How to bet the 2021 Red Smith Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

November 18th, 2021

A high-quality field of 10 will go postward in Saturday’s $200,000 Red Smith S. (G2) at Aqueduct. The 1 3/8-mile turf test is a tough handicapping assignment that could go to a number of entrants in the cast, but I will focus on a pair of contenders as my key horses for the vertical exotics.

#4 Serve the King, one of two in the lineup for conditioner Chad Brown, has never been better. The lightly raced five-year-old has stretched out to marathon distance in his last trio of outings this campaign, and I fully believe that he has found his niche. A creditable fourth in the United Nations S. (G1) at Monmouth three back, the son of Kingman followed that with a nice triumph in the John’s Call S. at Saratoga, which preceded an excellent runner-up finish in the Turf Classic S. (G1) at Belmont Park most recently.

The British-bred has been well handled by his conditioner to this stage of his development and seems poised for a big performance on Saturday. Serve the King possesses the natural early presence to keep in touch early on, and he also owns a fine turn of foot in the stretch. Irad Ortiz will pilot the up-and-coming bay.

#9 No Word, one of two in the field for Todd Pletcher, has a lot of both upside and value, in my opinion. The Silent Name colt is winless from three starts this campaign, but his runner-up showing in the Bernard Baruch S. (G2) at Saratoga was very good, and he earned a lifetime best Brisnet Speed figure in the recent Knickerbocker S. (G3).

Foaled in the Bluegrass State, No Work is bred to run all day and two of the better races in his lifetime came at extended trips on the sod last season. The dark bay went close while placing in both the Belmont Derby (G1) and Saratoga Derby as a three-year-old, and he looms large with the added ground in this spot. Jose Lezcano has the call.

I will center my horizontal wagers around that duo and click the ‘all’ button in the other rungs of my plays, as I don’t see a lot of separation with the remaining octet of contenders in the cast.

Red Smith Wagers

  • $2 trifecta 4, 9 with 4, 9 with all ($32)
  • 20-cent superfecta 4, 9 with all with 4, 9 with all ($22.40)