God's Tipster's Saturday Belmont at Aqueduct and Keeneland Picks: 9 races, 4 graded stakes, lots of longshots
Friday’s Race Recap from Aqueduct:
(All odds US)
Belmont at Aqueduct
Race 3: 8th@ 47.50/1
Race 6: 4th@ 3.75/1
Race 7: 3rd@ 2.65/1
Race 8: 2nd@ 2.30/1
Race 9: 3rd@ 2.10/1
In Race 3, Monroe gave us a run for our money at 47/1 odds leading from start until the stretch, but she gave up the ghost late tiring in the lane. In Race 6, Latte Lizzie raced well back and continued on for fourth. In Race 7, Fluffy Socks sat behind a slow early pace and came with her run, but wasn’t able to catch her entry mates who were closer to the early pace. In Race 8, High Oak rated off the pace and closed for second behind Durante who got a loose lead after the scratch of Pirate Rick. In Race 9, Fake Celebrity got first run on the early leaders and the win as we had to settle for a minor placing yet again - Slapintheface checked in third.
The weekend is here, and we’ve got some fabulous weather on Saturday in New York. Keeneland looks 50/50 and while it’s not Breeders’ Cup until next week, we’ve got a FUN group of races this weekend to try to finish the month of October with a BANG ‼️ I
We’re going with 9 races and bombs everywhere!
Belmont at Aqueduct:
Race 8: Occult - 2 pts win - BEST BET (US Morning Line Odds: 5/2)
The Grade 2 Mother Goose at a mile and an eighth for three-year-old fillies came up a pretty strong race. Xigera will get plenty of attention based on her recent blowout score at Churchill Downs but she was allowed to walk on the lead that day and will get no such free passes today. Occult gets the nod here. An off the pace runner, she’s developing nicely for trainer Chad Brown. After a blowout win in the Monmouth Oaks, she caught a sloppy track at Parx in the Grade 1 Cotillion where she raced wide and wasn’t able to reel in a loose leader. She was a little more than a length behind the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner that day. Occult feels like the classiest runner in this group and with stablemate Undervalued Asset likely to make things more complicated for Xigera on the front end she also looks like she’ll get the right pace setup. Value at 5/2 or higher.
Race 9: Twirling Point - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 7/2)
Two-year-old turf runners line up to go a mile and a sixteenth in the Awad Stakes. Twirling Point is my selection here off an impressive-looking maiden win at Woodbine last out. After a weak effort as the favorite on debut where he was squeezed at the break, his connections decided to geld him and add blinkers and they were awarded with an immediate win. In that race, which was run over the polytrack, Twirling Point went to the lead and looked like he was being reeled in by a rival before kicking away for a 3+-length score. He’s bred just fine for the turf and retains Javier Castellano for today’s effort.
Race 10: Business Model - 2 pts win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
The Grade 2 Forty Niner is a newly named stakes race on this circuit. Formerly known as the Grade 2 Kelso it was won last year by 42/1 shot Double Crown from off the pace. Double Crown returns to contest the race again this year and it looks to me like another race that favors an off-the-pace runner. Everso Mischievious, Accretive, Film Star and Swiftsure all like to be on the engine early and while 3 of the 4 have won at today’s distance, it’s hard to envision the pace battle benefiting any of them. Business Model is a bit of a sneaky pick here. Trainer David Jacobson is perfectly capable of pulling off an upset in a race like this and it was less than a year ago when Business Model was dead-heating to kick off the Breeders’ Cup Friday card at Keeneland, putting up a number that fits right with these. More recently, on August 13, Business Model was dismissed at 11/1 and given plenty of pace to run into while running at Saratoga and he inhaled a pretty talented field to win off by five lengths. His two most recent starts aren’t as bad as they look on paper when you consider the fact that today’s mile is probably his best distance as he owns more wins at a mile than our three morning line favorites combined. Bombs away at the Big A with Business Model from off the pace!!
Race 11: Words of Praise - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
“Great job!” “You are so amazing!” “You truly are the BEST handicapper in the world” these are the words I hope to hear by the end of the day and Words of Praise is my selection to close out the Saturday card at Aqueduct. Fillies and mares sprint six furlongs in this maiden race and Words of Praise is currently on the “also eligible” list for this race but should she draw in she’s one to give a long look to. She’s shown speed figure improvement in four consecutive starts running her best race last time out when finally cut back to a sprint distance at Kentucky Downs. She owns the best closing kick in this field and may sneak in at a price for a trainer who has a knack for winning turf races with price horses.
Race 3: Promise Me a Ride - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 6/1)
Three-year-olds race a mile and an eighth in this Allowance race that features last year’s Grade 2 Remsen and Grade 3 Iroquois winners. Both of those runners are searching for their first win since those efforts and I’m siding with Promise Me a Ride today. Promise Me a Ride has two wins from four career starts and seems like the type of runner who needs things to go his way. After winning his debut effort impressively he fought the rider in his second start and finished 8th on Kentucky Derby day in the last race on that card. After a decent return try on turf this three-year-old son of Mastery blitzed a field at Ellis Park before being entered in the Super Derby at Louisiana Downs. This time he was carried wide on the first turn by a runner who bolted, and he never recovered. Today he shouldn’t have any excuses. He’s had six works leading up to this race and looks like he’ll be the speed nearest the inside. Without much other pace to press him I look for him to lead his rivals on a merry chase.
Race 6: Patriot Spirit - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 6/1)
A speedy group of two-year-old sprinters line up to contest the 6-furlong Bowman Mill. The runners posted in gates: 1,2,3 and 4 are all firing away, and I’m still stuck on Patriot Spirit, who breaks from post 5. We had Patriot Spirit in the Grade 3 Iroquois where he inexplicably sprinted clear early, set an impossibly fast pace and tired late. Thankfully Jesus Castenon is no longer riding this two-year-old son of Constitution and we get leading rider Flavien Prat in the irons instead. This runner’s debut effort is even more impressive than his 6-length win looked on paper. He coasted up to his rival and took over without any urging to win off so convincingly. He’s worked strongly since and I don’t think he’ll be his 8/1 morning line but anywhere near that would offer value. I think he stalks the speed and takes over in mid-stretch.
Race 7: O Besos - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 10/1)
Hard-knocking field of grizzled veterans and up and comers throw it down at the distance of seven furlongs and just about 51 weeks ago, O Besos carried our torch into the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at 39/1 odds. I loved him that day because I thought he’d take advantage of a speed-laden field and get up and while his running-line says he was “rolling late” and his final 1/4 mile was faster than anyone in the field that day, he lost by a fast diminishing 3¼ lengths. Today he doesn’t face Elite Power or CZ Rocket or Jackie’s Warrior. He’s back facing allowance company and while it’s a tough group he meets, this isn’t the Breeders’ Cup. Plus, there’s enough speed that should set up his late kick. Also, it’s interesting to note that he’s 4 for 5 in his career with Lasix. He hasn’t had it in his last three starts but he adds it back today.
Race 8: Runaway Storm - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 20/1)
The Grade 3 Bryan Station at a mile on turf for three-year-olds is one of several graded stakes on today’s Keeneland card. Our 9/5 morning line favorite - More Than Looks is likely to scratch as he’s cross entered in next week’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile. There are some good ones in here but I’m hunting for a price and that price is Runaway Storm, who’s a generous 20/1 on the morning line. There’s probably going to be some pace in this one and Runaway Storm already has a pair of gate-to-wire wins on turf to his credit. He was entered in the Grade 3 Virginia Derby last time out and battled on bravely for a 34/1 shot finishing third. Today he shortens back up to a mile and has four workouts since that most recent effort. I think he’ll appreciate the cutback in distance, and I happen to think he has the most reliable early speed in this group.
Race 9: Happy American - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
If there were a Breeders’ Cup Classic for Grade 2 runners, the Grade 2 Hagyard Fayette would be it right now. After the scratch of Film Star, who will be running in New York we’ll have a field of 12 runners with a Grade 2, 5 Grade 3’s and 10 non-graded stakes wins among them along with three Grade 1 placings. We’ve got speed, stalkers and closers in this group. It is a FUN race. Last time out I selected Happy American to win the Grade 2 Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs. Unfortunately, he lagged too far back early behind a pace that wasn’t all that fast. The amount of ground he closed in the final quarter mile was impressive as he ran his final 1/8th in a snappy 12.02 - the fastest of anyone that day including the winner – Clapton, who will be running in next week’s Breeders’ Cup Classic. Happy American has many races on his resumé that would be good enough to win this. His problem is that oftentimes he doesn’t get the pace to close into. That shouldn’t be the case today at all as I look for him to be flying best of all late for another long-odds win.
Best of luck to all our members playing Saturday’s races from around the US!!