Spot Plays for New York Claiming Championship Day
Gulfstream Park will be the focus for the majority of American racing fans this weekend, but the fourth New York Claiming Championship Day offers horseplayers an intriguing wagering alternative on Saturday afternoon.
The ten-race card has several short priced horses, but there is still plenty of money to be made at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday. Here are a few horses I will be building my day around at the “Big A.”
The $70,000 Peeping Tom goes through 2-1-morning line favorite for trainer Tom Morley, but I am not convinced the seven-year-gelding has to win this six-furlong dash.
#5 Morning Buzz brings a two-race win streak into Saturday, including a nose victory in his first start for trainer Edward Barker on March 9th. The son of Congrats enters the Peeping Tom in the best form of his life and has shown an affinity for the surface earning two wins and two runner-up efforts in five tries.
Barker legs up Junior Alvarado for the initial time in this spot and the veteran jockey should be able to work out a perfect stalking trip just off the likely pacesetter #1 Big Guy Ian. If he can prevent that Rudy Rodriguez runner from going too slow early, yet avoid dueling with him on the backstretch; he should be able to make it three straight victories.
At anything 3 to 1 or higher I will bet Morning Buzz to Win.
The $60,000 Sis City conducted over Aqueduct’s one-turn mile lacks runners that like to be prominently placed, which should make #3 Frostie Anne extremely tough to beat.
Frostie Anne was claimed for $25,000 by Rudy Rodriguez from Gary Gullo in December and has two underneath finishes since changing barns. The daughter of Frost Giant opted to stalk just off of long shot Barrier to Entry in the early going last time before chasing eventual winner Andesine to the wire.
Instead of stalking just off the pace on Saturday I expect jockey Junior Alvarado to send her right to the front and play catch me if you can. If the five-year-old mare makes an easy lead she will be nearly impossible to run down late.
At 2 to 1 or higher I will wager on Frostie Anne to Win.
The finale is the $55,000 Kelly Kip run at three-quarters of a mile and #1 Brother Chub is my choice in an extremely competitive sprint to end the day.
The New Jersey bred chased a horse loose on the lead last out and battled from start to finish before yielding late two-back for trainer Michael Moore. I can forgive him for finishing second both times. Moore ships the six-year-old in from Parx where he has run second in four straight and five of his last six.
Normally I struggle to endorse horses that run second or third consistently, but this son of Hey Chub does not lack a will to win evidenced by his 7 wins in 36 career starts. If jockey Kendrick Carmouche can avoid traffic from his inside draw he should be able to guide this veteran gelding to the Aqueduct winners’ circle for the initial time.
Brother Chub is listed at 5 to 1 on the line, but anything 4-1 or higher is fair to me.