Who will prevail in Saturday’s $100,000 Say Florida Sandy S. at Aqueduct? You can make a case for pretty much any horse in this 7-furlong sprint for New York-breds, but on paper two stand out as the favorites.
First is #3 My Boy Tate, who won this race by three lengths in 2018, when he earned a career-best 105 Brisnet Speed rating. At the time My Boy Tate was in the midst of a five-race win streak, with four of those victories at Aqueduct.
My Boy Tate’s form deteriorated later in 2018, but after 13 months off, he returned to win the 7-furlong New York Stallion Series S. on Nov. 24 at Aqueduct. Although My Boy Tate failed to flash his typical early speed, he rallied resiliently down the homestretch to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths, which brought his record at Aqueduct to five wins from six starts.
But My Boy Tate will face a stiff challenge from #7 The Caretaker. Claimed three times in 2019, The Caretaker has finally settled in the barn of Rudy Rodriguez, who convinced the son of Speightstown to deliver a career-best performance at Aqueduct just two weeks ago. Favored in a 7-furlong allowance race, The Caretaker settled behind a slow pace and rallied powerfully in the stretch to win by 4 1/2 lengths. His 106 Brisnet Speed rating was massive, as was his 114 Brisnet Late Pace rating.
The Caretaker’s form is heading in the right direction, and hot jockey Jose Lezcano (a 24% winner at Aqueduct) will retain the mount. With #4 Morning Breez, #6 Arthur’s Hope, and even My Boy Tate among the potential frontrunners, the pace should be quick enough to set up The Caretaker’s stretch kick. For good measure, he’ll carry just 118 pounds, five fewer than My Boy Tate.
Let’s plan on playing The Caretaker on top in the exacta and trifecta and emphasize My Boy Tate and #5 T Loves a Fight underneath. The latter rallied to finish second behind My Boy Tate in the New York Stallion Series S. and most recently came home third in a strong renewal of the Gravesend S. at Aqueduct.
$10 Exacta: 7 with 3,5 ($20)
$5 Trifecta: 7 with 3,5 with 3,5 ($10)