Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:52 AM

Friday's Picks from Aqueduct

We will not see too much more grass racing at Aqueduct his year, but we have a good one on Saturday with a field of 11 lining up in the $100,000 Red Smith (G3) at 1 3/8 miles.

Defending champ Sadler’s Joy is the 8-5 morning line favorite. The Tom Albertrani trainee was third in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) in his last start and skipped the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), a race he finished third in back in 2018.

Among his foes is Aquaphobia (6-1) who is also a Grade 1 winner, taking the United Nations at Monmouth Park back in July. After prompting the early pace, he faded to finish seventh in the Sycamore (G3) at Keeneland in his last start going 1 ½ miles.

There is no turf racing this week at Churchill Downs, and Saturday’s feature is the $100,000 Chilukki (G3) for fillies and mares going one mile on the main track.

Nine go to the post led by the 8-5 morning line favorite Finite, who was beaten just a neck in the Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland going seven furlongs in her last outing.

It was a strange day on Thursday at Aqueduct including Lil Commissioner knocking me out of the Late Pick 5 with an upset, the gelding returning $58.00.

Our best score of the day was somewhat unexpected. My second choice in the fifth race was first time starter Western Advantage, who was 6-1 on the morning line. The colt was dead on the board and came running, pulling off the upset to the tune of $27.60. When I looked up my third choice in the race (after a scratch) was Perpetual Change, who was 6-1 on the morning line but was dismissed at 14-1.

The duo combined for a very generous $2 exacta that paid $225.00.

Another overlay was my second choice Princes Fawzia in the eighth race. She paid $18.40 from a 9-2 morning line, combining with my fifth choice Candy Flower for another exacta that paid exactly $225.00.

Duress paid just $4.00 as my top pick in the ninth race and Bourbon Currency rallied for second as my fourth choice at 17-1 from an 8-1 morning line, the $2 exacta paying a decent $43.00.

It seems like I am constantly dealing with underlays, so it was nice to have a day where some prices were inflated for a change.

You can catch the action from Aqueduct and Churchill Downs today from 11:30 to 5:30 ET on FS2. In addition, you can stream the action on YouTube or by using the TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. is offering a 50% deposit match up to $250 .

To purchase my Aqueduct Report for Friday click here .

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Aqueduct Reports daily and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday.

Here is the opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start: 


Race 1 Md $40,000

  • #4 Well Kept Secret   6-5
  • #6 Twiddle    7-2
  • #1 Cashmere Queen   6-1
  • #7 Tap the Barrel   3-1

Analysis: Well Kept Secret caught a sloppy track last out where the filly set the early fractions and finished gamely in a runner up finish, beaten a half-length for the top spot. She improved after fading to finish a well beaten sixth in her debut after setting the early fractions. She catches an easier group here tagged for $40,000. The Asmussen trainee is out of a stakes placed Henny Hughes mare that has dropped one other foal to race, stakes winner Kept True ($323,659). She is quick but there are a couple of foes in here that cam keep her honest early, but the barn has been quite live with juvies this year and this gal should get the job done here at a short price.

Twiddle debuts for the Terranova barn that is 12% winners with first time starters. The $27,000 purchase is by Star Guitar out of a Malagra mare that has dropped six other foals to race, five winners, but all cheap claimers. A decent looking work tab and encouraging to see Johnny V. takes the call. 


Race 9 Alw $82,000N1X

  • #5 Eye of a Soldier   4-1
  • #8 Fierce Scarlett   5-2
  • #2 Windfall Profit   3-1
  • #9 Una Luna   12-1

Analysis: Eye of a Soldier set the early fractions and weakened late in a third-place finish last out at this level going 1 1/16 miles. Since landing with Mott, she has run at this level four times with a second and three thirds and she was in the hunt in each of those four outings. She owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and the cut back to a mile should suit her. She does not need the lead and showed in her previous starts she can finish. She catches a field here she should be able to handle.

Fierce Scarlett is making her first start since May for the Brown barn that is 29% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. Her last start in May was off a 6 1/2-month break where she was a good second, beaten two lengths. She made just three starts in '19 including a neck loss at this level. She was fourth in the Jessamine (G2) in her first start against winners as a juvenile. She has worked well for her return and reunites with Irad who was aboard her for her maiden score way back in '18.  


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. 


  • R4: #1 Ryan Cat   8-1
  • R5: #3 Colonel Tom   8-1
  • R6: #7 Leah Chase   8-1
  • R6: #4 Alemia   8-1
  • R7: #5 Jewel of Arabia   8-1
  • R8: #3 So High   8-1
  • R8: #9 Kid Mercury   10-1
  • R9: #9 Una Luna   12-1
  • R10: #11 Whistlinginthedark   12-1
  • R10: #9 Shannon’s Girl   8-1

Good luck today!

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