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Racing expert Sweet Lou Monaco's picks the Grade 3 Red Smith Stakes at Aqueduct

We continue at Aqueduct on Saturday for the $200,000 Grade 3 Red Smith Stakes for 3-year-olds and up over 1 3/8 miles on the turf. The stocked field of 16 will go to post for race 9 of the 10-race card with an approximate post time of 3:47 p.m. ET.

#4, Marzo, Irad Ortiz, Jr., 10-1

Marzo has finished in the money in four straight and five of his last six races, including three wins highlighted by a 1 ¼ length triumph last time out over runner-up Nakamura and third-place finisher Postulation (both entrants today) in the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 17. This will be his third graded stakes start, but first start at Aqueduct since his lone appearance finishing fifth in a maiden special weight race in his second career start, two years exactly to the day, on Nov. 23, 2017. Irad Ortiz, Jr. is in the saddle for trainer Mike Maker and with morning line odds at 10-1, it is well worth the shot. The pick.

#7, Sadler’s Joy, Javier Castellano, 8-5

Sadler’s Joy has had no joy of late, finishing in the money in four of his last five starts, but is without a victory since the G2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream Park on March 3, 2018, that’s 10 straight starts. This will be his 20th straight graded stakes start and first at Aqueduct since a 1 ½ length win in an allowance optional claiming race to cap a three-race win streak on Nov. 9, 2016. He certainly has the vast experience in races like these to get the job done.  Javier Castellano is in the irons for trainer Thomas Albertrani. Will the streak continue to 11 or will the tide turn? He will be right there at the end, we know that, but I think he comes up a bit short again. Runner-up.

#8, Red Knight, Junior Alvarado, 6-1

This will be Red Knight’s third career start at Aqueduct and first start here since last year’s fifth-place finish in the Red Smith. He enters this race in good form, coming off a 1 ½ length win in the Point of Entry Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 13 for his seven career triumph in 17 starts. Junior Alvarado is back in the saddle for his second straight start for trainer Bill Mott and that is a positive. Contender.

#11, Glorious Empire (IRE), Edgar Prado, 6-1

Only his third start of the year and seventh straight graded stakes appearance, Glorious Empire (IRE) looks to regain his form from last year, where he won 4-of-6 starts including the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 25 and the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes (his last win) at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 15. Legendary rider Edgar Prado is on the mount for trainer James Lawrence. In the mix.

PICKS: 4-7-8-11

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By Lou Monaco


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