Champagne Picks 11/24: Aqueduct
New York-breds take center stage Sunday at Aqueduct, as the final four races on the program are all for thoroughbreds born and raised in the Empire State. The first of these races (race #6) has attracted a full field of 2-year-old maidens going six furlongs on the turf course.
The two also-eligibles will have a big say in the race if they draw in. If they don’t, your guess is as good as mine with regard to which runners will take money. For purposes of this exercise, I’m assuming #11 SANCTUARY CITY and #12 POWER UP PAYNTER don’t run. If they do, they’re must-uses, but they need some help to get in. Here’s a look at the body of the field!
Ready to Run Right Away?
My top selection is #4 SCUTTLEBUZZ, who debuts here for trainer Jonathan Thomas. He’s bred to love the lawn, being by The Factor and out of an Elusive Quality mare, and the presence of Jose Ortiz hints that this one may be able to run a bit.
Scuttlebuzz fetched $160,000 at auction earlier this year and has every right to be a good one. He’s 5-1 on the morning line, and I think that’s a very fair price. If he’s cranked-up for his debut effort, I think he’ll be tough to beat.
The Second-Time Starter
#3 BOOM BOOM KABOOM was a big price in his debut. Sent away at odds of 21-1, the George Weaver trainee stalked a solid pace from an inside post and stayed on fairly well to run fourth. He’s been off for two months, but a logical step forward would make him a major player here.
Boom Boom Kaboom gets off the rail, which should help him, and the second-place finisher from his debut came right back to win. I think there’s potential for him to sit a perfect stalking trip just off the speed, and such a journey would make him formidable at second asking.
Another Firster to Watch
#7 FIVESTAR BANDIT is another that’s worth a look at or near his morning line price. Trainer Charlton Baker has enlisted Joel Rosario to ride, and those two have a profitable ROI together of late. This gelding by Freud has worked well lately at Belmont, and there’s plenty of breeding to suggest he’ll take to the grass.
Because of Rosario’s presence, I doubt we’re getting 8-1. However, we may still get some value in the exotics with him, especially given the large field that’s likely to go postward.
How I’ll Play It
I’m not going to do anything complex. I’ll box my three horses in exactas and key Scuttlebuzz for a bit more, since I think he’ll be ready to go.
2 units: Exacta box, 3,4,7
1 unit: Exacta key box, 4 w/3,7
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