God's Tipster's Saturday Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs Picks: 7 races including Triple Crown prep stakes
Friday’s Race Recap from Gulfstream:
(All odds US)
Replays for Friday’s races from Gulfstream can be found here at Gulfstream Park
Race 1: 9th@ 12.30/1
Race 4: 3rd@ 7.10/1
In Race 1 Upstreet was a bit tentatively handled by Miguel Vasquez early for a runner with speed nearest the inside. Instead of going to the lead he wrangled her back to fourth then checked off heels. Going into the far turn she looked to be making her move and once again checked in traffic before giving up altogether. She needs a rider change from Miguel Vasquez although I think she’d also benefit from a cut back in distance next time out. In Race 4 My Favorite Topic was taken back to a perfect stalking position off the early lead and came with a nice run in the stretch but was out kicked by class-dropping Dither and debut running Retired for the money.
We’re taking a detour from Gulfstream to Tampa Bay Downs and Aqueduct for Saturday’s races as have three year old stakes action at both locales. We’re expecting sunny skies and fast conditions at Aqueduct with rain headed our way at Tampa Bay. Let’s get to work!
Race 1: Monroe - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 6/5)
We start our Saturday at Aqueduct with three-year-old New York bred fillies sprinting 6 furlongs and this one looks like it could very well be a free-square. I know nobody needs to pay for me to tip out 6/5 shots but for those members who bet with bookmakers around the globe - if you can lock in the 6/5 morning line - do it. For my U.S. members - this one looks like a strong single to start your pick 5 tickets. Now for the details. The highest speed figure earned by any of these that have run before is a 53 so I’m looking for one of the four debut runners for the win. Monroe hails from the Todd Pletcher barn who’s winning at a 21% clip this meet. Sired by Kantharos who wins with 14% of his debut runners, this one’s dam was precocious winning three of her first five starts. She also has two siblings who were debut winners. She sold for $320k after working 21 1/5 seconds at the Fasig-Tipton sale at Gulfstream and on Dec. 30 she was working with recent debut-winning Bandita who earned a robust 91 speed figure for her effort.
Race 3: Clubhouse - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 5/2)
The Jimmy Winkfield Stakes was originally scheduled to be run last week but freezing conditions forced racing to be cancelled last Saturday and we benefit this weekend with some added stakes action. Five three-year-olds sprint six furlongs in this one and Drew’s Gold is our morning line favorite off a 3 3/4 length win at Laurel Park in Maryland. His trainer James Chapman is only 4 for 82 on this New York circuit and 0 for 21 in stakes races on this circuit so once again I’m siding with the hot hand and trainer Todd Pletcher with Clubhouse. Clubhouse began his career on turf and has since transitioned to a dirt sprinter. Two starts back he got blasted by Kool Kathmandu over a sloppy track but Aqueduct was playing very kind to rail speed that day while Clubhouse was wide most of the way. Clubhouse returned with an emphatic maiden score while facing weaker competition but I loved the way he strode out and he looked like a different horse from the one we had seen in December. Looking for him to sit a stalking trip just off the speed.
Race 6: Leonids - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 12/1)
Maidens sprint 6 furlongs here and we’ve got a few debit runners from popular barns that will attract attention but I’m looking to get the jump on them with Leonids who breaks from the outside today. With 5 of the 11 runners making their debut here I’m looking at Leonids for a few reasons. He already has a race under his belt so the experience always helps. That race was over polytrack but trainer Todd Beattie ships him to New York. Beattie isn’t very well known in the New York area but when he ships in he makes it count. He’s 2 for 9 over the last five years (22% wins and 44% in the money) with an average payoff of $31.15. This runner showed high speed on debut and has showed that same high speed in his workouts before and after that race.
Race 9: Jungfrau - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 4/1)
The Grade 3 Withers at a mile and an eighth is another stepping stone on the long road to the Triple Crown. At a short price I don’t love Arctic Arrogance, who was supposed to win last time out. While he always runs well, he’s starting to feel like he’s developing a case of seconditis. Hit Show is the other morning line favorite who’s likely to take money but I’m not convinced he’s a superstar either off an allowance win at Oaklawn where the runner up regressed 11 points in his next start. Jungfrau is where I landed for a few reasons. Trainer Bill Mott can do no wrong these days. After winning the Grade 1 Pegasus with Art Collector, he finished first and second in last week’s Holy Bull and he ships Jungfrau up here from Florida after being put up for the win via disqualification. To me, that race was better than it may look on paper because while the speed figure came back a little light, he got trapped on the far turn of the race and had to come with more than one run to do what he did. He strikes me as a game type of horse that will get better with added distance as he’s sired by Arrogate on top and has Tapit bloodlines on the dam’s side. Upset potential.
Tampa Bay Downs:
Race 3: Matt Doyle - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 8/5)
Maidens sprint 6 1/2 furlongs on what may very well be a sloppy main track at Tampa and I have a feeling Matt Doyle will be lower than 8/5 here in the U.S. by post time. He looks very much the best today and here’s something you don’t see every day: Matt Doyle has raced on dirt 7 times. His lowest speed figure in those 7 starts was a 63. That basement number for him is still higher than anyone in this field has ever run on dirt. His last wasn’t great on turf but there are no hasty drops into maiden claiming company. Another tough to beat favorite.
Race 9: Julia Shining - BEST BET - 2 pts win (US Morning Line Odds: 5/2)
Who knew that the Suncoast from Tampa Bay Downs might be the best early prep for the Kentucky Oaks? Three-year-old fillies set sail to do battle for a mile and 40 yards and while there are 9 horses running there are two that will take most of the attention: Multiple Grade 1 winning, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly Winning Wonder Wheel, and Julia Shining who won the Grade 2 Demoiselle in her last start. Julia Shining is undefeated and a full sister to winner of 10 of 14 and 6 time Grade 1 winner Malathaat, and that’s only a small part of the reason I like her. First time out she was bet down to 2/1 favoritism against a field of 11 rivals and she was left for dead early but flew home with a quick rush and swept past the entire field in the blink of an eye. In the Demoiselle once again she was left behind early and rallied late for the win. Winning at 1 1/8 distance in your second career start but she did that and today she’ll have to reel in a Breeders’ Cup winner but at short odds coming off a Breeders’ Cup layoff I’ll take my chances taking down Wonder Wheel with Julia Shining today.
Race 10: Classic Legacy - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 12/1)
The Sam F. Davis at a mile and a sixteenth for three-year-olds is our local prep for the Tampa Bay Derby. I don’t have anything against Dubyunell who gave Arctic Arrogance everything he could handle in the Remsen and came out on top. I just prefer going with a runner with connections who have a history of winning here at Tampa Bay Downs and while trainer Danny Gargan is technically undefeated here after a 2/1 win in an off the turf maiden race back in 2018, I prefer siding with trainer Bill Mott, who is 6 for 27 (22% wins) and 70% in the money on the dirt. Once you add in stakes races, he’s 4 for 14 with a 29% win percentage and a wicked 79% in the money. So the trainer I’m siding with is Mott and the horse is Classic Legacy. Mott has had the hot hand lately winning the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup two weeks ago and running 1-2 in last week’s Holy Bull at Gulfstream. He ships Classic Legacy in from New York. This horse actually caught my eye in his second start where Rudders Men blasted away from the field at Aqueduct and he and Classic Legacy were moving best late and he just would not let Classic Legacy by for second. I love a game horse. Last time out he destroyed a maiden field in the slop at Aqueduct. On Jan. 21, he worked with stablemate Vittorio who would finish a game second to Charge It and earn a speed figure of 100. I like that Mott is working this runner with older horses and think that shows a lot of confidence. The cherry on top here is that Classic Legacy is a half brother to Art Collector - the aforementioned winner of the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup two weeks ago for these same connections. 12/1? Where do I sign for that?
Best of luck to all our members playing Saturday’s races from around the U.S.!