I’m not going to lie to you. My main sports interest today is the NFL, not horse racing. But since NFL gambling isn’t legal in New York, and I want to get back in the habit of writing something every week for the blog, I am going to turn my attention to Aqueduct. It’s possible I may put up some thoughts on a couple of Gulfstream races as well, but I’m going to play that by ear. For the record, I like the Pats and the Ravens in the football, any way you feel like betting them, really, if you happen to live in a place civilized enough to allow you to do so at all.
Let’s have a look at the Ruthless, a 6 furlong race for 3 year old fillies on — what else — the inner dirt.
#1 DOUBLE THE ENERGY is an out-of-towner and I’m tempted to joke that she’ll have to double the speed figure to make an impact. In her favor is the rail and her tactical foot. Those things make me hold the line at 20-1, but do note there is a ton of other speed here.
#2 LOVE CONTRACT, like her rival to the inside, is another out of towner with early speed who doesn’t appear fast enough despite a strong record. Since she’s drawn outider of DTE, I’ll push her out to 50-1.
#3 DEFY GRAVITY has some races that are fast enough to win this but she sends off mixed signals. On the plus side, they thought enough of her to try the Matron, and maybe you can excuse the slop effort last time. But the fast win two back was kind of a perfect trip and this is a tougher group. Tricky call but my sense is to make her 8-1, as we know she can win from off the pace.
#4 CUTE CADET looks hopeless, even though I love the owner’s nom de course (El Coqui stable); I’m a big Puerto Rican tree frog guy. 100-1.
On its face, #5 AGAVE KISS’s debut stamped her as a potential filly to be reckoned with. Plus, you ahve to love any equine named after a cocktail. Taking a more cynical view of her cherry popper though, she did walk on the lead against statebreds. Last time was much more impressive from a Flow perspective, but the figure came back lousy. And there’s the speed to her inside and class hike to deal with. I couldn’t have her anywhere near the ML of 5/2. From a value perspective, she’s a contender, but more like 6s.
How much did the rail help #6 DANCE TO BRISTOL last time? Tricky to tell, but it sure didn’t hurt. She’s run three in a row that stack up well with these, and she has passed horses to run well before, so maybe she’ll be able to rate off the other speed. She’s in the mix as well but a little unexciting to me. 8-1.
#7 BETTER LUCKY beat a short field in merely OK time in the slop under a perfect ride by R-r-r-r-r-ramon (who lands elsewhere) in her only race. The ability to pass horses is a plus but it’s possible she was flattered by dynamics and improvement is required. 12-1.
#8 CONDEROSA is another one number Flow downgrade, but at least her figure was strong and earned on a fast surface. Still, it’s quite possible that the pace dynamics and bias that day were the keys to her victory. I’d like to see more and will make her 10-1 accordingly, but a big race wouldn’t surprise me at all and if she’s that price, I’m likely to bet.
#9 WELL KEPT is more speeed and another who Ramon gets off. Hard to know how good she is as she’s caught off tracks in her last three. I don’t know what to make of her to be honest but I’m going to trust that Ramon and his agent made the right call here and hang up a tepid 6-1. That said, usuable if the crowd ignores.
Ramon endes up on another seeming speedster, #10 PERENNIAL SONG. From a FLow perspective, her last was nothing short of awesome. It was only a five horse field but she’d have been justified in getting hammered with the closer-favoring flow there and yet she only lost by 2.5 (she was also wheeling back in 12 days if you want to give her extra credit for that). Plus, it was a G3. She has passed horses before and the outside draw gives Ramon options. I make her the most likely winner at 3-1.
CONCLUSION: It’s hard to know where the crowd is going to go here, they may well end up on my most likely winner, PERENNIAL SONG, and that could make this a pass race. Hopefully the morning line is right and Agave Kiss gets overbet; that could make this a playable race for me. For exotics, I like CONDEROSA a bit and don’t have a strong opinion beyond that but will just look to use anything that’s value on my line with Perennial Song, or perhaps do a win saver.