This weekend, the game of racing begins the seasonal trek to Churchill Downs. One of the first tests await the early birds at Aqueduct, and that definitely has me in a New York state of mind. So, grab your E-Z Win Forms, and lets kick off 2013 with the first glimpse of the hopefuls.
Race #6 – Mdn Sp Wt – 6f – 2:50 p.m. ET – ***** Begins the Pick-Four *****
#3- Curlin N Twirlin (4-1) = Morales up fopr Terranova, and they are making the second off the shelf move.
#5 – Start It Up (2-1) = Irad Ortiz gets the call for Richard Violette. 2nd time runner should benefit from the bullet work, and a cleaner trip.
Race #7 – The Busanda Stakes – 1 and 70 yards – 3:18 p.m. ET
#3 – Asiya (2-1) = Castro for McLaughlin as she exits a very impressive mdn win. She shortens up, and makes the next step in her career.
#4 – Ruby Lips (8-1) = Irad Ortiz in the irons for Dutrow. They exit the G-3 Tempted, and have been firing bullets in the morning.
#6 – Coconut Shrimp (5-1) = Ramon Dominguez is up for Pletcher and Team Repole. A gal by Giant’s Causeway who has been running on the turf against some tough foes. I would think her number of races will give her a solid foundation.
Race #8 – The G-2 Jerome Stakes – 1 mile and 70 yards – 3:48 p.m. ET
#2 – Vyjack (2-1) = Cornelio Velasquez for Rudy Rodriguez, and the barn is white-hot winning 35 % this meet. This gelding is 2/2 with wins, and goes from a sprint to a route where they win 28%. Not much on value, but looks the part right now.
#5 – Notacatbutallama (10-1) = Dominguez aboard for Pletcher. Nice state-bred, and has run on everything but blacktop. This colt by Harlan’s Holiday should enjoy the distance, and the rider fits like a glove at a square price.
Race #9 – Claiming $12,500 – 6f – 4:18 p.m. ET
#2 – Its Truly Ahvee (6-1)
#1 / 1A = Coalition / Wanstead (6-5)
#3 – Crushin Rock (10-1)
Ticket cost = 2 X 3 X 2 X 3 = $36 for a $1 ticket, and $18 for a 50-cent version