Mucciolo: Playing the Late Pick 4 at Aqueduct
Aqueduct hosts four graded races on their Saturday card, with a trio of those helping comprise the late Pick 4. With a potentially beatable heavy favorite to close out the card, the sequence appears very playable and I will take a healthy swing at it.
Race 7: Maiden turf sprint drew a huge field and I think a good-priced winner is possible in this dash for New York-bred fillies. #2 LADY ROZINA and #4 RACHEL’S BLUE MOON are both big prices on the morning-line from very good barns in a field lacking class. I have to have each of those on the ticket, as well as #5 SILVERADO MIST, #11 SCATBACK and #12 STONEFACTOR, the latter of which seems the most logical.
Race 8: Demoiselle S. (G2) drew a cast of eight and this race is not clear cut. #3 WONDER GADOT is my top pick but I don’t have the full confidence to single her after a strong run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) in which she experienced a rough trip from a poor post position. #1 DAISY, #4 HELD ACCOUNTABLE and #7 LAYLA NOOR are supporting picks if Gadot falters.
Race 9: The Remsen S. (G2) is another race with many options and I will spread some once again. #3 AVERY ISLAND, 8 VOUCH and #10 TAP RAP STRIKE are my top three selections, though I will also throw in #1 BANDITO at a 15-1 morning-line price for Dale Romans. Calumet homebred has been well-backed at the windows in each run and was visually sharp in a maiden-breaking tally at Keeneland last time.
Race 10: #6 SHARP AZTECA is clearly the one to beat in the Cigar Mile (G1) for Jorge Navarro and is on a short list of the top dirt milers in training. Four-year-old son of Freud continues to run huge, evidenced by a stubborn defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and one would have to think that he has a Grade 1 trophy with his name on it somewhere. Colt draws well and shows a trio of morning drills to stay on edge for this event.
With that said, I think this is the race to take a chance at upsetting the Kentucky-bred, who has endured a long season with trips to Dubai, Florida, and most recently California. I simply think he might be a hint less than at his best after such a grueling race and cross-country trip to overcome.
Multiple Grade 1 victor #1 MIND YOUR BISCUITS has done some of his best work running at seven furlongs and I think the one-turn mile could be ideal for him and his style. Son of Posse almost surely will get a fast pace to rally into and he already defeated Azteca when wearing him down late in the 2016 Malibu (G1). #8 PRACTICAL JOKE is one of my favorites and he will also be on my ticket for Chad Brown. Multiple Grade 1 hero was fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile but figures to get a more contested pace to run at today. Colt also has room to improve in a second run off the layoff. Son of Into Mischief smashed a bullet half-mile two works back to signal his readiness.
Pick 4 ticket (races 7-10)
$.50-cent Pick 4: 2,4,5,11,12 with 1,3,4,7 with 1,3,8,10 with 1,6,8 = $120