Let’s look at a few spots today at both Aqueduct and Gulfstream.
Aqueduct Race 6 – This is a two-other-than seven-furlong allowance race for NY-breds and there should be a) a fast pace and b) the seven-furlong distance should stretch some of the speed horses. The biggest beneficiary is likely #4 Giantinthemoonlite (4-1) for Charlton Baker. He was in a fast-paced heat last time and was closest to the pace among the top three finishers, who made late, outside moves. Giantinthemoonlite was hemmed in for much of the stretch and had to rally between horses.
Aqueduct Race 7 – As of this writing, they are not sure if this race will stay on the grass, but if it does, why not #1 Louisiana Lady (12-1)? Louisiana Lady broke her maiden wiring a sprint field on this course at 38-1 last month and while a bunch in this field come out of a race that fell apart last time, the speed horses from there are not in here. Hector Diaz is going to send Louisiana Lady from the rail and she should have a pace advantage at a good price.
Gulfstream Race 2 (Wait a While Stakes) – Chad Brown and Shug McGaughey have major contenders in this race but we’ll try Christophe Clement’s #11 Golden Orb (8-1) at a better price. Golden Orb comes out of the November 4th Chelsea Flower at Aqueduct where she was completely blocked in the stretch (#9, white sleeves, red cap):
She didn’t run especially well at Woodbine two-back but did have to dive inside in that race too (though she had room for the last furlong without much rally). Golden Orb did, however, win her other two-turn race, her debut on firm turf at Saratoga in August.
#10 Subtle Step (9-2) was an impressive debut winner at Keeneland for Shug McGaughey, over a horse that came back to win and improve her figure 11 points. That, however, was a race run in 1:46.11 seconds for 8.5 furlongs, indicating a slower, heavier turf course typical of the end of the Keeneland fall meeting, and the exact opposite of what she gets today. That said, obviously if McGaughey wins on debut, there is a pretty good chance the horse can run. We just think she’ll be too short of a price.
Gulfstream Race 3 (Buffalo Man Stakes) – We want to play against #5 Mojovation (1-1), who ran his big debut figure on a strong-inside track and hasn’t come close to replicating that in his other starts. There aren’t a lot of alternatives, but we’ll single #4 Diamond Oops (2-1) in multis. He won his first two starts over this track and last time in the Saratoga Special was chasing wide on a day when you wanted to be inside after stumbling at the start.
Gulfstream Race 6 (Pulpit Stakes) – #7 Maraud (8-5) is the horse to beat, coming out of a third place finish in the Pilgrim. But we’ll try to get #11 Bantu (12-1) into the number at a big price for trainer Brendan Walsh. He won his first route race at Ellis nicely over a horse that came back to win and improve his figure by eight points. Then he didn’t run poorly behind the impressive Snapper Sinclair at Kentucky Downs when stuck inside as the race fell apart around him. You can toss his Keeneland race last time on soft turf. From post 11, hopefully Nik Juarez puts him into the race early on.