AQUEDUCT – 4/9/22
RACE 1: 6-2-7-1
The Wood Memorial day opener is an opportunity for #6 MAC THE PEE H DEE to improve at second asking. She debuted against a field that included next out Keeneland upsetter Lavish Habits, and this daughter of Fed Biz had a less than stellar go of it getting shuffled back at the quarter pole before late traffic. Trainer Jorge Duarte, Jr. is a solid 3-13, $3.83 ROI with turfers cutting back from routes to sprints.
RACE 2: 2-1-4-6
#2 TIMED OUT is the one to beat third off a layoff following two winning recent efforts against better fields. She has tactical speed that’ll help her stay within range of #1 MONSHUN and her fast track race 14 months ago here at the Big A was better than it looks on paper. Expect her to make a big late push.
RACE 3: 7-11-8-9
Not a bad time to go bomb hunting in a suspect field as #7 STJAMES debuted on the lawn and broke slowly. He ended up making a solid late run up the inside and undoubtedly gained needed grass experience. It’s back to the turf now after two ho-hum dirt starts and he can be viewed as a 2nd time starter. The price will be more than attractive.
RACE 4: 2-3-1/1A-8
#2 MISS TAPIRADO returns off a lengthy break for Bill Mott and looms the main speed from a cozy inside post. This beautifully bred mare has obviously had a smattering of health issues in her career, but she is seemingly training well for the return. The money will be spread around here, some of which will go to unknown quantities or lesser types from big barns.
RACE 5: 4-6-3-5
The likeliest winner on this whole card is #4 SEARCH RESULTS. She ran races as a 3YO that show she’s as fast, if not faster, than her main rivals here. The expectation is that she will move forward as a 4Yo, even off an extended break that followed a failed bid in the Test. This distance is likely her very best, and she has run well both on debut and fresh in the past.
RACE 6: 2-3-6-5
A slightly more patient ride is all #2 KUMAR needs this afternoon, as he was involved in a white hot pace last time out. The concern is him getting into a pace battle with #5 YANKEE DIVISION, who has ample early speed. This son of Into Mischief is perfectly capable of sitting just off it and that would make him strictly the one to beat.
RACE 7: 5-7-3-1
#5 RINALDI is clearly the one to catch as he returns to the site of a near wire-to-wire score in this very race a year ago. He will be as clear of this field as jockey Trevor McCarthy so chooses and speed often plays well on the spring lawn. The favorites in here are questionable outside of this veteran NY bred.
RACE 8: 1-3-5-6
All signs point to #1 MO DONEGAL getting an enormous pace setup this afternoon. He ran in spots in the Holy Bull last time out and was finishing best of all when finally untracked in the final sixteenth. The distance is obviously well within his scope given the Remsen tally and he has the perfect pilot for an off the pace trip. If things set up as they figure to on paper he will be very tough to hold off late.
RACE 9: 2-8-4-1
#2 GREEN LIGHT GO brings in a “home field advantage” as a 2x Aqueduct winner at this meet and he is in career best form. The performances of the 2-3 finishers from the Stymie lead you to believe his Beyer fig could have been a few points higher, which would have likely made him a clear 2nd choice behind #8 SPEAKER’S CORNER. While he wired the field last time out, he figures to be a strong stretch player today from just off the pace.
RACE 10: 5-6-3-7
The NY bred #5 VENTI VALENTINE goes from ‘hunter’ to ‘hunted’ here as the likely heavy favorite. She has yet to be favored in her brief career despite running better in each passing start. The race she ran in last month’s Busher was an eye opener and she is setup well to go the 9 panels again second off the bench. Her main rival is immediately to her outside, and that one would have to take a major step forward 2nd off the bench to contend for top honors.
RACE 11: 6-9-10-5
In what is undoubtedly the most fascinating race on the card #6 HIGHLY RESPECTED gets the nod. He ran a strong race on debut to score a minor upset at 7-1 and two also-rans from that affair have since run significantly faster races in their next starts. This son of Dialed In has good tactical speed but is certain to be able to lay back and make one run this afternoon.