Mick likes 9-year-old Spartiatis in today’s first race at Aqueduct.
Mick likes 9-year-old Spartiatis in today’s first race at Aqueduct.|NYRA / Annette Jasko 
Thoroughbreds

Thoroughbreds: McMudder aims to pick who’s top in the slop

Races at Aqueduct and Laurel Park

Mick McMudder

Mick McMudder

Before Mick starts into today’s racing angles, he wants to get one thing off his chest. Municipal bodies suing race track operators is never a good thing. The City of Baltimore has chosen to file suit against Stronach et al. in order to keep the Preakness at Pimlico and to get some badly needed improvements at that track. This is an ongoing battle between racetrack operators and the local government but this one has gone one step beyond. Let’s hope this one gets settled quickly so Mick can be focused on horse racing and not horse racing politics.

Picks for March 22, 2019:

Sloppy with winds rising with the departure of active rain.

Aqueduct Race 1
$16K claimers older boys at 6 ½ f. Great back class race but the best of these is 2-Spartiatis, a 9-year-old that has banked close to half a million. His last two races were excellent but he is changing barns today. That is less of an issue when a horse is changing to Jason Servis’ barn and its 41% first off the claim strike rate. Mick’s problem is that Rob Atras has a horse, 4-Malibu Action, in this race, too. He, on the other hand, is not nearly as strong first off the claim (19%) as he is once he has worked with the horse. But the problem with both is that they are winless in the slop. Therefore, look to the outside for value. 5-Stretch’s Stone, is 2 for 4 in the off going. Mix it up and go with some exotics.
$10 W/P/S 2-Spartiatis
$1 Exacta box 2,4,5
$0.50 Trifecta box 2,4,5

Aqueduct Race 3
$25K claimer for older boys at 8 f. This is either the easiest pick of the day or a complete trap race. 6-Ironclad is an absolute stand out. He has won his last three at higher levels and is moving to a new barn that does well off the claim. Why the drop and the 40+ day wait to wheel him back? Mick sees red flags. Instead, look to the rail, 1-Papa Shot, who should have some pace to run at today and doesn’t have to run around a huge field. And look for a bridge jumper opportunity here. If 6-Ironclad gets hammered in the show pool, look to increase the show betting on 1-Papa Shot.
$10 W/P/S 1-Papa Shot

Laurel Race 2
$16K claimer for 3-year-old fillies at 6 f. 7-Ma Meatloaf started out her career at a much higher level, including a stakes placing as a two year old. And that was the end of the high point of her career. Since then, she has failed to progress and arrives here off a poor attempt at a mile at Aqueduct. All of that said, she is good in the slop and doesn’t face much. The two daughters of Buffum, 1-No Refunds and 5-Starting Tour are interesting due to the sire’s 29% strike rate in the off going. 1-No Refunds is coming off a win and 5-Starting Tour comes from top Maryland trainer Gary Capuano.
$10 W/P/S 7-Ma Meatloaf
$1 Exacta box 1,5,7
$0.50 Trifecta box 1,5,7

Laurel Race 7
Optional $35K older boys at 8 ½ f. Mick was on the fence between 2-Measured and 3-Tattooed but let jockey Trevor McCarthy make the decision for him. 3-Tattooed won in the slop last out with McCarthy in the irons but is the regular rider on several in here. This field is deceptively deep with several others having a chance to get into the exacta and trifecta, therefore, it’s a straight win bet.
$20 W 3-Tattooed

And now for some quickies . . .

Aqueduct Race 5
$25K non3 for older boys at 8f. 4-Eagle Pass is the best in here by a lot. He likes the off going and the distance. If this is the right level, he should crush.

Laurel Race 4
$16K maiden claiming for 3-year-old fillies at 5 ½f. Is there anything quite as satisfying as a 5-Great French Kiss? Not if she wins and she should here.

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