Saturday Horse Racing: RT picks the Aqueduct 3rd & Santa Anita's Sham Stakes with Derby hopeful Life Is Good
Aqueduct Race 3 - $82K Allowance N1X
4yo’s↑ going six furlongs
The way I see it is #1 Took Charge (7/2) #4 Rejected Again (4/1) and Money Ride (6/1) will fight for the lead in this speed bias track of late giving #2 Morning Breez (8/1) and #5 Instinctive Rhythm (9/5) the chance to pounce late from their tiring efforts. I give the nod to Morning Breez due to his greater experience and he runs like Carl Lewis when Kendrick Carmouche is on him.
Santa Anita Race 8 – The G3 $100K Sham Stakes
3yo’s going one mile
The impending, and much spoken/written about, return of #5 Life Is Good (2/5) happens today in Arcadia around 7:05 pm EST. The question is, will he get caught? When you read pp’s and see a horse run away with its last and re-watch it, you see why it won by nine lengths. The margin of win can be deceiving because the other jockeys quit pushing their horse and gallop in. In this case, Mike Smith had to ratchet this $525K Into Mischief colt once on the backstretch, and then held on for an absurdly rare inaugural in :21.8, :44.8, 1:09, and 1:15.4 fractions for a 95 Beyer. Most horses never achieve a 95 Beyer, much less in their first go, so we certainly have, what appears to be, a Derby contender here. If you have an opportunity, watch that race again. The most impressive part of that race is making the turn – effortless without missing a step. Enough fawning. #1 Medina Spirit (6/1). Just ran his coming out 5.5f race on 12/11 and narrowly missed Los Alamitos’ track record by 3/5ths second. It was a terrific beginning, yet on the other hand, for those who hack at golf and know what it’s like to hit a par four green at 380 yards off the tee on a desert course, you know that will never happen again when you play at home. Such is the case of this grandson of Giant’s Causeway; translating that effort to a deeper surface will not happen. What will happen is that Abel Cedillo will hard chase after Life Is Good and we will see how the latter mentioned will respond to the challenge. #3 Parnelli (5/2), a $500K Gainesway colt out of Quality Road has traveled today’s distance in its last three and after three times coming just short, he won going away last time. Another front end speedster, he too will challenge the favorite and it may not be pretty for Drayden Van Dyke and company. Betting a prodigious favorite at what will be 1/9 odds is a venal sin, so I am going to make a strong bet to place and an even stronger one to show on #4 Uncle Boogie (12/1) the distance and the speed duel will rag out Medina Spirit and Parnelli and give leader Flavien Prat a chance to come in at a price.