Player Quick Pick: Aqueduct for 12/6/2014

Profile Picture: D.S. Williamson

D.S. Williamson

December 5th, 2014

Aqueduct’s feature on Saturday, the Garland of Roses Stakes, has attracted an ultra-competitive field of 9 entrants. Going off as Race 8 on the card, the Garland of Roses should give horseplayers plenty of ways to go.

Aqueduct Racetrack 8 | 3:43 pm ET

Garland of Roses Stakes for 3&Up F&M going 6f

6 – Willet – 5/2 – These are the kind of races that Willet usually wins with ease. “Ease” may not be a word that shows up during Saturday’s running of the Garland of Roses since the field does appear to be very deep and Willet is a closer in a sprint race, but what that means is that there is a good chance the James Iselin trained six-year-old mare goes off at higher odds than the morning line, making her an overlay in the race. Iselin has only saddled 4 route-to-sprint runners this year. He’s won with 2 of them. He’s only saddled 3 sprint-route-sprint runners this year and he’s won with 1 of those. The real clue about how well Willet should run in this is by looking at Iselin’s non-graded stakes record. Out of 11 horses that he has saddled in non-graded stakes races Iselin has won with 36% of them. His horses have finished in the money in over 80%. There appears to be enough speed, but even if there isn’t, the conditions of the race set up perfectly for the chalk on Saturday.

7-Expression – 10/1 – This five-year-old mare sired by former Horse of the Year Invasor has as good of a record that horseplayers are going to find in a race like this:  6 wins, 6 second place finishes and 3 thirds from 24 races. She has an even better record over the Aqueduct inner dirt with 5 wins, 1 second place finish and a third place finish from 9 races and her record at the 6 furlong distance is 6 wins, 4 second place finishes and 3 third place finishes from 17 lifetime races. Expression does move up slightly in class, but none of these are world-beaters and the morning line odds are just too juicy to ignore. Trainer Charlton Baker has placed her very well in her last 4 races since she’s garnered 2 second place finishes and a win. Don’t ignore the long shot in the Garland of Roses on Saturday.

2-Joya Real – 6/1 – Joya Real hasn’t raced for three months, but she does go into this off of a terrific head loss in a $200K 5 furlong turf sprint stakes at Parx. The quality of that field was real and the five-year-old Eddington sired mare closed willingly after a somewhat tepid 22.2 first quarter. She should have more speed to chase in this and she has a productive record over dirt, 2 wins, 2 second place finishes and 2 third place finishes from 6 lifetime starts. The work tab isn’t impressive but she doesn’t often work bullets in the morning. Joya Real is just one of those competitive horses that could sneak up and win in almost any race. Horseplayers should make sure to put her on their exotic tickets.