop and she was backing up in the lane. 6-Tales of Royalty is making her second career start but she gets Lasix and she gets NY breds. Throw in the hot jockey, Rey Gutierrez, and this one will be worth every bit of 10/1.
$10 W/P/S 6-Tales of Royalty
Aqueduct Race 8 Broadway Stakes
Older fillies and mares at 6f. 2-Pauseforthecause looks well placed to return to her winning ways and pick up her first Stakes victory. She did not like the off going or the 7f last time but more importantly, she gets significant class relief. The stiffest challenge on paper comes from the Linda Rice pair of 3-Holiday Disguise and 7-Startwithsilver. The problem is they are both coming off layoffs and their last races were below their previous standard. Are they ready? Betting against it here and sticking with 2-Pauseforthecause.
$10 W/P/S 2-Pauseforthecause
Laurel Race 2
$25K for 3 year old fillies at 6f. 5-Hail the Queen is first off the claim for trainer Dove Houghton who took this one for herself, a very strong angle. This one is coming off two straight wins and returns to her preferred 6f distance. She will be hard to beat but look to the rail for the threat. 1-Starting Tour handled the inside draw and position with aplomb in her first start, a victory at this distance. A similar effort here will make her 2 for 2 and many connections will be wondering why they did not claim this daughter of Buffum.
$10 W/P/S 1-Starting Tour
Laurel Race 4
Maiden $10K for older boys at 5 ½ f. This is a zip code race. Most of these weren’t in the same zip code as the winner in their recent races. The only progressive horse in the field is 1-Jackgreerstubhutch but he will get hammered at the window and offer no value. That leaves the only viable alternative as the first time starter, 9-Blazing Reed. Bred for speed and possessing decent works, this one should provide both decent odds and a chance at a win.
$10 W/P/S 9-Blazing Reed
Parx Race 1
Maiden $40K for older boys at 6f. Start the day off with the chalk and bag an early score. 2-Shanghai Check is a standout here. He is faster than these, even on his off days. The unlucky one’s day has come.
$10 W/P/S 2-Shanghai Check
Parx Race 7
PA bred allowance for older boys at 7f. This is a tough race for a state bred event with several of these being super consistent sorts. But none of those matter. Why? Because 4-Aspen Xtreme may be a special horse. In his first and only race, he stumbled and almost fell at the break, got slammed by another horse, spotted the field 10 lengths and still won by almost 3 lengths wrapped up. Another effort like that and the result should be the same.
$10 W/P/S 4-Aspen Xtreme
And now for some quickies….
Aqueduct Race 7
First level allowance at 6f for older boys. This is all about which version of 2-Wegotoldyougotsold shows up today. The good version from 2 and 3 races back wins, the one that showed up last out gets embarrassed. The main challenge should come from 4-Tap Master, a wonderfully bred son of Tapit, but he is another that either wins or doesn’t show up.
Laurel Race 9
First level allowance at 7f for older fillies and mares. Just playing the percentages here and going with the trainer-jockey pairing that is winning at 36% and ITM at 86% -- 4-Velocita Brillante. The two race win streak helps, too.
Parx Race 9
$7500 n1 in 6 months for older boys at 6 f. Old warriors galore but Mick is stunned by all of the Cold War names in the race. Gotta go with 10-Ruble. Get enough of those and you could buy a Gemini, man.