We're going to Aqueduct today. The move from Belmont to the Big A is a sad moment every fall, because it usually signals a decline in the quality of racing, but that is not necessarily the case this year: the racing the last few weeks of Belmont's fall meeting was mediocre, and the racing at Aqueduct so far has been highly entertaining, with big fields and competitive races. It will be cold in New York today, but not as cold as yesterday: highs in the mid-40s are expected, which should be just fine for racing. The dirt will be fast and the turf firm; let's go.
Aqueduct, Race 3, 1:17 pm
Maiden Special Weight, 7 furlongs, dirt, 2-Year-Old Fillies
One never knows what one will find when one opens the pages of the Daily Racing Form, and this race is a good illustration of that: on a Thursday in November, a very unexpected place, here's a maiden race that is absolutely loaded with premium horseflesh. Among the seven runners are fillies bred and owned by both the Phipps Stable and Godolphin. The Godolphin entrant, in fact, 7-Lake Avenue, is as well-bred a horse as anyone will ever see: she's by top stallion Tapit, and out of a Grade 1-winning mare, Seventh Street, who herself is by another top stallion, Street Cry. This is not the kind of animal one expects to see on a weekday card at the Big A.
Lake Avenue is the favorite, and will be bet, and while there is nothing wrong with the way she ran in her one career race, when she finished second in a maiden race at Belmont last month, we are looking elsewhere, to 2-Walter White, who is trained by Rudy Rodriguez. This girl did everything but win in her last: she stalked a fast pace and took the lead in mid-stretch, only to be caught late by a filly named Maedean. That name is worth remembering, as Maedean came out of that race to win a stakes next out. That means Walter White is coming out of a key race, and she gets blinkers today, which should keep her focused on running through the finish line. Key stat: Rodriguez gets 20% winners with horses getting blinkers for the first time. We will bet her to win at 2-1, and we will also (see below) bet her in the double comprising races 3 and 4. The bets: Aqueduct, Race 3, $40 to win on 2-Walter White; $25 double, 2 (Walter White) with 10 (Danzing Dunhill).
Aqueduct, Race 4, 1:47 pm
Maiden Special Weight, 1 1/16 miles, turf, 2-Year-Olds
We are all over the favorite in here, 10-Danzing Dunhill. He has run well in his two career starts, both of which were at a mile on turf, and today he catches a very, very weak field that he should be able to handle quite comfortably. He's the likeliest winner of the day, and while his 9/5 morning line price will not quicken anyone's pulse, we think there is value in every winner, irrespective of price. He should get a nice stalking trip behind what we expect to be a moderate pace, and should take over as they turn for home. We will bet him to win. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 4, $40 to win on 10-Danzing Dunhill.
Aqueduct, Race 8, 3:47 pm
Allowance, 1 mile, turf, 3 & Up
The featured race today in New York is this first-level allowance turf route, which drew nine entrants. It's an evenly matched field that lacks a clear standout, which is another way of saying it's a good betting race.
We are expecting a fast to very fast pace here, as 4-Digital Footprint, 8-Everyonelovesjames, and 9-Chantry Flats are all speed horses. They should be out there winging it on the very firm turf, and that will set the table for a horse coming from behind. The best one of those, we think, is 1-Clear Vision, who finished a very good third in his last, a minor stakes race at Parx. This 3-year-old son of Artie Schiller has never run a bad race, is handled by a good horseman, Jeremiah O'Dwyer, is dead fit, and is, we think, sitting on a very big race. The best part? He's 10-1 on the morning line. We'll take that all day long, and will bet him to win. The bet: Aqueduct, Race 8, $40 to win on 1-Clear Vision.
That's all for today. Good luck at the windows.