Quick Picks for Saturday, December 21, 2013

Aqueduct Race 4: #5 Great Minds
Son of Stroll out of a winning Arch mare is always in the consistent sort, as he as two runner-up finishes as well as a very strong fourth in his only three starts. To my eye, his best results have been on turf, but a second place finish in his first try on dirt combined with strong dirt works give me reason to believe he'll take to the surface here. The cutback in distance and first time getting Lasix further help his case.
*Others to Consider: #1A Goodnewsisnonews (AE)

Aqueduct Race 5: #11 Superiority
Consistent in similar races at this course and distance. He's running after only one week off, but he turned in back-to-back wins only one week apart back in April. He was only a nose and a neck away from winning over today's course and distance in his last run despite being forced five-wide.
*Others to Consider: #8 Rigby

Aqueduct Race 6: #2 Hey Kiddo
Close, but no cigar sums up this daughter of Stonesider out of a winning Silver Ghost's career thus far, as she's finished second in all three of the races she's run. She's looked better and better every time she's ran, however, and she most recently lost by only a head over today's course and distance. She had a strong work earlier this week and just the slightest of improvements could see her in the winner's circle.
*Others to Consider: #5 Pink Lipgloss, #10 Worldly Charm

Aqueduct Race 7: #4 Native Singer
Three-year-old son of Songandaprayer will try against winners for the first time after breaking his maiden in the easiest of fashion locally over seven furlongs last time out. Draw a line through his poor finish two-back in which he had a horrendous start, as he came out onto Shot Wide and was the cause of a wild start in which several horses made contact and was hampered badly, as a result.
*Others to Consider: #3 Jack's R Wild, #2 Lord of Love

Aqueduct Race 8: #6 Palace
Few horses are more consistent than this son of City Zip. He's won four out of his seven races this year including three straight, the most recent of which was the G3 Fall Highweight over the likes of Strapping Groom, The Lumber Guy, and Caixa Eletronica. A quick recent work leads me to believe that he still has plenty left in the tank this late in the season.
*Others to Consider: #4 Strapping Groom


Hollywood Park Race 3: #4 Abide in Me
This daughter of successful juvenile sire Tiz Wonderful has never finished outside of the top three in her four starts and she enters here off of back-to-back runner-up finishes behind two very good horses in Taste Like Candy and Streaming. She'll be stretching out to a mile and trying turf for the first time.
*Others to Consider: #6 Dancinginthestreet, #7 Kitten de Pere

Hollywood Park Race 10: #8 Sprouts
Winner of three-straight before finishing last after a troubled trip in the G1 Del Mar Debutante, which was much too tough of a race for her. Daughter of Square Eddie enters here off a four-month freshening, but an impressive local work last week suggests she's sitting on a big performance. I see this as being a pretty wide open race, however, so it may be wise to spread any plays you have here.
*Others to Consider: #1 Rovenna, #7 Swiss Lake Yodeler, #4 Global Hottie


Fair Grounds Race 1: #2 Youve Got a Friend
This son of My Pal Charlie has never finished worse than third in four career starts. He has yet to run this far, but a strong second over seven furlongs two back despite a troubled start is promising.
*Others to Consider: #3 Hail to the Nile, #4 Blue Forty Two

Fair Grounds Race 5: #8 Twirl
Irish daughter of Galileo out of a Storm Cat mare has been asked to go one and one eighth miles or further in all four of her races since she arrived in America. She enters this off of an extended layoff, but I for one think she will be ready here. Last year, she won over 9f in Ireland and she finished second to The Fugue over 10f at York. If she fires here, watch out.
*Others to Consider: #5 Class Included, #9 Artemus Kitten

Fair Grounds Race 6: #2 Closing Report
Undefeated in only two starts, both of which were over five furlongs on the dirt at Lone Star. Enters here off of a five month layoffs, but a series of strong local works suggest this daughter of Closing Argument is sitting on a big one.
*Others to Consider: #3 She's Offlee Good

Fair Grounds Race 7: #12 Channel Marker
A horse I've been tracking, Channel Marker enters here off of five straight top-three finishes, which includes two wins over today's distance. This is a step up for the four-year-old son of Purim, but his prowess at the distance combined with solid recent works make him appealing at what will likely be a nice price.
*Others to Consider: #5 Great Mills, #2 Sum of the Parts

Fair Grounds Race 8: #3 Prayer for Relief
There are a few horses in this field who have consistently ran against tougher this year and those are the ones I'm going to side with here. Prayer for Relief's most recently finished last in the G1 Clark Handicap where he was outclassed, but he won a G3 over the summer and he has consistently placed in G2s and G3s in his career. I expect him to rebound versus lesser company here.
*Others to Consider: #7 Ground Transport

Fair Grounds Race 9: #3 Compliance Officer
Enters here off an easy allowance optional claiming (NW2 X) over a mile on the turf at Aqueduct. His only race at Fair Grounds was over this same distance and he won it with ease. Strong recent works further suggest he's ready to fire here.
*Others to Consider: #7 Derby Kitten

Fair Grounds Race 10: #3 Albano
Impressively held the lead over today's course and distance to beat heavy favorite Speightshill to break his maiden in his second attempt. This will be his first try against winners, but the son of Istan out of a stakes winning Fortunate Prospect mare appears on paper to fit well with these.
*Others to Consider: #6 D'cajun Cat

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