Champagne Picks 12/22 Aqueduct

Juvenile expert Andrew Champagne takes a look at the opening race at Aqueduct
Andrew Champagne
Sun, December 22, 9:13 AM EST

Aqueduct’s Sunday card is a pretty good one, and it kicks off with a race for 2-year-olds going a mile. It presents a fun wagering opportunity, especially since I’m going to take a stand against the morning line favorite.

If these odds hold up, I think we’ll have a chance at a nice score. The question is, how do we cash? Let’s figure it out!

The Beatable Favorite

It’s not as if I don’t get why #2 IMPRSSTHEPROFESSOR will likely go favored. She rallied from well back to be third in her debut going six furlongs, and she could be eligible to improve in her second start.

However, that race was against far weaker competition than what she’ll see here, and the added distance is an unknown. Additionally, they went very quickly early on, and it’s unclear whether she made a big move or if her rivals simply backed up. Put all of that together, and you have a favorite that I think you should try to beat.

The Alternatives

If Imprsstheprofessor doesn’t go off favored, that designation will likely fall to #4 MY MY MICHELLE. She also ran third in her debut, and that race came going long at Belmont. It’s tough to run well first time out going that kind of distance, but she did, and that bodes well.

While I’m using her, though, she isn’t my top pick. That’s #5 COURAGEOUS GIRL, who beat My My Michelle in that race on October 23rd. She’s run second twice at this level, and her only bad starts came going short at Saratoga. Perhaps she didn’t like sprinting or the Spa; either way, her 6-1 morning line odds hit me as a sizable overlay.

The last horse I’ll throw in hits me as a bit of an underlay, but nevertheless still has a chance to win. That’s #6 TOPAZ BRIDE, who’s been off since late-September after being placed second in her debut on turf. I’m not crazy about either the surface switch or the slow workouts, but she fetched $185,000 at auction and may simply not have to be much in order to run well in this spot.

How I’ll Play It

I’m going to box my three horses in exactas, and also play a separate wager leaning a bit heavier on Courageous Girl. Finally, I’ll have some win money on that one at 7/2 odds or higher.

2 units: Exacta box, 4,5,6

1 unit: Exacta key: 5 w/4,6

2 units: Win, 5 (if 7/2 or higher)

Andrew Champagne
AndrewChampagne
Andrew Champagne is a horse racing handicapper with a specialism in juveniles. One thing is for certain, Champagne gets the party started.
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