The top quality racing action keeps on coming with two excellent races headlining Saturday’s card from Aqueduct. Here we preview the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap and Grade 2 Red Smith Stakes
Grade 2, 1 mile and 3/8, turf, open to horses aged three and over. Total prize pool $300,000.
The highlight of this Saturday’s Aqueduct card comes in the form of the Red Smith Stakes where twelve horses will line up for their bid for glory.
Despite the prospect of this race being wide open, many pundits believe that Soldier Rising could be the horse to side with. Trained out of the Christophe Clement yard, Soldier Rising will have the experienced Jose Ortiz on board. A winner twice in allowance company, he has stepped up when asked at a higher level. He brings some solid form into the race having been beaten by just over a length in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes. If he can run close to that level here, he will start as the horse to beat.
Another consistent graded performer is Temple who hails from the Michael Maker yard and can call upon the services of Javier Castellano. He was only beaten by a neck in the Sycamore Stakes and ran with credit when he finished third in the United Nations Stakes. His consistency in this field can’t be questioned and he is bound to be a strong contender.
When it comes to turf racing you can be assured that Chad Brown will have a strong hand, and this race is no exception. Brown has chosen to field two here in the form of Balthus and Highest Honors but it’s the latter who represents his best chance.
A recognised Stakes performer, Highest Honors is yet to win at this level but has posted several promising efforts. His third in the Sycamore Stakes saw him finish narrowly behind Temple but his connections will be hopeful that form can be reversed here.
Shawdyshawdyshawdy is another who many believe has a live chance. He is another who quite hasn’t been able to get his head in front at this level but has ran with credit. He looks like he has a bit to find in comparison to his rivals but could be an option at a decent price.
Due to the nature of a race like this, there are several horses that can be backed at decent prices. One such horse is Mooney Love.
It’s hard to know what to make of the form considering he has done the majority of his racing in Germany and Italy and this will be his first race in America.
He is a Listed winner in Europe and what that form represents is anyone’s guess but he will be in safe hands in the combination of Mott and Joel Rosario and could run a big race.
Red Smith Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction
|ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS
|Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|Jalon L. Samuel
|Jorge A. Vargas, Jr.
|Mooney Love (IRE)
|Soldier Rising (GB)
|Jose L. Ortiz
|Cold Hard Cash
|I Am the Law
In a race which could go in several different directions it could be worth siding with Temple to build on his previous promising performances in Graded company. Temple’s form is amongst the very best on offer and he should produce a big run here.
Grade 3, 6 furlongs, dirt, open to horses three and over. Total prize pool $200,000
The second race in our Aqueduct preview is the Fall Highweight Handicap that will be raced over 6 furlongs. At the time of writing seven horses are due to head to post in which looks an incredibly competitive affair.
Likely favourite for the race is Greeley and Ben who will be having his first run for Faith Wilson and will have Manny Franco on board.
An eight year old, it’s possible that he could be vulnerable to some younger, improving horses but with all his experience he is certain to give his running.
He has placed numerous times in Graded company but is yet to get his head in front this season. With solid form in the books he is one of the stronger options in this race.
Vying for favouritism will be Synthesis who hails from the Jeff Mullins yard. Like Greeley and Ben it’s been a frustrating season for followers of this horse as he is yet to really contend in any of his races this season.
He is lightly raced for a horse his age and has ran with credit when tried at higher levels than this. Yet to win in over two years he should be backed with a degree of caution.
In a race of this nature it could be worth investing in the jockey angle and Champion Jockey Irad Ortiz will be hoping to make his presence felt aboard Factor It In.
Factor It In is another who is lightly raced and he completed his one and only start prior to this contest by finishing third in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Stakes. For a seasonal reappearance that run was certainly promising and he finished ahead of Greeley and Ben. If stripping fitter for the run he could be the sensible play of the contest.
Sticking on the subject of class, it would be foolish to discount Steve Asmussen’s runner Jaxon Traveler. A four year old, he still has scope for improvement in comparison to some of his older rivals. He too ran in the Bold Ruler but could only finish 8th, but prior to that run he did win the Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Stakes.
That win is amongst the best form on offer in the race and if you can overlook his last run, he could be the value option of the race.
Fall Highweight Handicap Odds & Betting Pick
|ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS
|Greeley and Ben
|Omar Hernandez Moreno
|Jose L. Ortiz
|Factor It In
|Irad Ortiz, Jr.
In what looks like a tough race to call, we think there is value to be had backing horses further down the field. Two we like are Factor It In and Jaxon Traveler, but with question marks over his latest performance and the fact that Factor It In can call upon Irad Ortiz we will make Factor It In our tentative selection.
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