Forever Liesl winning in the slop in February, could get slop again today.
Forever Liesl winning in the slop in February, could get slop again today.|NYRA / Chelsea Durand

Thoroughbreds: McMudder handicaps for wet tracks Saturday at Aqueduct, Laurel Park and Parx 

Conditions could be a factor

Mick McMudder

Mick McMudder

Handicapping hot jockeys is today’s topic. Yesterday was Trevor McCarthy day at Laurel with him winning 5 races, including the last four straight. But what makes it more impressive, in only two was he atop the favorite. When jockeys get hot, two things happen, they get to choose their mounts from a larger set and they ride with great confidence. Let’s take each issue separately since the intersection of the two often constitutes a null set. Jockeys get their mounts for one of three reasons, they were the best jockey the trainer could get when entering the horse, they have a good relationship with the trainer and ride horses during training for the connections, or they were in the jocks' room and a horse needed a rider. Obviously, all three are dependent on the trainer, so to get on good horses requires good interpersonal skills by the jock and the agent. So for the trainers that McCarthy won on Friday, every one of which is in the top ten at Laurel Park for the year, they all knew they were getting the consummate professional and the hot jock was gravy. And the hot jock is all about being in the moment. Just like athletes in most sports, everything seems easier when you are winning. Now let’s find the next hot jock.

Picks for April 13, 2019:

Rain overnight but clearing before race time should lead to wet dirt tracks and soft turf ovals. At least we aren’t talking about Canterbury Park where it is below freezing after a day of blizzard conditions. That’s why racing doesn’t return to Minnesota until May.

Aqueduct Race 3 Bridgetown Stakes
A less than firm turf course sends the savvy handicapper to look for European pedigrees since success on the soft is more prized in countries where races stay on turf courses (because there is not an alternative). Only 3-Skole has a European heritage close up and he is the choice here for that and several other reasons. He won last out when a race came off the turf at Tampa, he is from a savvy trainer in Arnaud Delacour, and he gets the services of Danny Centeno almost a month before the end of the Tampa meet. The first two are important but the last is hugely telling, Centeno could stay at Tampa and finish 1-2-3 all day long but instead hopped a plane to ride a single race. No wonder he wins 39% of the time riding for Delacour. 1-Regally Irish looks tough here but regular rider Jorge Vargas Jr. did not pass up his 5 mounts at Laurel to drive up I-95.
$10 W/P/S 3-Skole
$2 Exacta box 1,3

Aqueduct Race 8 Top Flight Invitational Stakes
A super high quality group of distance fillies and mares with several hoping the rains last longer than is expected but none more than 6-Forever Liesl. This one is 4-for-8 on the off going with 7 ITM finishes. 2-Another Broad makes her second start for Todd Pletcher after being moved from Maryland. This one was rolling late at a mile last out, a description that can’t be made for many of the rest of these
$10 W/P/S 2-Another Broad
$2 Exacta box 2,6

Laurel Race 3
For a field of maiden fillies, this group looks uninspiring leading Mick to consider the firsters as well as the second out runners that had an excuse last time. 7-Appealing Honor leads the charge of the inexperienced here. The pedigree, works and connections are all solid and the only issue may be the surface since this pedigree may be better suited to Tapeta or turf. 5-Height of Thestorm could be the upsetter in here off of one race which was better than it would appear (after the first 50 yards). If she breaks better and gets to running she will be closer than she was last out. 6-After Jody gets a cut back in distance and may benefit from the brief respite even with regular works.
$10 W/P/S 5-Height of Thestorm
$2 Exacta box 5,6,7
$1 Trifecta box 5,6,7

Laurel Race 4
7-The Great Provider
looks hard to beat here especially with hot jockey Trevor McCarthy riding for the man that legged him up on two winners yesterday, Jamie Ness. The step up in class seems well deserved with this old warrior being successful at virtually every stop in his career. A wet track with speed holding will be a boon for this one. Nobody else should matter but 6-Cheese On is fascinating if for no other reason than the plunge. Trainer Brandon McFarlane won yesterday handing McCarthy his only defeat of the day. Could it happen two days in a road? Nah.
$20 W 7-The Great Provider

Parx Race 2
7-Roll On Big Mama
needs a repeat of her last race to win here so any bounce could be a huge negative. The off track performance is solid and she gets the training services of Scott Lake. Even with a short price, this one needs your love. Making money will require going deeper and 4-Her Divineness and 3-Party Pants both seem very qualified to get those underneath positions.
$10 W/P/S 7-Roll On Big Mama
$2 Exacta 7/3,4
$0.50 Trifecta box 3,4,7 (the right order will make all the difference!)

Mick’s Quick Picks

Aqueduct Race 9: 7-The Grand Canal has never been on the turf but with the pedigree he should like it. The layoff since the summer indicates something went amiss but trainer Linda Rice is strong off of breaks.

Laurel Race 5: Mick is guessing that the connections of 6-Still Dreaming have stopped, dreaming of the Triple Crown that is. Go with the hot jockey here and look at 5-Bozzini with Trevor McCarthy. Trainer Jeremiah Englehart’s 38% strike rate is pretty good, too.

Parx Race 6: 4-Sidereal ran a great speed figure last out to break her maiden but she beat Bourbon in Bed who came back to lose on the drop and be a voided claim. Even with all that, this filly runs hard and is moving in the right direction. The 15/1 M/L is a gift.

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