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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Aqueduct Wednesday

I've been having a tough time finding races and horses I like at Aqueduct lately. For one thing, the menu is limited for me since I don't touch maiden claiming races; and I'm not crazy about those state-bred 15K claimers for winners either. That criteria sometimes leaves me with only six, perhaps even just five races to choose from.

I pored over the five eligible races (oh yeah, I can't get a handle on Starters Handicaps for grey horses either) for Wednesday, and nothing jumped off the page. I should probably leave well enough alone. But no.

The sixth is a wide-open 7500 claiming sprint, and a few horses quoted generously in the morning line have recently run well at this level and seem worth a mention. Baroness (15-1) takes a big drop after trailing throughout in 18K company. This mare improved markedly after adding blinkers and dropping in class for trainer Oscar Barrera Jr.; she won going away at this level over the main track on Nov 8....and progressed from there with a close second for 12.5. Two subsequent inner track tries have been disappointing, but significant class relief here, and she has run well over the surface in the past. OSB Jr has just one winner in 14 races at the Big A, but it came on Jan 24 with a horse with a very similar pattern to this one. Vinnie's Wild Tale had also been moved up to a level which seemed inappropriate and ran that way; but with his claiming tag sliced in half to 10K next time, he won by two. Hoping for some speed in here to help get Baroness into the picture late.

Only a Vision (6-1) had a three-race winning streak over the summer/fall, and won for as much as 12.5K. She then tailed off, and disappointed as the favorite when dropped to this level off a seven week freshening last month. Maybe she didn't like the sealed track; last year here, she followed a dismal performance over that kind of surface with an easy win at the same level. So I'll look for similar improvement here (assuming the track is not sealed; there is some light snow in the area early this morning). I liked Tiffany Rock (12-1) moving up off the claim for Toscano in her last, at a time when the barn was on a little streak. However, she was dead on the board, and on the track, trailing most of the way. Can't find an excuse for that effort, even though she was moving up in class. But gets reunited with apprentice rider Angel Serpa, with whom she showed far more pep out of the gate under prior connections, so perhaps can get better dropping back to this level, at which she ran a close second on Nov 29, earning a 70 Beyer which would likely put her right there today. Best of luck and have a great day.