By Shawn Rychling
Two weeks ago we were talking about the deep freeze that New York racing was in. Snowstorms and an early winter cold snap had put the kibosh on six straight days of horse racing at Aqueduct.
That wound up essentially being eight consecutive days as, ironically, a quick warm up turned the track into a semi-thawed mess wiping out last Thursday’s card and then on Friday, pea-soup like fog cancelled all but the first two races on Friday.
Fast forward to this weekend, following a forecasted storm earlier this week that never materialized, we have some warm weather and a return of racing in all its glory.
One positive about the lack of opportunities is that trainers have horses chomping at the bit and on Saturday NYRA has 80 horses entered for nine race which is almost 9 horses per race – a very healthy number
Here at the Hot List we’ve debuted a new feature and that we call the Saturday @NYHotList Pick 3 Special. We’ll give you our take on the early Pick 5 which wraps around out Pick 3 play in races 2-4.
Race 1: (5) Love Your Buttons cuts the claim tag in half and speed figures are a cut above this bunch. (4) Go Big or Go Home cuts the claim tag in half and is a threat on a wet track. (1) Dial Josh drops in for a tag. His decent debut was on grass, but is a threat if you think he can handle dirt. (3) I Want Mo drops in class and new barn may be the ticket to the winner’s circle.
Race 2 – (2) Stan the Man has hit the board in four straight and has shown steady improvement in the speed-figure department. (1) Preservationist should be a top competitor off last two. (5) Anchor may be a live first-time starter. (4) Pawn It Back enters off career best and note that race came in first try over the Big A main.
Race 3 – (4) Backsideofthemoon has been getting caught wide a lot of late and still has been able to post solid speed figures so we’ll take the value play over the likely top two choices and hope he gets a tighter line around the track. (5) Harlan Punch has won 3 of last 5 starts and owns best, last-race speed fig. (1) Doyouknowsomething is a contender off last three starts. (6) Turco Bravo is a grizzled veteran that can outrun his odds.
Race 4: – (4) Starship Zeus hasn’t run for a tag in a while and appears to be most consistent horse in the field. (8) Devine Dental has managed a couple decent efforts last two starts. (2) Brainbakescookies has taken a liking to the new Big A main track. (5) Vilma should compete in the claim ranks.
Race 5: (2) Bear Clause steps up off the claim, but speed figures are competitive. (7) Benevolence is a threat off last two starts. (10) Proletariat has run well over a winterized track. (3) Calculated Risker got caught way wide last time so we’ll toss that race.
A B C
Race 1 5 4 1, 3
Race 2 2 1, 5 4
Race 3 4 1, 5 6
Race 4 4 2, 8 5
Race 5 2 7 3, 10
Best of luck as we get back into the full swing of winter racing. Find out how to get all our Hot List analysis at Interbets.com.