We shift to the winterized inner track this afternoon at Aqueduct and turf racing in the Big Apple will not be back until spring, but my bankroll always welcomes this time of year.
I have not quite figured out why, but the winter meeting at Aqueduct has been one of my most profitable the past few years.
It is a steady diet of six furlong and 1 1/16 mile races over the often frozen main track, and the racing is not the most exciting, as many of the top horses and trainers will head off to Florida.
However, when producing a profit I don't much care much whether I cash a ticket in a $500,000 stakes race of a $16,000 New York maiden claimer.
Trainer David Jacobson won the training title at the recently concluded fall meeting with 19 winner from 51 starters and figures to continue to be active at the claim box and winner's circle over the winter.
Rudy Rodriguez was second in the standings with 18 winners from 48 starters, while Todd Pletcher was third with 14 winners. Pletcher led in purse earnings with $1,248,215. Nine of his 14 winners at the meeting were in stakes races, five graded.
Ramon Dominguez won the 20th NYRA meeting of his career despite sitting on the sidelines the past couple of weeks with a bruised foot, topping the jockey standings with 32 winners from 97 mounts, with purse winnings that totaled $1,938,859.
The 36-year old has been the dominant rider in New York again this year, taking the Aqueduct inner track, Belmont Park spring/summer, Saratoga, and Belmont Park fall meet titles.
Jose L. Ortiz had an outstanding meeting, landing second in the jockey standings with 24 winners from 134 mounts, with purse earnings of $889,371.
Cornelio Velasquez was third with 22 winners from his 128 mounts, with purse earnings of $1,034,301.
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Here is today's opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Clm $30,000B (12:30 ET)
2 Blue Creek 12-1
8 Into the Fray 5-2
4 Slash Five 4-1
9 Reserved Quality 7-2
Analysis: Blue Creek is going to have to run a career top to get the job done here but could be up to the task. Last out the colt stalked the early pace and made a mild late rally to finish third at this level, catching a racing strip that was playing to horses on or near the lead that day. It looks as if the colt will get some pace in front of him and if he takes to the inner could be coming late at a generous price.
Into the Fray took the field gate to wire two back to win for this tag in his first go off the claim by the Jacobson barn, and then last out stumbled coming out of the gate, prompted the early pace and finished gamely, beaten just a neck and a nose in a third place finish against starter optional claimers. This will be his first start since Nov. 23 but the barn is not afraid to stick them in where they can win and run them back quickly. The colt owns solid early and mid pace numbers and looks well spotted here back in for a tag. The barn is coming off a big fall meeting on the main track where he won 19 times from 51 starters.
WIN: #2 to win at 8-1 or better.
EX: 2,8 / 2,4,8,9
TRI: 2,8 / 2,4,8,9 / 2,3,4,8,9
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 The Jameela (3:48 ET)
3 Opus A 7-2
1 Kid Kate 2-1
7 Moon Philly 5-2
5 Tiz the Argument 4-1
Analysis: Opus A tracked the early pace, made a good move around the far turn to get into the mix and could not go with the top pair late in a third place finish in the Chase The Dream last out, her first go off a 2 1/2 month break. The winner was Miss Valentin, who came back to win the state bed Lottsa Talc in her next outing on Dec. 2. The fourth place finisher Fiftyfour Forever was also a next out winner, taking a starter optional claimer on Nov. 29. The mare has done some of her best work on the inner track where she has won four of seven.
Kid Kate tracked the early pace and finished up well for the runner up spot last out in the Garland of Roses, beaten 1 1/4 lengths for the top spot. She has not been two turns for a couple of years but does show a stakes win going a mile at Monmouth Park back in '09 and she won her lone go over the inner track which was at six furlongs in the Correction. The fact Brown brings her back fairly quick with just an 11 day break looks like her last did not take much out of her.
Race Rating: $$
WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,5,7
TRI: 1,3 / 1,3,5,7 / 1,3,5,6,7
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R1: #2 Blue Creek 12-1
R3: #1 Gritty Gal 8-1
R4: #2 Candy Raid 10-1
R5: #3 Princess Mara 8-1
R6: #10 Shake Senora 8-1
R7: #10 St Liams Halo 8-1
R9: #6 Moonshine Ridge 12-1
R9: #1 Wildhaassseee 15-1
Mike DempseyMike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders' Cup. The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes. Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick. Mike also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively. No handicapper in the industry works harder to bring you analysis that produces profits at the track! Mike's Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card. Join Mike each day with daily picks from Belmont and Churchill Downs or capture the 2nd jewel in the Triple Crown with Mike's Preakness Stakes package. You can also get his Weekend Best Plays Report in his Multi-Track package or sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
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Jerry SessaJerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to VegasInsider.com. When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins. Jerry opened the 2016 Triple Crown season by hitting his Derby Day best bet, Nyquist. He also nailed the Derby exacta for a $30.60 payout. On 4/16/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.
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