God's Tipster's Saturday Aqueduct Picks: Four races including the Gio Ponti Stakes on turf; 2 live longshots
Friday’s Race Recap from Aqueduct:
(All odds US)
Race replays for yesterday’s races from Aqueduct can be found here:
Race 4: 3rd@ 14.60/1
Race 5: 4th@ 6.20/1
Race 9: 8th@ 30.20/1
Our day kicked off with Gaslight stalking the expected quick pace from the outside. He was rolling late, unfortunately the favorite - Khafre got a ground saving run and had first run on the leaders so we had to settle for a closing third. In Race 5, Sweet Blush stalked the early pace from the outside but it’s been a very tough track to close on and she spun her wheels back in fourth for a minor award. In Race 9, Bunty Windermere gunned to the early lead as we had hoped. Unfortunately 5/2 shot Norman Queen pressed our 30/1 shot and while we put the 5/2 shot away and hit the top of the stretch in front, she raised the white flag not long thereafter and beat a steady retreat.
We are back at Aqueduct for what’s looking like it’ll be a sunny and cold Saturday card with a fast main track. Turf was listed as good on Friday and is actually playing more fairly than the main track which is favoring speed. For that reason I’ll be leaning into more turf races today.
Longshots have been crashing the board at Aqueduct these last few weeks with the quality of horses running on the decline this time of year. I’m going to continue to pepper in some high prices so for the uninitiated this may mean fewer “winners” but when we connect we’re really going to make it count.
Let’s get to the action !!
Saturday at Aqueduct:
Race 1: Volatility - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
Two year old maiden fillies race a mile and a sixteenth on turf and these two year old turf routes can be quirky races in the best of times. Adding on the freezing cold conditions and the rain this turf course took on earlier in the week I’m shooting for a price here. Volatility debuts for trainer John Terranova who is exceptional at getting horses ready to fire at first asking. As a matter of fact, over the last five years with horses making their debut in a turf route he’s 3 for 13 for a 23% win percentage at an average payoff of $28.60. He adds jockey Kendrick Caramouche to ride and Kendrick and Terranova have combined to win roughly 25% of their starts together over the last few seasons here. Tomlinson number of 381 says surface and distance should be no problem for this filly who sold for just about double her sire’s going rate. Bombs away to start the day at the Big A!
Race 2: Slow Down Summer - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 5/2)
Two year old maidens sprint 6 furlongs on the main track. This is the only dirt race I’m playing today and it’s because Slow Down Summer has an abundance of early speed and breaks near the rail. This will be her main track debut but she’s bred to handle the surface change. Winner of her most recent start came back to win her subsequent start. Looking for a gate to wire win for Slow Down Summer.
Race 3: Jerry the Nipper - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 7/2)
Allowance optional claiming runners go a mile and a sixteenth over the inner turf. After some moderate success on the main track, Jerry the Nipper looks like a revelation on the turf racing off in his turf debut in July to win in gate to wire fashion in a rapid 1:32 flat for a mile. His connections thought enough of that effort to enter him in a few turf stakes races, one of which was rained off the turf and the other was a 1 1/8th race where he battled on bravely for fourth losing by under two lengths. There is other speed signed on here but they don’t appear to be as fast as Jerry early. Much like race 3 we are looking for a gate to wire win.
Race 7: Marinara Sauced - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 30/1)
The Gio Ponti Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth is named for the multimillionaire who finished a valiant second to the great Zenyatta in the 2009 Breeders Cup Classic and while that race was run on polytrack, Gio Ponti himself was a turf runner and this is indeed a turf race for three year olds. There are a few in here with similar running styles and with the abundance of longer-priced horses winning over the past few days I see it as an opportune time to swing for the fences with Marinara Sauced, who’s lined at 30/1 here. Marinara Sauced races here off a second place finish on dirt in his first start after being privately purchased and transferred from the great Chad Brown to the much lesser-known Mitch Friedman. Friedman, who was once the assistant trainer for local legend Gasper Moschera has been known to pop with longshots every now and again but what really caught my eye here is that he finished a closing second behind Dakota Gold on August 17 in a race with absolutely no pace where Dakota Gold walked on the lead and won at .30 /1 odds. Dakota Gold is 9/2 today and will probably go off lower than that as he has a tendency to take a lot of money while “Sauced” will probably be on the higher side of 30/1. Today we have Riot House, Churchtown and our morning line favorite Steady On to keep Dakota Gold company on the front end and that should help Marinara Sauced’s closing kick. And what a kick he has! In that last turf start he ran his final 1/4 mile in 22.22 seconds. Nobody else in this field has run their final 1/4 mile that quickly in a one mile race. Granted he’s still 30/1 on the morning line and maybe he takes a step backwards with the barn change, at 30/1 I’m willing to pay to find out. Most handicappers will automatically toss him figuring that it’s difficult to improve the form of a turf horse off a move away from the Chad Brown barn so that will keep the price super high. Recent 5 furlong drill looks good to me in a race that has “upset” written all over it.
Best of luck to our members playing Saturday’s races from Aqueduct!