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Headlined by the Grade 2 Hill Prince Stakes for 3-year-old males on the turf, Aqueduct brings us an afternoon of racing with four stakes races on Saturday. Two of the stakes will be on the grass, while the other two feature talented 2-year-olds.
In other words, it should be a solid day of racing in New York with plenty of wagering opportunities. Without further ado, let’s get right into the strong card of racing and my favorite wagers of the day.
Unbeaten in two career starts, Integration will look to continue his upward mobility when he takes on a solid field of ten turf males entered in Saturday’s Grade 2 Hill Prince Stakes going 9-furlongs at Aqueduct.
A well bred 3-year-old son of Quality Road, the Shug McGaughey-trained runner has impressed in each start which both came at Colonial Downs. A 6 1/2-length maiden romp was followed up by a sharp rally to score in the Grade 3 Virginia Derby. This will be a big test as he makes his first start in New York and faces a deep field.
Trainer Chad Brown is always a threat in graded stakes on the turf and his chances at victory on Saturday are threefold. The English-bred Equitize was a good-looking debut winner back in March and will be making his first start since. Faraday, meanwhile, has won two straight while running longer at Saratoga and Kentucky Downs respectively.
Finally, I’m Very Busy could be the most dangerous of all the Brown runners. Beaten less than four lengths in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), he comes into the Hill Prine off a sharp allowance win over the Aqueduct turf course. The Brown trio will be tough, but I love the way Integration has begun his career. He is the top pick
$10 Exacta Part Wheel - Integration over I’m Very Busy, Equitize, and Freedom Trail = $30
$10 Exacta Part Wheel - I’m Very Busy, Equitize, and Freedom Trail over Integration = $30
After finishing in the top four in three consecutive stakes races, Works for Me looks like the one to beat when he tops a field of nine New York-bred juvenile males in Saturday’s 6-furlong Notebook Stakes at Aqueduct.
A son of Daddy Long Legs, the Joseph Lee-trained runner has turned in five solid efforts to begin his career. While showing speed in each start, he has only won once, but has been competitive each time. He has also faced some tough competition in the likes of The Wine Steward and Book Em Danno.
Chief among his foes in the Notebook will be another colt with good stakes experience. After breaking his maiden three starts back at Aqueduct, Aggelos the Great has finished second and third to the talented El Grande O in a pair of stakes races the past two months. With the ability to come from off the pace, he should appreciate all the speed in this one.
Two more who should add to the early pace are Ice the Kicker and Detective Tom. Both are lightly raced with one win from two starts and have good speed. With the expected fast pace, I am going to look for Aggelos the Great to come running. He is the top pick.
$10 Exacta Box - Aggelos the Great and Works for Me = $20
$10 Win & Place - Aggelos the Great = $20
The female counterpart to the Notebook, Saturday’s Key Cents Stakes will feature a contentious field of eight juvenile fillies sprinting 6-furlongs at Aqueduct. Stakes winners Cara’s Time and Solo Shot headline the field.
Cara’s Time pulled a surprise two starts back when winning the Joseph A. Gimma Stakes at Aqueduct. The daughter of Not This Time validated that performance with a good second last time in the Maid of the Mist Stakes.
Soloshot, meanwhile, is undefeated in two starts and the likely favorite for trainer George Weaver. A romping winner at Saratoga in her debut, she traveled to Finger Lakes last time out to wire the field in the Lady Fingers Stakes.
Of the rest, Alley’s Song and Ashburn Alley were both sharp debut winners, while Tricky Temper comes out of back-to-back tries against open stakes company. If Tricky Temper can run back to her very good second in the Matron two starts back, I think she will be tough to beat here. She will be my top pick.
$10 Exacta Part Wheel - Tricky Temper over Soloshot, Alley’s Song, and Ashburn Alley = $30
$10 Exacta Part Wheel - Soloshot, Alley’s Song, and Ashburn Alley over Tricky Temper = $30
In my final suggested wager of the card, I’ll be looking at a wide-open and overflowing field of older males going 6-furlongs on the grass in the Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship.
Nothing Better is the defending champion of this race and may also be the speed of the speed. A 6-year-old son of Munnings, he continues to run good races this season and comes in off a near miss last time over the course. There will be no shortage of speed in this race, however, to make his task tougher on the lead.
Dancing Buck is another with plenty of speed who must be respected. An impressive graded stakes winner over the course here last fall, he has made only two starts this year and should be ready to return to his best in his third start off the layoff and his return to turf.
Of the horses who like to come from off the pace here, both Witty and Wit interest me. The former ships up from Maryland after winning a pair of stakes races at Pimlico and Laurel respectively. While the latter is a multiple graded stakes winner who has found a new home on the grass.
The pace in the Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship should be very fast, so I will be looking for a horse to come from off the pace here. It is a big, tough field on Saturday, but I like Witty best. He will be my top pick.
$20 Win & Place - Witty = $40
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Email: [email protected]
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