And they’re off at Aqueduct Racetrack.
And they’re off at Aqueduct Racetrack.|Aqueduct / NYRA

Thoroughbreds: After Tuesday scratches, McMudder has Friday itch

Races at Aqueduct and Laurel Park

Mick McMudder

Mick McMudder

Scratches!!!! Mick did not take Tuesday off but all of his picks did! After handicapping the Parx card on Tuesday and picking 4 races, all four picks were 11 am scratches which is why you did not see Mick’s work. How does this happen? Mostly it’s bad luck but Mick was very focused on horses that were taking drops or were well positioned to not only win, but to get claimed. Obviously, connections either felt that they wanted to keep their horse OR the horse was not ready to win OR BOTH. The claim box at Parx has been outrageously busy all winter long and that will not subside now that people are not only shopping for Parx now but for Delaware, Monmouth, Belmont, and Finger Lakes which all open within 60 days. The fields at Parx have been very large this year (kudos to Dave O) so it will be interesting to see if the fields and claiming action remain consistent with all of the competition.

Picks for March 15, 2019:

60s, cloudy, maybe a stray shower. Perfect race weather.

Aqueduct Race 2
Allowance for older boys at 9f. Can the Mike Repole entry be stopped? Probably not but it won’t pay much so Mick will take a shot. Look at Bill Mott’s 3-Prompt to make a go of it. He broke his maiden at this distance and is bred to go a route of ground. These connections obviously thought he would excel on the turf but he has woken up since moving to the dirt for his maiden breaker in November. His two efforts since then have been solid and at this level, including running 3rd to 1A-Blewitt’s 2nd 2 back.
$10 W/P/S 3-Prompt

Aqueduct Race 4
NY maiden 3-year-old fillies at 8f. Danny Gargan rolls out another nice Morris Bailey horse that has run well previously but not well enough. His current 35% strike rate at the meet is gaudy but reflects the quality of his charges. 1-Roziere looks to continue the positive meet and gets Kendrick Carmouche back in the saddle. Carmouche/Gargan are hitting at 40% since Kendrick came off of IR. On the subject of hot trainers, look for Linda Rice’s 7-Becca Takes Charge to lead these until she can’t anymore but hold on for the Place.
$10 W/P/S 1-Roziere
$2 Exacta Box 1/7

Laurel Race 1
Maiden $10K 3-year-olds at 6f. Not a very talented group but 1-Blue Danube is running for the home team, Stronach Stables. He has failed consistently as he has worked his way down the class/price ladder to the bottom by Maryland standards. Instead of accepting the short odds on an 0 for 8 horse, look for the NY invader from the barn (and ownership) of Todd Pletcher, 6-Threatlovesmidnite, to break through with a return to the sprint distance.
$10 W/P/S 6-Threatlovesmidnite

Laurel Race 8
Optional claimer for 3-year-old boys at 6f. 3-Wendell Fong appears to have indicated that the Triple Crown nomination that someone provided for him was a bit of a loss. He returns to the sprint distance after tiring badly in the 1-mile Miracle Wood last out. Even with the fade in the lane, he ran a better speed figure than in his win so he may be more progressive than the results would indicate. Look for a continuation of his positive development. He runs for the pair of Jeremiah Englehart and Jorge Vargas, Jr who win at a 50% clip.
$10 W/P/S 3-Wendell Fong

And now for some quickies. . .

Aqueduct Race 6
Maiden $30K 3-year-old at 8f. Mick’s man Rob Atras is back with a live one. 7-Lone Pioneer ran a good second at this level last out and definitely had something left at the end. If he can continue to run on and take advantage of the extra distance, Mr Atras should be back up to 50% for the year (although the 80+% Win and Place may be more impressive).

Laurel Race 9
Maiden $40K for 3-year-old fillies at 6 f. 2-Lucky Ninety Nine will be better than what she showed first out but will she be better enough in here? She has too much going for her to not embrace the 10/1 M/L. Trombetta/McCarthy at 50%, bullet work, compromised at the start last out, second career start, and none of the first timers come from barns known for first time success. The threat may be from the outside with 10-Umightbeanempress picking up the services of Wes Hamilton after fading in his last two. An Exacta could work here.

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