04/07/2012 12:47PM

Wood Day Stakes

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The early scratches of Off Limits from the Comely and Calibrachoa from the Carter have left the all-stakes late pick-4 at Aqueduct today a 6x8x8x4 proposition where I'm having trouble coming up with plausible longshots to beat the the logical favorites. Here's my cheat-sheet for the sequence, followed by some thoughts on each leg:

The six-filly Comely really looks like a showdown between Broadway's Alibi (even money on the ML) and Millionreasonswhy (2-1). I think they're closer in ability than those prices suggest and could argue that actually getting 2-1 on Millionreasonswhy might be a bargain -- she was excellent in the Adirondack coming closer to beating My Miss Aurelia than anyone else did last year, and is eligible to improve off her solid return making her second start off a seven-month layoff. Welcome Guest looks like the right third choice at 6-1 after winning a good-figure maiden race at Gulfstream but makes her stakes debut against two serious rivals.

The Bay Shore holds some upset potential if the pace is too hot for 9-5 favorite Trinniberg, but even if the race melts down late it's hard to get by 2-1 second choice Hardened Wildcat as the best closer in the field. I might fool around with some interarace exotics getting Trinniberg out of the frame altogether and getting some pricey closers into the mix, but it's hard to see any of them outfinishing Hardened Wildcat for the top spot.

Gemologist and Alpha are deserving favorites in an otherwise pretty thin Wood Memorial. They're faster and more accomplished than their opponents and look poised to keep improving. Street Life seems to be getting a lot of attention as the 4-1 third choice off two deep-closing route wins at Aqueduct, but the horses he was running down in those races look sharply weaker then the favorites here. My Adonis might offer more value as a third horse at 8-1.

The Carter lost some of its sparkle with the defection of Calibrachoa and now has just four betting interests in Caleb's Posse, Jackson Bend, Shackleford and the Godolphin entry of Emcee and Tahitian Warrior. I prefer Caleb's Posse and Jackson Bend but Emcee and Shackleford could be hard to run down in what could well be a slow-paced scenario.

Post time for the Comely is 4:04 pm and the NBC coverage of the Wood, Santa Anita Derby and Ashland starts at 4:30 pm.

Owen Pennant Jones More than 1 year ago
I know I have brought this up before, but I think it bears repeating in light of the Carter Handicap. With the benefits being more wagering interests and possibly more money being wagered in inter-race pools, what is the problem with the following scenario. Instead of being coupled 1 and 1A why could Emcee and Tahitian Warrior been numbered as follows (I know it would have been slightly different as Calibrachoa was a late scratch but I do not have the card in front of me) 1 Jackson Bend 2 Caleb's Posse 3 Shackleford 4A Emcee 5A Tahitian Warrior All the horses are numbered by stall allocation; all are separate betting interests, and yet the horseplayer is still alerted that two of the runners are same owner or trainer if he/she wants to play it safe and cover both horses. On an unrelated point, namely breakage, I have noticed that on some accounts (for example Twinspires on races from Europe) payouts are being paid down to the penny. While I can see the giving-change-is-cumbersome reason for breakage AT the racetracks, there is simply none when it comes to account wagering.
nocomm More than 1 year ago
1st time I hit both ends of the Pk 4 early and late and I really didn't make much . A total chalk fest . What is the deal with million dollar races not having full fields ? What is really going on here ? THe purses are huge and the fields are a joke . What's the answer ?
Yuwipi More than 1 year ago
I don't think I'd want to be trying to hold off Caleb's Posse at a mile over Memorial Day Weekend. Still, it was great to see Nick Zito's game little horse last today. As you predicted, at a very square price. Perfectly timed ride.
Christine Race More than 1 year ago
dont think any of the horses racing on the Wood card are going to be under the wire in front on the first Sat in May at Churchhill
hialeah More than 1 year ago
1-1 on the first two legs of the P-4 is setting up a chalk fest. And with 11 mtp for the Wood NBC has a feature on Joel Rosario. Geez Louise.
Riposte More than 1 year ago
Rosario feature - say, you didn't think all of those unemployed soap opera scrtipt writers were going to just disappear, did you?
Equinometry More than 1 year ago
Steve, Millionreasonswhy and Emcee are singles in my opinion. The former outclasses the rest of the field and the latter should get a comfortable lead assuming Shackleford rates which I expect him to do. The Bay Shore is loaded with speed and besides Hardened Wildcat I would use King and Crusader and Phil Dancer who will both be closing late. In the Wood The Lumber Guy should secure a comfortable lead and with another step forward could drown this field. I am against Gemologist as he set a slow pace with no pressure in his last and has never run fast early and late. I'm betting he falls 5-6 lengths back early and gets nothing. I would also use Alpha (A), Casual Trick (B), My Adonis(B), Street Life (C) and Tiger Walk (C). Maybe I'm trying to create value that doesn't exist but beating the favorite in the first and last race should ensure a decent return. Lenny
José De León-Alejandro More than 1 year ago
Steven, there is no link for Aqu races (LIVE). Do you have the direct link? Thanks!