We have a long day of betting on tap, with the opener at Belmont Park at 12:20 eastern and the finale at Churchill Downs coming almost nine hours later.
In between, we have some outstanding stakes action, with a trio of stakes at the Big A and two at Churchill Downs this evening, all drawing fields of 10 or more. The average field size for the five stakes is 12.
The stakes action starts with the fifth race at Aqueduct, which is the anchor leg of the early Pick 5 with a reduced takeout of 15%. The $100,000 Vigro Libra drew a field of 14, which a max of 10 starting in the one-mile turf race.
Island Sun Stakes winner May Shares is the 3-1 morning line favorite, but I am looking elsewhere and will probably go three or four deep in this race on my Pick 5 tickets.
The seventh race is the $250,000 Red Smith (G3) which drew a field of 13 runners that will go 1 3/8 miles on the turf. An intriguing contender is the filly Tannery, who is coming off a win in the E.P. Taylor (G1) at Woodbine. I think she has a good shot of betting the boys.
The $100,000 Move It Now is a one-mile race for New York breds that have not won a stake since Sept. 1. A wide-open field of 10 will line up with Brigand the 3-1 morning line favorite. The colt has been facing tougher and won his last three starts ion state bred company.
Then it is off to Louisville with a first post of 4:30 eastern. The $100,000 Commonwealth Turf (G3) drew 13 three-year-olds that will go 1 1/16 miles on turf.
The Todd Pletcher trained Winning cause is the 4-1 morning line favorite, but has done his best work on the fake stuff including winning the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland back in April.
The final stake on the day is the $175,000 Mrs. Revere (G2) for three-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the grass. The race is one of the toughest of the day with a full field of 14 entered.
Tapicat is the 7-2 morning line favorite at 7-2 but drew the 13 post and as you can see below, I am looking for an upset.
Here is today’s opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Md Sp Wt (12:20 ET) 1 Forever for Always 8-1 7 Josie's Prospect 5-1 9 Royal Jest 3-1 13 Rosalie's Pleasure 4-1
Analysis: Forever for Always makes her second start off a 6 1/2 month layoff here for the Antonucci barn. Last out the filly stalked the early pace, made a good middle move and had the lead briefly near the quarterpole and weakened late to finish fourth. She was a decent third two back over the turf here in her turf debut, beaten 1 3/4 lengths for the top spot. She has a decent enough turf pedigree, a half to a couple of winners including one turf winner.
Josie's Prospect was eased in her debut and came back with a good effort second out in a third place finish. The filly shied away from the whip outside the final furlong and finished up well. The Rice runner has a couple of sibs that are grass winners. She still appears to have some upside and her 5-1 morning line looks fair enough.
WIN: #1 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 1,7 / 1,7,9,13
TRI: 1,7 / 1,7,9,13 / 1,3,7,9,13
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 7 The Red Smith Hcp G3 (3:14 ET) 6 Tannery 5-1 11 Hyper 5-2 9 Howe Great 8-1 2 Imagining 7-2
Analysis: Tannery takes on the boys here after winning the E.P. Taylor (G1) last out at Woodbine over yielding footing going nine furlongs. She took on the boys once, checking in a decent fourth in the Sword Dancer (G1) going 1 1/2 miles at the Spa back in August. She put in a solid effort two back in the Flower Bowl (G1) where she made a good late run to finish in the runner up spot to Laughing, who got loose on the lead and took the field gate to wire. Our top pick is proven at the distance and gets four pounds from our second choice. The 5-1 morning line looks more than fair.
Hyper is coming off a career top in a game runner up finish in the Canadian International (G1), beaten 3/4 of a length to the highly regarded Joshua Tree from the Ed Dunlop barn. The six-year-old has never been better, winning the Bowling Green (G2) two back and the restricted John's Call three back. The Chad Brown trainee always seems to fire, landing in the exacta in 16 of his 22 career outings. He is going to be tough here but his price is going to be on the light side.
Howe Great will be going beyond 1 1/8 miles on turf for the first time here. Last out the colt made a mild late rally to finish third in the Knickerbocker (G3), beaten 1 1/2 lengths for the top spot. The winner Za Approval came back to run a good second in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) behind Wise Dan, beaten 3/4 lengths for the top spot. His best puts him in the mix here and worth tossing in the mix here if he goes off near his 8-1 morning line.
WIN: #6 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 6,11 / 2,6,9,11
TRI: 6,11 / 2,6,9,11 / 2,6,9,11,12
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:
CD Race 9 The Mrs Revere G2 (8:36 ET) 9 Remember Then 12-1 1 Emotional Kitten 4-1 13 Tapicat 7-2 8 Nellie Cashman 9-2
Analysis: Remember Then caught a sloppy track last out in his first start here, making a mild late rally to finish third against Alw-3 optional claimers. Her lone go on turf came two back in the Pucker Up (G3) where the filly checked in fourth. She was down along the inside without clear sailing and then angled off the inside in the stretch for clear running room. She picks up Leparoux here and this gal should like turf. She is by Pulpit out of the turf stakes winner Owsley ($866,705) who has dropped three other winners including a pair of turf winners, top earner Arthur’s Tale ($407,520). The $350,000 Keeneland purchase is in good hands with the Jonathan Sheppard barn and we should catch a generous price on this filly.
Emotional Kitten was outrun in the early going, came wide into the stretch and got going too late in a seventh place finish in the Queen Elizabeth II (G1), beaten three lengths for the top spot. Two back the filly was a good third in the Del mar Oaks (G1). That was a solid field that included Wishing Gate, who won Autumn Miss (G3) in her next start and fourth place finisher Kitten's Dumplings. who won the QE II. The winner Discreet Marq came back to run second in the Garden City (G1) and then won the Pebbles. The Wesley Ward trainee looks like she is going to get a solid pace to run at.
Tapicat came off a two month break last out with a game second in the Pebbles, beaten just 3/4 of a length for the top spot. She has won three of six on turf in her career including the Florida Oaks (G3) at Tampa Bay back in February. This is just her fourth start since that win and the Bill Mott trainee should get a good trip sitting just off the pace. She does draw a tough post here and the 7-2 morning line looks a tad light, but she still appears to have some upside.
WIN: #9 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 1,9 / 1,8,9,13
TRI: 1,9 / 1,3,8,9 / 1,3,4,8,13
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.
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 daily with top picks from Belmont, Churchill Downs or grab winners from Keeneland. 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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