Aqueduct Race 7 - PICK: #6 Autonomous (6-5-1-4)
We head to Aqueduct in New York for Friday’s feature, an $80,000 allowance optional claiming race (purse: $70,000) for 3-year-old fillies over six furlongs on the dirt. The field of 7 will go to gate for race 7 on the 8-race card with an approximate post time of 4:25 p.m. ET.
#6, Autonomous, Manuel Franco, 5-2
She has finished in the money in all three career starts (1-1-1), including a runner-up finish in an allowance optional claiming race here in her last on Jan.5. She won her debut here in a maiden special weight race on Nov. 3 and in between both, finished third in the Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Penn National on Nov. 27. This will be her third time over the track and Manuel Franco has the mount for trainer Chad Brown. I think she takes her second win today. The pick.
#5, Fierce Lady, Eric Cancel, 2-1
The morning-line favorite should be the favorite as she has finished first or second in four of her five career starts, however in her last, she finished out of the money for the first time in her career, finishing fourth in the Franklin Square Stakes here on Jan. 18. That was her first start here. She won her debut at Belmont Park on June 22 and two starts later, captured the Seeking the Ante Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 23. I think she bounces back from her last start and will be in the money again. Definitely in the mix. Runner-up.
#1, Love of My Heart, Dylan Davis, 7-2
This will be her fourth career start (1-0-0) and third straight at Aqueduct. She is coming off her first win in a maiden special weight race by 3 ¾ lengths as the fifth choice, paying $31.60 to win here back on Dec. 22, so she is coming off a two-month layoff for trainer Mark Casse. Dylan Davis is in the saddle and we will see what the layoff has done for her. Contender.
#4, Leaveuwithasmile, Jose Vargas, Jr., 5-1
She comes into today’s race on fire, having won her last two and three of her last four starts (all at Laurel Park). In her last, she won by 2 ¾ lengths with Trevor McCarthy aboard as the fourth betting choice in a starter optional claiming race on Dec. 27 ($10 to win). She too is coming off a two-plus month layoff and this will be her first career start at Aqueduct. Jorge Vargas, Jr. has the mount for trainer Jeremiah Englehart. In the mix.