Aqueduct April 1

We’re back on the main, but we still haven’t started getting full fields. Today’s card is full of lower level starter allowances dressed up as stakes races, with mostly small fields. Let’s hope things improve from here.

Race 1

The first is a $16K starter with a mildly competitive six horse field. The top three choices certainly figure the best. I’ll put the longest of the three, Reckless Humor, on top based on the fact that she’s been with better for quite a while – her qualifying race was back last July at Saratoga. She’s had one start over the main, finishing second, but she causes some concern since she’s never successfully negotiated the mile, although it is a one turn mile and she is the best speed. Maddizaskar should go favorite, and is looking for her first win with new trainer David Jacobson. She’s a little more solid at a mile, but 6/5 holds little appeal. Family of Roses has had minor success on the main – 3 seconds in 6 starts – and off her best is competitive here. 5-6-1  Secondary (2)

Race 2

Palladian Bridge is listed at 10-1 on the ML in this $20K starter sprint. She was in great form on the inner, and has a third in her lone start on the main. She excels at the sprint distance and should be in a close position for the stretch run. She’s competitive off her best. Bow Town Cat is a versatile sort, with success on the turf or dirt, and success at the sprint or route. She’s certainly not head and shoulders faster than others in here, and at the odds she looks like a a poor bet. Ring Knocker has 3 seconds in 3 starts on the main, and should pick up the pieces if the race breaks down. However, I’m not sure you can draw a line through any of the starters. 4-1-5  Secondary (2, 6)

Race 3

In this $40K starter at 7 furlongs it looks like the ML favorite, Story to Tell, has the best chance to win. She is the clear leader on pace figures, but she is a little inconsistent in finishing races. Foreset and Eye Luv Lulu both have reasonable chances if the favorite doesn’t finish. 3-1-5

Race 4

Praetaro last raced for the $25K starter price last September, winning that race easily. He’ll be coming from off the pace, and unless the leaders get away easy he should be moving best in the lane. Do Share has been in top form on the inner, has good speed and   has a decent third in his one start on the main. Still, he hasn’t been the mile and unless the track favors speed, he’ll have to be at the top of his game to keep the top choice at bay. Bluegrass Prevails gets the nod over Saratoga Wildcat for the show.  6-3-2

Race 5

In one of the fuller fields of the day, I’m going to give the nod to the best of the speed, Gambler’s Ghost.  He comes of a win at $25K for new trainer Gary Gullo and has been able to string good efforts together. Has to be in the picture in the end. Bass River Road  has a pair of wins in seven starts on the main, and has won half his starts at this sprint distance. Formal Summation has been consistent at the low claiming levels, and at 12-1 ML may be worth some play in the exotics.  7-4-1  Secondary (9)

Race 6

Chorus Line has the top figures in the filed and since breaking her maiden for $20K has been racing with much better, Not much value, but looks tough to beat. Mama Joyce is working on a three race win streak and has been active at the claiming box. Contessa is not renowned first off the claim, but this horse looks live. Tahoe Tigress  goes first time for Jeremiah Englehart. The horse has had good success on the main and at the 7 furlong distance. Could be the value.  3-5-1  Secondary (4)

Race 7

In another starter sprint for horses that have started for a bottom price, I’m looking for a price, so I’ll go with Midnight Champagne, 10-1 on the ML. Her last race was a big improvement over the three before that, and she’s shown that she can take a field gate to wire. It’s been a long while since she ran at the level that qualified her for this race, and her three wins in a row in 2016 would beat anything in the field today. Worth some consideration. Da Wildcat Girl hasn’t run a bad race since the fall and has been very well handled by Edward Barker. She’s 3 of 6 on the main and will have to win this race from off the pace. Call Her Karma ships up from GP, and comes off a nice second in a restricted stakes. I’m a little wary of GP shippers and she is 0 for 8 at the distance, but she fits the conditions well and seems to be in good shape.  3-4-1  Secondary (5)

Race 8

In the feature race of the day at one lap around the main oval, again the favorites look strong, although it’s hard to make any horse a quick toss. Stormin Monarcho may be 0 for 4 on the main, but he does have two seconds and a third, and has been running very well of late. He’s won 2 of 3 since switching trainers to RuRod and looks to be the one to catch. Fox Rules is another one with front-running ability and hasn’t finished worse than second in his last 7 races. Figures are very consistent. Hard Study is only making his sixth start for Todd Fletcher. Rapidly improving horses that started late can turn out to be any sort, so if the odds are right he may be worth using.  4-5-3  Secondary (1, 6)

Race 9

This may be the most competitive race of the day, with ten starters and no real stickout. The last time Riverdate was on the main he peeled away from the field for a ten length win at today’s distance. He’s raced against much better since then and has more than held his own and has proven he can clear the field from the rail. Main speed in a race without a ton of front runners. Becker’s Galaxy has been competitive in state-bred stakes with better price horses than this group and has a win and a second in two starts over the main. Very consistently in the money at this distance. Battle Midway has had good success at this distance on the main, and ran a bang up race again NW1X horses in February. Will have to rely on his closing kick if he expects to get a piece. 1-7-5  Secondary (2, 9)