Aqueduct April 22

Race 1

  • 6  Tahoe Tigress
  • 3  Little Bear Cat
  • 1  Palladian Bridge
  • Little Bear Cat is likely to go favorite and has a consistent string of good figures, but I’m looking at Tahoe Tigress in the win slot. This race has a plethora of speed with 5 of the 6 runners preferring to be on or near the lead. If the race breaks down, it looks like the horse coming from off the pace is Tahoe Tigress.  She was claimed two back by Jeremiah Englehart who jumped her into a restricted stakes. She was overmatched there, but returns at a level where she’ll be much more competitive. She was a consistent runner with good figures last year, and if Englehart has her straightened out, she’ll be worth a look. Palladian Bridge has some consistent figures and has shown an ability to lay close to the pace and run well in the stretch.

Race 2

  • 6  Sweetrayofsunshine
  • 7  Spectacular Flash
  • 4  Julie D
  • Sweetrayofsunshine is two for two over the AQU main and she comes off a strong second on the inner. Perhaps a bit of a negative drop, but best last race figure suggests she’s a serious contender. Spectacular Flash was very wide in the Videogenic Stakes and faded in the stretch, but looked good in winning at this level two back. Julie D makes the right drop after flopping at a higher claiming level.


  • 3  Bird’s Eye View
  • 4  Secretary at War
  • 5  Frostmourne
  • Secondary (6)
  • Jimmy Jerkens has brought his horses to NY in winning shape, making Secretary at War very dangerous in this spot, and Frostmourne has already won a restricted stakes at BEL and looks well-conditioned for his 2017 debut. Still, I’m looking at taking a chance with Bird’s Eye View. He’s got a good closing kick and is graded stake placed. He’ll need some pace to run at, but considering he’s previously beaten Royal by Nature he is not outless here. A lot may depend on the ride he gets from Maragh.

Race 4

  • 2  Instant Replay
  • 5  Our Caravan
  • 3  Global Positioning
  • Secondary (4, 8)
  • Instant Replay runs well at the mileHe didn’t run well last out on the turf, but before that ran well at this distance on the inner. The concern is the trainer and jockey. Giglio is 0 for 19 this year, and jockey Reyes is at 6% for the year, but the class drop and the return to dirt should help. Our Caravan has a win on the main and  has succeeded at the distance. Another that was a bit over his head last out but is in the proper spot today.

Race 5

  • 3  Brewing
  • 1  Sir Bond
  • 5  Gentrify
  • Secondary (4, 6)
  • This is really any horse’s race. Charlton Baker claimed Brewing last August, laid him off for seven months and returned him on the inner where he didn’t show great interest. His second race in the slop was much improved, and he returns to the level closer to his claim price today. Third off the layoff could lead to success. Sir Bond was claimed by RuRod last out and he is 38% first off the claim. Never been out of the money on the main and has been successful at the distance. Gentrify is all the speed here, and that can make him very dangerous.

Race 6

  • 1  Heldatgunpoint
  • 10  Source Control
  • 8  Zaguri
  • Secondary (2, 3, 4)
  • Heldatgunpoint ran a little better than looked first time out. Frankly, the ride he got from Rosario was no help. He broke with the field, immediately started dropping back and lost touch around the turn, finally getting into it in the stretch when he had lost all chance. He gets a jockey switch and a weight break with low percentage rider Addiel Ayala. He could be chancy, but at the odds, I’m willing to give the horse one more shot to impress. Source Control wasn’t successful until he dropped to the $40K claiming level and ran well in his last on the inner when fitted with blinkers. Goes back to running with 3YOs today and that should be a positive. Zaguri turns back in distance and adds blinkers today.

Race 7

  • 1  Clutch Cargo
  • 3  Jacala
  • 10  Mr. Harlan
  • This is a race that seems to have some obvious choices but a lot of unknown runners. Clutch Cargo (I admit I am old enough to remember watching Clutch Cargo when it was originally shown) came from well out to break his maiden at BEL, and had one race on the inner back in January. Mike Hushion decided to wait until the turf opened to run him again, and he’s had a steady work tab in prep for this. Jacala ships up from GP where he had been racing  well. He’s in today with state-breds and that should work in his favor. Mr. Harlan is only 1 for 20, but has three second place finishes in a row. In this field he has prospects to be in the picture.

Race 8

  • 4  Noble Freud
  • 6  Bluegrass Flag
  • 2  Frosty Gal
  • Secondary (1)
  • Noble Freud ran big first time out and will almost certainly be the heavy choice. However, today she will have strong competition on the front end in the form of Bluegrass Flag. The latter will give the favorite all she can handle on the front end, and the two of them may just dual the entire race.  The upset possibility is Frosty Gal, and at 12-1 she may pick up all the pieces if the front two fry each other on the front end. Has to be used in the verticals.

Race 9

  • 3  Smarter
  • 11  Bootlegger
  • 5  Piazza Del Campo
  • Smarter ships up from GP. He’s been gelded since his last. He’s had two ugly starts in his two races, and with a better beginning he’s got good prospects at what could be a decent price. Bootlegger goes second time for Mott. In his first start he bumped the gate slightly on the break, never really was able to get into the race, had to circle the field, but finished with enthusiasm. With a clean break he could establish position early and close by the field. Piazza del Campo has been running competitively on the turf, although he seems more likely in the backholes than the win slot.