Rich's Aqueduct Handicapping Contest Picks

Horse Racing Radar
Chris O'Rorke
Chris O'Rorke is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Saturday, April 3, 2021
Today is the day that will go down in history (infamy?) as our own Rich Bieglmeier takes on TVG's Rich Perloff in a head to head handicapping competition at AQUEDUCT featuring the FULL CARD for Saturday, April 3rd. Here are Rich Bieglmeier's picks:

Aqueduct Race 1:

First time starters are always scary as they are Forrest Gump horses, you just don't know what you are going to get when the box opens. But we do know is Rob Atras is one of the top Aqueduct main track trainers and Manuel Franco is one of the best sprint jockeys.  ARTYISTHEPARTY (PP: 6 ML 5/2) is my top pick. His daddy CAIRO PRINCE won his debut at Belmont and followed it up with a win and place in a pair of Grade IIs at Aqueduct.

ARTYISTHEPARTY's workouts are a touch faster than my backup selection, the chalk BASTET (PP: 4 ML 7/5).

Aqueduct Race 2:

A claiming $16,000 race in day full of Kentucky Derby and Oaks qualifiers could be the difference maker in the head two head matchup with TVG's Rich Perloff. It's a real difficult call between MAGNIFICENT MAGS (PP: 4 ML 6-1) and MAMA KIN (PP: 5 ML 3-1). Neither are in great form so we'll go with back class and hope MAMA KIN can return to her best and use MAGNIFICENT MAGS as the alternative pick.

Aqueduct Race 3:

Going with two first starters in the first three races could make for an uphill battle if they don't come out firing. GREAT WORKOUT's (PP: 5 ML 9/5) momma (one race) and pappa (winner of the 2016 Wood Memorial) were early speed types, workouts suggest baby could have a quick first step too. BAR FOURTEEN (PP: 6 ML 5-1) is the scratch standby.

Aqueduct Race 4:

No GREATEST HONOUR and hopefully Irad Ortiz, Jr. stays in the irons from the word go. DRAIN THE CLOCK's (PP: 3 ML 1/2) only non-winning efforts in six starts were a second to GREATEST HONOUR and when the irons broke, and he lost the rider. TOO BOSS (PP: 1 ML 6-1) is the second choice.

Aqueduct Race 5:

MIND OF GOLD (PP: 3 ML 8/5) hasn't missed the money in two at Aqueduct with a win and a second last out. The place was a better run than the win as her second half fractions were much sharper despite running in mud. This will be her third start after a layoff, a 24% angle for trainer Linda Rice, and MIND OF GOLD ran by far the best speed figure in round three of her only other three-race cycle. The price DAY'S HUMOR (PP: 5 ML 15-1) completes the exacta.

Aqueduct Race 6:

On paper this looks like a two-horse race between MISCHEVIOUS ALEX (PP: 4 ML 6/5) and CHATEAU (PP: 5 ML 8/5). Here is the dilemma, CHATEAU should get an easy lead in a five-horse field, lone speed in a short field is a recipe for a win. However, CHATEAU has not won a race past 6.5 furlongs, today is 7. MISHEVIOUS ALEX should be co-pilot and has far better late pace numbers and class. It's MISCHEVIOUS ALEX one and CHATEAU two, provided he doesn't completely run out of gas.

Aqueduct Race 7:

Inner turf course races can be tricky, mix in three international horses with limited information available and your handicapping skills are put to the test. The French FLIGHTY LADY (PP: 5 ML 7/5) is an international shipper for Chad Brown. As solid as Brown is, he only wins at 18% with foreign invaders and with horses making their first start for him. We say only 18%, like that's not good, but they are amongst Brown's lowest angles. Horses with inner turf experience can have an advantage. The two that have fared the best are WINDFALL PROFIT (PP: 6 ML 7/2) and APURATE (PP: 7 ML 9/2). APURATE has run more recently and WINDFALL PROFIT not since November 20th. APURATE is a length from winning both of his inner turf routes and that's were we are going to land with FLIGHTY LADY taking silver.

Aqueduct Race 8:

MR. BUFF (PP: 7 ML 7/5) is a horse for the course and distance. He's won 10 of 17 at Aqueduct and 11 of 17 at the distance. He's likely to be challenged by MODERNIST (PP: 5 ML 7/2) who ran his biggest race in his four-year-old debut. HAIKAL (PP: 1 ML 10-1) could surprise as the rail hits at 23% and he's never been off the board in six at Aqueduct. Just can't go against MR. BUFF's Aqueduct and distance love. HAIKAL gets the home field advantage and nod over MODERNIST for second.

Aqueduct Race 9:

If SEARCH RESULTS (PP: 8 ML 1-1) can handle two turns for the first time, this one is over. However, her dad faded in his lone try around two and mom never raced. There is always a first to do something in every family, but do you want to find out at even money or lower? Although SEARCH RESULTS could make easy work of this group, stepping out on a limb here with MARACUJA (PP: 2 ML 15-1). Despite testing two turns for the first time, her sire HONOR CODE won the Remsen going 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct and it looks like she's run out of track in sprints. The extra distance is going to help. The bomb followed by the chalk.

Aqueduct Race 10:

RISK TAKING (PP: 5 ML 5/2) is going to the Kentucky Derby after he collects 100 qualifying points in the Wood Memorial. His trainer, Chad Brown just kills it on Aqueduct's main track, winning at 37% and more than 70% in the money. It's the safest and most likely play on the board. BROOKLYN STRONG (PP: 1 ML 6-1) is going to make him work for it. Worried about the bounce though as his last speed number is so much higher than the rest and came in his only race on slop. A regression candidate.

Aqueduct Race 11:

This race is nearly a straight guess. Between the two favorites, MICHAEL'S BAD BOY (PP: 8 ML 7/5) appears to be the better option over VOLIERO (PP: 7 ML 9/5), but neither can be picked with confidence. The seven hasn't run since last August and the 8 since November. Both have eh, OK workouts. MICHAEL'S BAD BOY has been closer to the finish line at the end, albeit at lower-class levels. One of the two probably wins but keep an eye on WICKED GRINCH (PP: 5 ML 30-1) as a possible shot as he might be the best bred for grass. MICHAEL'S BAD BOY is the most likely to at least get some contest points and one or three points in the last leg could be the difference.

Best of luck to both contestants!