God's Tipster's Saturday Aqueduct and Churchill Downs Picks: 7 races, with stakes and 2yo 'stars of tomorrow'
Friday’s Race Recap from Aqueduct:
(All odds US)
Replays for yesterday’s races from Aqueduct can be found here:
Race 1: 1st@ 3.20/1 🔥🔥🔥 BEST BET
Race 4: SCRATCH
Race 7: 4th@ 5.30/1
Race 8: 5th@ 5.10/1
Our Friday began with Aniston saving ground behind some cheap speed runners before a rail-skimming Irad Ortiz blasted away to a clear cut and decisive victory at overlaid 3/1 odds as a much needed 2 point BEST BET win ! After a scratch in Race 4, we had the Grade 3 Comely which was Race 7. Our selection was Falconet who stalked the early pace and was on her left lead through the stretch while being hemmed in by Morning Matcha finishing fourth. In Race 8 Voodoo Zip rallied mildly, unable to catch the gate to wire winner.
Let’s take a look at Saturday’s races from both Aqueduct and Churchill Downs. Churchill Downs has their “Stars of tomorrow race card with nothing but two year old races all day today. I’m expecting fast and firm conditions at both tracks. Let’s get to it!
Saturday at Aqueduct:
Race 5: Calycanthus - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 10/1)
The Central Park is a mile stakes race on the turf for two year olds. Calycanthus is the choice. He was bet heavily in his debut at Saratoga and ridden by top rider Irad Ortiz. That day the money was wrong but he ran like he needed the race, was given two months off and returned in a non-descript maiden turf race at Aqueduct where he won in gate to wire fashion at 30/1 odds. Today he’s place right into stakes competition. Todd Pletcher’s barn is one I love to see showing all the right signs: Irad Ortiz gets back aboard, he’s been working well and he feels like a horse this barn has some confidence in. Pletcher trained his sire, English Channel and 10/1 odds would be just fine here.
Race 7: Summer Takeover - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 5/1)
New York bred maidens race a mile here and Photon’s likely to be our favorite in this spot. She’s already lost at a low price too many times for my liking and I’m taking a new face. Summer Takeover runs for the red hot, yet underrated barn of former Chad Brown assistant, Jorge Abreu. The owner of the top Tomlinson figure in the field, Summer Takeover is sired by Arrogate who wins with 23% of his dirt route runners. Trainer Abreu has won with an impressive 13 of 52 25% of his first time starters on dirt and is 2 for 5 with debuting route runners. Two of those debut runners were ridden by today’s rider, Jose Ortiz and one was a winner the other lost by a head. Both put up speed figures of 67 on debut which would handle this field.
Race 9: Balthus - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 9/2)
The Grade 2 Red Smith at a mile and three eighths is one of our co-feature races today and with the turf season winding down here in New York we won’t see many more of these types of races around here til April or May. Balthus is the play here. I’ve been a fan of this runner all year and I like the way the Chad Brown barn has taken their time bringing him along. After a blowout win to break his maiden he won an allowance race and an optional claimer before tackling stakes foes last time out in the Sycamore at Keeneland. And while he did finish behind two rivals he’ll see again today, he stumbled, ran into traffic and and had to alter course at a key point in the race losing all chance. With a better trip today he should be a handful in this spot.
Saturday at Churchill Downs:
Race 1: Sun Thunder - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 10/1)
Two year old maidens kick things off in this seven furlong event. Trainer Ken McPeek targets his two year olds for these “stars of tomorrow” race days every single year and continues to rain bombs and I’m going to look to capitalize on that knowledge several times today. Sun Thunder was a $400k purchase and a son of top sire Into Mischief out of a dam who’s thrown two other runners. Both ran well on debut with one winning and one finishing second before winning her second start. Brian Hernandez is this barn’s go-to rider and I look for McPeek to be live all day today.
Race 4: Dear Lady - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
Two year old fillies sprint 7 furlongs in this maiden special weight race. Dear Lady debuts from the rail and faces a field full of fellow debut runners and a few who have already started. There don’t appear to be any killers in here and this looks like one he may be trying to sneak in. She has a snappy 47.2 workout from the gate three workouts back and several of her works align with a runner named Icicles who ran well on debut for the McPeek barn on Thursday in her debut losing by 1/2 length after a prolonged battle. I like Dear Lady to make some noise here at long odds.
Race 8: Ten Days Later - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 8/1)
Allowance runners navigate a mile and a sixteenth in our next two year old race. Hit Show will likely take much more play than his 3/1 morning line indicates. First time out he blasted a field by 5 lengths at Keeneland and he stretches out today. I’m not sure what all the fuss is about as he earned a low speed figure and didn’t look all that impressive to me but he has strong connections and maybe will improve with the stretch out. I prefer Ten Days Later who is one of only two in the field with a win at today’s distance. Last time out he drew off well defeating two next out winners from only three to return to the races so far. This is a race full of early speed and he’s one of a few that has the ability to close.
Race 10: Take Charge Briana - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
The Grade 2 Golden Rod for two year old fillies at a mile and a sixteenth drew a well-matched field of 7. All have shown talent. Some sprinting, some on turf and some on a sloppy track. Take Charge Briana is the selection here based on two closing efforts in sprint races and the fact that jockey Luis Saez thinks enough of her to stay parked here. Her maiden win at Saratoga was one of the more impressive races of that star-studded meet. She ran a similar race last time out sprinting at Keeneland and rallying late finishing her final 1/8th in 12.23 seconds. She didn’t appreciate the stretch out in distance in the Alcibiades for whatever reason. Maybe she didn’t like Keeneland but I’m willing to give her another try at long odds in what looks like an exciting edition of the Golden Rod.
Best of luck to all our members playing Saturday’s races from around the U.S.!