The Kentucky Derby is only two weeks away now so we’re a little light on the stakes action this week.
We’ll be focusing our attention on a few races at Aqueduct. There is some rain in the forecast but at the moment it looks like we’ll get the turf racing in.
Aqueduct Racetrack – Race 6 – The Woodhaven Stakes
A field of 8 is assembled for this edition of the Woodhaven Stakes for 3 year olds at 1-1/16 Miles on the grass. Our morning line favorite is Forty Under at 9-5 coming off a November layoff where he finished fourth in the Grade 1 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf after winning the Pilgrim Stakes.
While Forty is the most accomplished runner here I’d like to take a shot with the rail horse – Tybalt who should more value than his 8-1 morning line suggests. Tybalt is by Kitten’s Joy, an outstanding turf sire out of a Tale of the Cat mare so he should handle turf. He’s been running very competitively on dirt and rates a long look at a price.
Aqueduct Racetrack – Race 7 – Allowance
A robust field of 12 will take the starting gate for race 7 at Aqueduct with the 9-5 favorite Minsky Moment coming off a year and a half layoff for trainer Chad Brown. Much will probably be made about the layoff but Chad Brown is a trainer who wins 30% of his races with these types. If you can get even money or more, I think it’s value because there’s not much in this race.
Aqueduct Racetrack – Race 8 – The New York Stallion Stakes (Division 1)
This division of the New York Stallion Stakes is for 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs and features two fillies who will likely vie for favoritism in Stonesintheroad (2-1 morning line) and Newly Minted (8-5 morning line) and to me, Newly Minted looks much the best.
Newly Minted has only raced once, just under a week ago where she fired a strong speed figure that towers over the rest of these. Linda Rice’s horses tend to improve in their second start which means the rest are in deep water.
The likely second choice – Stonesintheroad looks like she’ll fold with pace pressure so I’m picking a few longshots in the minor awards.
Aqueduct Racetrack – Race 9 – The New York Stallion Stakes (Division 2)
The colts division of this race shaped up to be a fun one with a few future sprint stars in the New York bred ranks loading into the gate for this.
Our lukewarm morning line favorite here is Blindwillie McTell from the Linda Rice barn at 2-1.
Blindwillie McTell is 2 for 3 with a second-place finish first time out and a pair of state-bred stakes wins but I think the second choice in the race – Bankit is the goods. Bankit is exiting the Louisiana Derby where he faced significantly classier horses than these. He should get the right pace setup and be primed to blow by in the stretch. My Picks: Bankit (5-2), Bebe Banker (20-1), Thorny Tale (9-2)