Before the snow hits the New York City metropolitan area on Saturday, let’s get a race in at Aqueduct today with a $62,000 allowance optional claiming race (purse: $75,000) for 4-year-olds and up over 6 ½ furlongs on the dirt.
The field of 8 will go to gate for race 7 on the 8-race card with an approximate post time of 3:55 p.m. ET.
#4, Identity Politics, Manuel Franco, 4-1
This will be Identity Politics 12th career start (2-5-2) and he has finished in the money in three of his last four starts, including a third-place finish in an allowance optional claiming race at Aqueduct on Dec. 12. He is looking for his first win since an allowance race at Belmont Park on May 10 and is trying to regain his form when he raced in his first graded stakes race, the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 26, 2018 when he finished second to McKinzie. Manuel Franco has the mount for trainer Chad Brown and today I think he gets it done. The pick.
#2, Mr. Dougie Fresh, Jose Lezcano, 3-1
The crafty veteran is 6-8-5 in 31 career starts. He has finished in the money in five straight and 10 of his last 11 starts, so you know he will be there at the end. He is looking for his first win since an allowance optional claiming at Belmont Park on May 4, 2019. He has finished with back-to-back runner-up finishes and in three of his last four starts. Jose Lezcano has the mount for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. Runner-up.
#6, Joevia, Junior Alvarado, 7-2
This will be Joevia’s first start since a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes on June 8, 2019. A start prior, he took home the Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park on May 12. He has the talent, but will the layoff help or hurt as Junior Alvarado is aboard for trainer Gregory Sacco. Contender.
#8, Puttheglassdown, Jorge Vargas, Jr., 5-1
He looks to make amends for his did not finish in his last start, an allowance optional claiming race here on Dec. 28, 2019. He is looking for his first win since an AOC race at Monmouth Park on Sept. 29. Trainer Jeremiah Englehart is bringing him back off a short break of 20 days and I think he might know something that we don’t. Jorge Vargas, Jr. is in the saddle. In the mix.
By Lou Monaco