Let’s look at a few spots on Sunday at Aqueduct.
Race 2 – #4 Coffee Crush (6-1), out of multiple graded stakes winner Wasted Tears, makes her second career start for Jimmy Toner after a slow start and rank debut in which she ran up on heels and had to be steadied on the backstretch. She settled down and was moving well late to be fifth. Runner-up Data Dependent returned to win and then run second in the G3 Jimmy Durante at Del Mar last weekend.
Race 6 – This race could feature a fast pace, but the closers are not reliable win types and there’s one horse, albeit a speed horse, that we want to try. #3 Hardened (20-1) goes out for Dave Cannizzo and he has been in some tough spots. He chased Takaful in his debut last year. Then this year when switched to grass, he beat Sethary, who came back to win by five. Then they tried him in a stakes race against White Flag and Big Handsome. Then last time he tracked a pace going seven furlongs against subsequent winner Next Shares, who came back to win with a 92 Beyer. There are potential pace rivals, but he’s facing an easier group of rivals than he has faced before.
Race 7 – If #4 War Canoe (3-1) runs back to her last race, a 3.5 length win with an 87 Beyer, she is going to win, but that race stands out on her past performances. She doesn’t have to repeat that. If she doesn’t, this race is completely wide open. We’ll try #10 Hardly Mate (10-1). Three-back, she caught the impressive La Moneda and was a little green. She dropped into a maiden claiming race to get a win two-back and last time made a nice wide run in a race that held together up front. There could be a decent pace in here and she goes out for an excellent trainer in Mike Maker.