2021 Red Smith Stakes (Aqueduct) Predictions, Betting Odds, Top Picks

Red Smith Stakes Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the Red Smith Stakes at Aqueduct!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 TIDE OF THE SEA 12/1
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L Saez M Maker
2 VALUE ENGINEERING 8/1
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D Davis C Brown
3 SOLDIER RISING 5/1
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J Ortiz C Clement
4 SERVE THE KING 5/2
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I Ortiz Jr C Brown
5 SHAMROCKET 4/1
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J Castellano T Pletcher
6 CORELLI 20/1
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M Franco J Thomas
7 CHANNEL CAT 9/2
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J Velazquez J Sisterson
8 SANCTUARY CITY 15/1
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R Silvera J Ferraro
9 NO WORD 12/1
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J Lezcano T Pletcher
10 PRICE TALK 15/1
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E Cancel A Dutrow

Best Bets for the Red Smith Stakes – Top Picks

Here are my plays ($60 in total)

$5 Exacta box – Serve the King, Channel Cat and Price Talk = $30

$5 Exacta box – Serve the King, Channel Cat and Soldier Rising = $30

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Serve the King (5/2).

Peter Brant’s Serve the King headlines a solid field of ten set for Saturday’s 61st running of the Grade 2 Red Smith Stakes at Aqueduct.

One of two in the race trained by Chad Brown, Serve the King comes into Saturday’s 1 3/8 mile grass test off a pair of sharp performances. Most recently, he was a solid second to his stablemate Rockemperor in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park.

Before that the son of Kingman scored his first stakes victory in the John’s Call at Saratoga.

Chief among his competition is the 6-year-old veteran Channel Cat. Sired by the recently deceased turf champion English Channel, he will be in search of his first win since capturing the Grade 1 Man o’ War in May at Belmont Park for trainer Jack Sisterson. Defeated in his last three, he will run with blinkers on in the Red Smith.

Among the rest, both Shamrocket, who won the listed Point of Entry Stakes last time for trainer Todd Pletcher, and Soldier Rising, a French Import who finished second in both the Grade 1 Saratoga Derby and the Jockey Club Derby, figure to get plenty of support at the betting windows.

Red Smith Stakes Race Analysis

Serve the King

The first of two from trainer Chad Brown, this son of Kingman seems to be rounding into a very solid graded stakes performer. Still lightly raced as a 5-year-old, he has made four starts so far this year, and each one is better than the last.

A long-winded stretch runner, it will be up to rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. to have him in position at the top of the Aqueduct lane.

From a class perspective, he fits well here, having been competitive in two Grade 1 races in his last three starts, including a runner-up last time in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. Far from a sure thing in this deep field, he is the most likely horse to be in the exotics, and if he can continue on his recent form, he has a good shot to win. He is the top pick.

Shamrocket

Winner of the list Point of Entry in his last, this Todd Pletcher-trainee will look to parlay his first career stakes win into his first ever graded stakes victory on Saturday. A repeat performance of that win at Belmont will certainly put him in with a chance, but this field does look clearly tougher than the short field that he handled four weeks ago. A winner of only 4-of-20 lifetime, he often rallies up for a share, without getting the win. He is also often bet quite a bit, and should take plenty of action, here as well. At his best, he is always a threat, but I do like the other favorites a bit better.

Channel Cat

Trained by Jack Sisterson, this is the only millionaire in the group. He is also a multiple graded stakes winner. His biggest career victory came when he made the pace in the Grade 1 Man O’ War and gamely held off Gufo for the victory. That one came at four starts back in May, but with the addition of blinkers on Saturday, I expect him to employ similar tactics in the Red Smith. He has never run on Aqueduct before, but has run well at enough turf courses around the country to expect him to take to the course. Without much other speed in here, he rates a big chance to win the whole thing.

Soldier Rising

The only 3-year-old in the field, he failed as the favorite last time when cutting back to 9 furlongs for the Grade 3 Hill Prince. Perhaps failed is too strong a word, as he was running well late, while not getting much pace help early. Two starts back he finished second-best in the Jockey Club Derby, but that performance was certainly flattered when the winner, Yibir, came back to score in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. This is another difficult spot, but back at a preferred distance of 11 furlongs, he once again becomes a serious contender for top turf trainer Christophe Clement.

Value Engineering

This 4-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid should appreciate the added distance of Saturday’s Red Smith, with distance influence on both sides of his pedigree. He has also proven to be quite consistent, having finished in the top three in all of his 11 career starts. Having said that, this will be his first try in stakes company, so his class will be tested, but he has run against plenty of tough turf horses in all those New York allowance events. While his Chad Brown stablemate is certainly more proven, this one should have better odds. His last race, a win at 9 furlongs, was sharp. He is an interesting contender.

No Word

This Todd Pletcher-trained runner had some very solid results last summer, finishing right there in both the Saratoga Derby and the Belmont Derby against the likes of Domestic Spending and Gufo. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to return to that best form since. Overall, he has lost six straight since winning an allowance race 16 months ago. Perhaps he will round back into form, having had only three races this year, but his fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker at Belmont Park last time does not inspire too much confidence. I am going to take a pass, against this deep field, but like many in here, he is a threat to hit the board.

Tide of the Sea

Breaking from the rail under aggressive race rider Luis Saez, look for this 5-year-old son of English Channel to be the one to contest Channel Cat early. A winner of the Japan Turf Cup at Laurel two starts back, he disappointed last time, fading to fourth behind Shamrocket in the Point of Entry. Overall it is a bit of a mixed bag, a two-time stakes winner capable of competing with good horses, he has also thrown in plenty of less than impressive results a s well. Early interest could be his best chance, but I like too many others better to include on my tickets.

Price Talk

This 4-year-old gelding comes into this tough test having won two straight, beating Shamrocket at 9 furlongs last time. Lightly raced, he has won half of his eight lifetime starts and was taken down from the win in another. He also is bred to appreciate the added distance he will find on Saturday. Claimed two races back by trainer Tony Dutrow, the son of Kitten’s Joy looks like a horse on the way up. He is my favorite out of a bunch of long shots who merit respect in the Red Smith.

Sanctuary City

A nice New York-bred, he comes into the Red Smith off perhaps the best performance of his career when he got within a half-length of the classy Somelikeithotbrown in the Mohawk for state-breds. This will only get tougher, but if he can successfully stretch out to the 11 furlong distance, he merits a shot. Bred to like the distance, he also seems to be fond of the Aqueduct turf, where he has won his last two. He is one of several long shots on Saturday in with a chance.

Corelli

A winner of the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes in Canada three starts back, this is another one who can not be completely dismissed. He began his career in England and has only won 2-of-10 starts since returning to America, but both came in stakes races. He’s not the most consistent, and has never defeated a field this tough before, but on his best, the late runner certainly could land himself in the picture. He showed a nice late kick in his last race when he rallied for fourth in the Knickerbocker.

How to Watch the Red Smith Stakes

Red Smith Stakes Race Information
What Red Smith Stakes
Location Aqueduct
Time Saturday, November 20 — 3:43 pm Eastern time
How to Watch Fox Sports 1
Purse $200,000

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

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.

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