God's Tipster's Saturday Aqueduct Picks: Three lower-level races, two with live horses at long odds
Friday’s Race Recap from Aqueduct:
(All odds US)
Replays for yesterday’s races from Aqueduct can be found here:
Race 1: SCRATCH
Race 2: 1st@ 8.90/1 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Race 9: 3rd@ 12.30/1
The rain didn’t get here quite as quickly as I had predicted so they ran on turf in Race 1 which meant our main-track-only selection was a scratch. In Race 2, Jose Ortiz race-rode favored Happy Bob and Manny Franco, keeping him hemmed in the entire trip while he and Giant's Fire had clear-sailing outside of horses. He mowed down the leaders at nearly 9/1 odds. In Race 9, Forty Comets got the lead just as we had hoped at 12/1 odds. Favored Inspiration Point pressed him from the outside. The two dueled and Forty Comets dropped back but came back a second time to challenge for the lead again turning for home. By then his earlier efforts had taken their toll and he had to settle for a valiant but vanquished third.
We’ll tackle another Saturday at Aqueduct race card before we wrap up a week that feels like it flew by on Sunday. Let’s get right to it.
Saturday at Aqueduct:
Race 1: What’s Up Bro - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 10/1)
Maidens bred in New York sprint 6 furlongs here and we’ve got a field of 8 runners where four have experience and four will be making their debut. What’s Up Bro falls into the latter category and I’m making this selection on equal parts handicapping and intuition. The handicapping part is that this runner owns the field’s top Tomlinson figure for the distance. He’s out of a dam who just missed in her debut and is a half to two runners who won first time out. The workouts are slow but the country’s leading rider, Irad Ortiz, is named to ride here so this is where the intuition comes in. Why would he choose to ride a non-descript looking gelding debuting with slow works for a trainer who’s 0 for 10 with debut runners? I did some research on the ownership group and they race horses around the Midwest and east coast tracks and have won with 20/1 shots from time to time but nothing seems out of the ordinary. There’s just something about getting long odds on a well-bred horse ridden by Irad Ortiz. Worth a play at 10/1 or higher.
Race 3: Nova Rags - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 5/2)
Allowance optional claiming runners sprint 6 furlongs here and truth be told, I’ve always kinda liked Nova Rags. I don’t like “liking” horses because I try to keep my handicapping separate from personal biases but Nova Rags began his career with a win (always a good sign) over a next-out winner. From that maiden win he was entered in 7 straight stakes races. He won one and placed in three others facing some pretty salty competition. He returned off almost a year freshening and they’re trying to reinvent him as a sprinter. His pedigree doesn’t scream sprint but he’s always seemed more a sprinter to me too. He returned showing early speed in those first two starts. Last out he ran 4th behind Baby Yoda and Sibelius either of whom would be odds on here. I think he finally found his spot for his first win since January of 2021.
Race 9: Honor Star - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 12/1)
Ugly looking group of New York bred maiden claimers sprint 6 furlongs here and it’s really hard to trust any of the short prices. Our morning line favorite ran a speed figure of 40 last time out and our second choice has never raced on dirt before. Honor Star is the selection here off a 14 length drubbing on turf. She made her only dirt start in her debut race where she lost by 29 lengths and she improved her speed figures in her next few starts which happened to be on turf. Was it the turf that improved her or the experience? Well, she’s a half sister to a Grade 1 winning sprinter on dirt Haveyougoneaway, so I’m banking on her handling dirt better not that she’s got some experience. She gets a full makeover today cutting back from a route to a sprint, going turf to dirt and getting blinkers added for the first time. The price will be juicy and she’s worth a try on the cut back in distance.
Best of luck to all our members playing Saturday’s races from Aqueduct!