Aqueduct: The best exotic bet for the Rego Park Stakes

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

January 8th, 2021

Trainer Todd Pletcher is enjoying a strong winter season at Aqueduct, and he can add to his decorated résumé with a victory in Sunday’s $100,000 Rego Park S. for New York-breds.

The question is, which Pletcher trainee will prevail?

Pletcher has gone won 20 races from 70 starters (29%) at Aqueduct since November, and he will saddle three starters in the Rego Park — #3 Uno (2-1), #6 Storm Shooter (8-1), and #8 Perfect Munnings (4-1).

Uno and Perfect Munnings bring solid form to the mix, and betting both may be the key to cashing exotic wagers like the trifecta or superfecta.

Uno is the most obvious win candidate. The son of hot young sire Laoban parlayed pace-tracking tactics into a runaway debut victory at Aqueduct, where he nabbed a 6-furlong sprint by 3 3/4 lengths to earn a promising 84 Brisnet Speed rating.

A muddy track may have enhanced Uno’s performance (Laoban sires a lofty 24% winners in the mud), but Uno figures to enjoy a perfect stalking trip again under jockey Jose Lezcano, who has won three of his eight starts (38%) when he teams up with Pletcher over the last two months.

But don’t sleep on Perfect Munnings. He is bound to be overlooked, because his debut victory came over the Aqueduct turf course, but Perfect Munnings left no doubt about his superiority. He defeated next-out winner Dancing Buck by two lengths, with a 91 Brisnet Speed rating.

As a son of Munnings, out of a Medaglia d’Oro mare, Perfect Munnings is bred to thrive on dirt. He looms as one of the fastest runners on paper and has the tactical speed to secure a clean trip from the outside post. Best of all, he is twice the price of Uno on the morning line and will boost the exotic payoffs significantly if he wins.

So what’s the best exotic wager to play in the Rego Park?

I recommend keying Uno and Perfect Munnings together in the superfecta, which would require one to win and the other to finish second or third, in order to cash a ticket. Underneath, we’ll emphasize #4 Blue Gator (5-2), who threw down a field-best 92 Brisnet Speed rating when he dominated the New York Stallion Series S. by 4 1/2 lengths.

$2.50 superfecta: 3,8 with 3,8 with 4 with 5,6,7 ($15)
$2.50 superfecta: 3,8 with 4 with 3,8 with 5,6,7 ($15)
Total: $30

Good luck!