Sunday at Aqueduct: As winter meet ends, RT picks the Early Pick 3 – weighs in on Irad Ortiz, Trevor McCarthy
First post is at 1:20 pm EDT.
Yesterday, we saw our first race end up in the winner's circle and in the second, I made the mistake of not including Trevor McCarthy riding Bricco on the ticket. For years we have watched Trevor dominate the turf course at Laurel and in this meet, he has done some spectacular things on turf with horses that, on paper, stood no chance. In the third race, let’s just say that will be the last time I bet on a horse with Pablo Morales in the irons.
With today closing out the winter meet at Aqueduct and subsequently having mandatory payouts, we are going to give you the early pick three again. There is one caveat: In every race that Irad Ortiz is in, he will be an automatic play. I say this for anyone betting the other mandatory payouts because with a 16/29 record, for an unprecedented 55% win rate, it would be foolish to exclude him. He has mounts in races 2-9 today. Additionally, his brother Jose is 21/63 for a 33% win rate. For all of the carping done on horse racing Twitter about jockeys, there have been replayed instances of improprieties between these two when it comes to ensuring one or the other wins.
If you are the type who believes that the best jockeys get the best horses, and that is why they are the best jockeys, then go back and watch the brilliant ride Irad did on Letruska yesterday or listen to retired jockeys speak about their mistakes and how they should have won. And yes, I was in box seats at Belmont watching Stewart Elliot take Smarty Jones to the lead knowing Elliot blew it and Smarty was going to run out of gas. Yes, Birdstone won and went on to win the Travers, but against whom? The Cliff’s Edge? Eddington? Not your garden variety known horses. Belaboring the point, his seventh place finish in the BC Classic showed that he backed into the Belmont.
Lastly, I read an article about the expertise and skills of Umberto Rispoli before he arrived in the United States. When he got to the West Coast, I started betting every horse that he was on. That young man has an uncanny way of timing a race in his head and rating his horse. For the first six months or so, he was a money machine - a riding ATM, all on horses that were, on paper, so/so. When he started to prove his mettle, yes, he got better horses and now he is up there with the top jockeys in the West Coast riding colony.
The weather in Ozone Park should be partly sunny and in the low 60’s.
Race 1 - $70K Maiden Special Weight
NY Breds 3yo’s going one mile
We know the public is going to bootlick #7 Dr. Alito (8/5) given that he is trained by Chad Brown and with good reason. With his dam out of Indian Charlie and his sire being Liam’s Map, his pedigree is sound. In his debut on Feb. 27, naturally, he went off as the favorite and ended up closing three lengths on the eventual winner, getting up for place. Brown is 24% in bringing horses back from a one to two month layoff, and this horse appears to be one of those who does not care to do workouts and is much better come game day. With his breeding, the addition of two furlongs is no big deal and 2nd Lasix adds to his allure. Dr. Alito will be chasing #5 Big Georges Kingdm (4/1), #4 Shinjuku (3/1), and #3 My Brother Neil (3/1). #4 Big Georges Kingdm, a Tampa shipper, will fry early because of the big differences in surface. Shinjuku and My Brother Neil are going to stay with Big George and if the half hits anywhere between :46.5 or slightly north of :47, My Brother Neil will hold the early speed advantage going into the turn. Knowing this, Kendrick Carmouche and Trevor McCarthy, along with Chad Brown's horse with Manny Franco in the irons, are going to make late runs with their mounts. Carmouche is on #1 Reunion Tour (12/1) and McCarthy is on #6 Damilo (15/1). Frankly, those last three are the exacta and trifecta box that I'm going to play. 3-1-6
Race 2 - $40K Allowance Optional Claimer
NY Bred girl horses 3yo’s↑ racing six furlongs on the outer turf
Putting it on autopilot, we have Jose Ortiz on #2 Gotta Go Mo (2/1) and Irad on #3 Doll (9/2) and yes, handicapping this way really sucks. #7 Screaming By (8/1) could be a player; however, his works have been parochial since being on the bench from late December. The best shot at beating those two, is #1 Violent Point (5/1) with Kendrick Carmouche up. Violence has turned out to be an excellent turf sire, especially in sprints. This four year old filly just clocked a :48.9 workout, besting the other 54 horses at that distance on 4/9.
Race 3 - $32K Claimers NW2x
3yo fillies racing six furlongs
#5 Take It Off (8/1) is first off the claim for AC Avila, a terrific claiming trainer hitting at 25%. #8 Easy To Bless (2/1), a Fair Grounds shipper, is also coming off the claim, and a huge eleven length win, for Thomas Morley who is 21% in that situation. Furthermore, this filly has been claimed in three of its last four races, so somebody knows something. With those in mind, I really do not believe they have the effrontery to keep up with #4 Tap The Barrel (4/1) or #9 Bustinmygroove (5/1). Irad is on class dropper Tap The Barrel, so there is no need to comment more about that, and Oscar Barrera trains Bustinmygroove. Oscar has this interesting way of sliding horses into a race where you think he does not pose a chance. Then, suddenly he pulls out a victory. This filly is 5/1-3-0 for $54K at Aqueduct, which bests this group, other than the two horses who broke their maidens last out in mcl races. I like the fact that he is a speed horse on the outside, so watch for him to bolt out of nowhere and make this interesting.
Until next time 😊