How to bet the 2019 Gotham Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 8th, 2019

The feature at Aqueduct on Saturday is the $300,000 Gotham Stakes (G3). The Road to the Kentucky Derby points race attracted a strong field of eight, which includes a pair of Grade 1 victors among the cast. FREE Gotham Stakes PPs courtesy of Brisnet.com! Here is a look at the field: FAMILY BIZ (#1) (30-1) finished a decent fourth in the recent Jimmy Winkfield Stakes and draws the rail here. Third in the Jerome Stakes to kick off his sophomore campaign, the dark bay son of Fed Biz graduated locally but will need a lifetime best to make an impact against a stout field. Breeders’ Futurity (G1) hero KNICKS GO (#2) (12-1) has not progressed following his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up performance, finishing unplaced in his last two outings. The Ben Colebrook pupil cuts back to a one-turn mile and clearly has the ability to challenge for the win. Jose Lezcano picks up the mount. Hopeful Stakes (G1) victor MIND CONTROL (#3) (9-2) got his sophomore season off to a fine start with a front-running score in the Jerome Stakes. The Greg Sacco trainee is proven on the surface and boasts a 4-3-1-0 mark when running one turn. John Velazquez staying in town to ride is a major coup. MUCH BETTER (#4) (10-1) led at every call in a recent allowance tilt at Santa Anita Park in his debut with blinkers for trainer Bob Baffert. The expensive colt, who finished third in the Sham Stakes (G3) two back, will need a big step forward in his East Coast bow. Mike Smith has the return assignment. HAIKAL (#5) (6-1) has displayed a healthy turn of foot from a trio of career outings, including a game tally in the Jimmy Winfield last out. The Shadwell homebred is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Takaful and will have plenty of pace to rally into under Rajiv Maragh. INSTAGRAND (#6) (1-1) was exceptional from a pair of starts as a juvenile, rolling home by 10 lengths on each occasion. The $1.2 million colt and Best Pal Stakes (G2) winner has trained forwardly and is the clear one to beat in the Gotham. Javier Castellano will guide the Into Mischief colt for the initial time. NOT THAT BRADY (#7) (5-1) was all heart when re-rallying to just miss in the Withers Stakes (G3) most recently. The speedy gelding loves the oval and is a contender with any kind of forward move here. Lightly raced TIKHVIN FLEW (#8) (12-1) was a fine winner on debut at Aqueduct prior to finishing a respectable third in the Winkfield. The Street Sense colt draws outside and has the look of a live longshot in his third lifetime appearance. ANALYSIS Early speed is the theme of the 2019 Gotham. Knicks Go, Mind Control, Much Better, Instagrand and Not That Brady have all done their best work when leading from the opening stages. I envision Instagrand letting three or four foes go with Castellano keeping him reserved some in the early going. The colt will take command in early stretch and then have to hold off the late runners. Instagrand looked too good as a juvenile to go against in his sophomore debut. I think his class will prevail, and I expect both Haikal and Tikhvin Flew to be moving best from off the pace. WAGER $20 Tri Key 6 with 5,8 = $40 $2 Tri 6 with 4,5,8 with all = $36 PHOTO: Instagrand and jockey Drayden Van Dyke win the Best Pal Stakes on August 11, 2018, at Del Mar (c) Benoit Photo