Player Quick Pick: Aqueduct 11/22/2014

D.S. Williamson

November 22nd, 2014

Aqueduct’s feature on Saturday is a New York Stallions Stake race with a solid morning line favorite in West Hill’s Giant. The race right after, Race 9, appears to be one where horseplayers could put together a profitable ticket.

Aqueduct Racetrack 9 | 4:12 pm ET

Claiming (25) for 3&Up going 1 mi. (T)

8 – Lay It Down – 10/1 – Trainer Randi Persaud hasn’t had a great 2014. He’s only won 8% overall, 5% with horses that he starts on turf and 7% with his claimers. But Lay It Down has a chance to upset the field at huge overlaid odds in Race 9 at Aqueduct on Saturday. The four-year-old gelded son of Noble Causeway finished second by 3.25 lengths in his last race, a $35,000 claimer at Aqueduct going 1 1/16 miles over the turf, and before that race finished fourth by 3.5 lengths in a $50,000 claimer. Lay It Down definitely fits here. The record of 4-3-1 from 17 races says that Lay It Down is a competitive runner. Not only that, but the Persaud trainee has the right style, the ability to press the pace if needed or to stay within shouting distance if the pace works out that way, in order to win.

6 – Shetan – 3/1 – This appears to be the lowest level that Shetan, a six-year-old gelding sired by Johar, has ever raced at. Trainer Graham Motion does very well with claimers, he wins at 24%, and he also does very well with horses coming back to the track after a 46 to 90 day layoff. Shetan should be competitive but the likely low odds, because of his back class, makes him a possible underlay in this race. The other thing that horseplayers should look out for is the fact that Shetan is a closer racing over a turf course that appears to favor horses that show some early speed. One huge positive is that jockey John Velsquez jumps aboard. Johnny V. could get the possible favorite to run his best on Saturday.

4 – Cheyenne Nation – 5/2 – Rudy Rodriguez, who is back to his victorious ways with a 24% win rate at Aqueduct, saddles this eight-year-old horse that has suddenly discovered the Fountain of Youth. Cheyenne Nation has won 3 out of his last 4 races. One of those wins occurred in a $25,000 claimer at Saratoga in early August. He appears to be one of those horses that scores paychecks, which makes him extremely tough in this event. The morning line odds suggest that Cheyenne Nation could go off as the favorite, but there are some droppers in here, including Shetan, that might get some play. With jockey Irad Ortiz aboard, a win is a big possibility, but there’s also the chance that this tough eight-year-old finally hits the wall. If that happens, Cheyenne Nation could still get into the trifecta because he’s that tough.