by Dustin Fabian
December 6, 2019
It’s another Mandatory Payout Day in racing, this time at New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack. On top of a phenomenal card that includes six stakes races (four graded) and horses like Maximum Security and Spun to Run, they’re also offering a mandatory payout in their 20-cent Empire 6, which has been growing for weeks. Heading into today, the ‘everything must go’ carryover is $585,943.
The sequence starts with Race 5 at 1:35PM ET. Here’s my ticket:
Race 5 (1:35PM ET) – Maiden Special Weight
The sequence starts with maidens and I love when that happens. At least we can see the toteboard and identify horses that are/aren’t being bet. #1 DEFAULT RATE (3/1) is a Klaravich/Chad Brown horse that hasn’t been backed at the windows in either race, but ran well both times. He was DQ’d from first in a maiden race at Monmouth at 5/1 odds and ran 3rd in a similar race at Belmont at 6/1. When Chad Brown horses are paying $10+, that’s generally not a great sign but perhaps this is a field he can handle? Todd Pletcher’s #5 FARMINGTON ROAD was the less exciting half of a heavy-favorite entry in his debut but he switches to Castellano. #9 OR’EFFICE (4/1) has been working well and is so well bred that you have to think he’s great if he takes money. Blinkers go on #2 TAPAGE (9/2). He’s so well bred but never really gets involved. Might be worth giving him one more try, but I don’t blame anyone that doesn’t want to.
Race 6 (2:09PM ET) – Go for Wand Handicap (Gr III)
We need a single in this sequence and for many, it’ll come in the form of #3 SPICED PERFECTION (3/5). She’s a millionaire and has won 8-of-19 starts and most recently finished 4th in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. She is far from a lock and I don’t think she’s as likely as her 3/5 morning line price suggests, but it’ll take a solid effort to beat her. The two likeliest upsetters are #1 NEEDS SUPERVISION (10/1), #5 SAGUARO ROW (6/1) and #6 OUR SUPER NOVA (6/1) and all offer great value. If you like something elsewhere and have the budget to spread here, beating SPICED PERFECTION would make potential payouts skyrocket.
Race 7 (2:41PM ET) – Maiden Special Weight
We won’t be able to leverage the toteboard in this MSW as it falls mid-sequence so we’ll have to get a little creative with the horses we use. #12 TWO POINT OH (3/1) is trained by Jeremiah Englehart who has had a great year and excels in races like this. #10 TRASH TALKER (7/2) is the best of these that have run and #6 HEDONISTIC (8/1) had a rough trip in his first start in the slop. He should do better here. Throw in the Steve Asmussen and Bill Mott firsters, #9 ASTRONAUT (12/1) and #1 KING KHOZAN (8/1), respectively, and we see why finding a single or two is so imperative.
Race 8 (3:13PM ET) – Demoiselle Stakes (Gr II)
I really liked #5 ALANDRA’s (4/1) debut in Saratoga but I thought her trip in the G1 Alcibiades couldn’t have been worse. She lagged behind early and by the time she got to running, British Idiom was already at the top of the Keeneland short stretch. #12 LAKE AVENUE (9/2) ran off the screen in her maiden win and while 12 3/4-length wins are as much about competition as they are the winner, Bill Mott jumps her right up in class which is a good sign. Plus she’s beautifully bred, by Tapit out of G1 winner Seventh Street. Might as well include local horses #6 CRITICAL VALUE (8/1) and #2 MAEDEAN (7/2).
Race 9 (3:43PM ET) – Remsen Stakes (Gr II)
This is always a fun race with so many horses either routing for the first time or coming back off losses that escluded them from the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. I don’t have a strong opinion in this race, but I will use #1 CHASE TRACKER (7/2), #3 CLEON JONES (6/1), #4 AJAAWEED (9/2), #7 PRINCE JAMES (15/1) and #8 ALPHA SIXTY SIX (4/1). I don’t see a lot of pace in here and that could make PRINCE JAMES interesting as he adds blinkers and could forget he’s supposed to stop. He’s a son of Tiznow and out of a Super Saver mare and has already won around two turns.
Race 10 (4:16PM ET) – Cigar Mile Handicap (Gr I)
I’m going to bet this as a two horse race and only use #5 MAXIMUM SECURITY (3/2) and #6 SPUN TO RUN (5/2) on my ticket. I think SPUN TO RUN, who won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile last month, got the best of the draw (being outside of MAXIMUM SECURITY) and if I had to pick one horse to bet here, it would be him. ‘MAX is in ‘must send’ mode from that post and the target is on his back. But hey, it was last time out too in the G3 Bold Ruler when he drew the rail and he battled inside and kicked away from a solid field.
Race 5: 1, 2, 9
Race 6: 3
Race 7: 1, 6, 9, 10, 12
Race 8: 2, 5, 6, 12
Race 9: 1, 3, 4, 7, 8
Race 10: 5, 6
Ticket Cost: $120 for 20-cents
You could also cut this ticket in half (to a more manageable $60) by picking a single in the Cigar Mile. My lean is SPUN TO RUN but I also like what MAXIMUM SECURITY has done throughout his career. There’s a reason he’s crossed the finish line first in 7-of-8 career starts.