Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

02 December 2009

Aqueduct Inner Track is Upon Us

The longest horseracing meet of the annum in New York begins today. This meet is so long it transcends the calender. Four months of the inner dirt will span the late fall of 2009 to the early spring 2010. This meet has all the utilitarian appeal of a metal fabrication warehouse. This is not Del Mar, Keeneland or Saratoga; this meet is a wagering factory no more no less. What the meet lacks in aesthetic appeal it holds in wagering appeal. With basically only two distances on one surface with a closed circuit of horses, the handicapping becomes much easier as the variables are reduced to a bare minimum. If you venture out to Ozone Park you will find a warm clubhouse and a dedicated group of horseplayers who love the joint. Tourists, softies and the meek need not apply. This is working class horseracing in the raw. It is also the time of year when I have found that I can really get into the heart of the races and align my mental rhythm with the ebbs and flows of fleeting fortune.
From Power Cap

There used to be a solid claiming contingent during the winter but I am afraid that these ranks have been thinned. There used to be a population consolidation that happened as New Jersey, Delaware and Massachusetts shut down their flat races for the year; these horses converged on New York during the winter. Now with slot purses available at many tracks up and down the eastern seaboard the heart of the Aqueduct inner meet will be different. This year I see the heart of the meet consisting of New York breds and the conditioned claimers. Bottom level racing but it is fair and the track plays formful; hopefully it will have full fields and hold the workmanlike appeal for most of the winter.
From Power Cap

The first card is a bit of a disappointment; five races restricted to New York breds and four maiden races. My plan is focus on a long lunch during the early portion of this card. Can you say toasted buffalo chicken sandwiches with sharp provolone and ranch dressing. The contrast between hot and cold is a flavor bonanza. That should cover races 1-6 if you throw in a relaxing post lunch siesta.

The late pick three has some appeal; at least enough to merit watching. In the seventh the heavy chalk "Not A Peep looms large. This mare came out firing off the bench and holds the lethal weapon that all inner track lovers have; speed. Citifiesta came firing off the layoff, she could win with progress second time off the layoff. I will use just one more, Submerge showed some talent last year and is stakes placed over the course.

The featured Tate stakes looks a great spot for Bold Union to go out a winner. This speedy filly drops way down class to restricted three year olds and has a two bullet works on the ledger. Her speed and class is a potent combination over this course.

Last week there was a massive speed bias on the turf course. The rail was out 18 feet; at the top of the lane the course was about as wide as a sidewalk. Inside speed horses dominated on the turf all last week. The rail remains at 18 feet for today's lone turf race. Today's ninth race for 16K open claimers may the last or the next to last turf race run all year. I will cover both speedy inside horses Midwatch and Lemon Shore with this speed bias in mind. In addition I would be remiss if I did not cover the very game stalwart Bon Marie along with old pro Bestowed; these two have enough speed to sit right off the pace, poised to score as they turn for home.

race 7 pick 3 1,3,8 / 7 / 1,2,5,11

a video portrait of Aqueduct from a few years ago

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