01/07/2009 12:48PM

Wintry Mix


It's an ugly day and an ugly card but there's a $39,873.37 pick-6 carryover at Aqueduct Wednesday if you're feeling brave and ambitious.

The weather is what the forecasters keep calling a "wintry mix," which means steady rain that keeps morphing into ice pellets or snowflakes as the tempertaure hovers right around freezing. The pick-six sequence has three maiden-claimers in the first four legs, the first two for statebreds with such sterling form that horses beaten 9 and 14 lengths in their only starts are the morning-line favorites. The track is labelled "sloppy." Good luck.

For the most part, though, this Aqueduct winter meet has been a bit stronger and more playable than usual, with relatively hefty fields and a largely bias-free track. Bettors who insist on playing every stone-cold quitter because early speed supposedly dominates the inner have been thwacked with one off-the-pace winner after another, and there have been carryovers three of the first four days of the new year.

115 --The 115 Beyer Speed Figure earned by Notonthesamepage in Saturday's Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream confirmed the freakish (and that's a compliment) talent this Catienus colt showed last year when he received what looked like an impossibly high 104 winning an April 2-year-old race at Churchill Downs.

The 115 looks entirely legit.completely legit. Notonthesamepage won by 8 1/4 lengths and his time of 1:08.48 was nearly two full seconds faster than the impressive-looking debut winner Checklist ($400k Gone West/Starlight/Pletcher colt) ran an hour later. Checklist scored by four lengths over More Than willing, a McPeek second-timer who ran a 78 in his debut at Churchill in November. More Than Willing got a 79 for Saturday's effort.

Notonthesamepage will make his next start in the G2 Fountain of Youth Feb. 28, a race that has been shortened to a mile this year, a point of dismay in some quarters but not this one. Given that Gulfstream can't run races at a mile and a sixteenth, it made little sense to offer one 3-year-old stakes race after another at nine furlongs -- the Holy Bull in January, the FOY in February and the Florida Derby in March. At least this way, there's some progression available to a colt like Notonthesamepage, and the one-turn FOY works better as a season debut for other colts than it did at two turns and 8.5f.

Everything about Notonthesamepage screams sprinter, but you never know.