11/03/2005 12:00AM

Aqueduct handicapper's analysis


The wrong Aqueduct analysis was mistakenly published in today's print editions of Daily Racing Form. Below is Dave Litfin's Aqueduct analysis for November 4.

BEST BET: Princess Langfuhr (3rd race)

First Race

1. Sunshine Johanne2. Lasik3. My Names Nicole

SUNSHINE JOHANNE is winless since the summer of '04, but part of the problem may be that she has caught a lot of sloppy or muddy tracks; her last one-turn start on fast dirt was a decent effort out of the Aqueduct chute last November, against a much tougher field. LASIK is the obvious lone speed, but enjoyed a clear lead just nine days ago when dropped to this price, and wasn't able to last; that was her fifth loss as the favorite in the past 12 months, and a mile may be too far at this stage. MY NAMES NICOLE is the lone entrant besides Lasik to have won this season; in the money five of six starts on this surface, including front-running win lone local outing last spring.
Second Race

1. Last Romance2. Smoke Granted3. Chief Strategist

Last year, Rick Dutrow claimed the 2-year-old filly Sis City out of a maiden race at Saratoga, and won multiple stakes with her, including the Grade 1 Ashland; LAST ROMANCE may not pay off that handsomely, but she was against the grain of a strong speed bias when claimed from runner-up finish at odds-on, and there's just no getting around Dutrow's 46% win rate off the claim. SMOKE GRANTED chased odds-on Silvestris through fast fractions and finished evenly in top-figure debut; may be quick enough to get the lead from CAT'S PRIZE. CHIEF STRATEGIST is turf to dirt for Rick Violette, who has been known to get off to fast starts at Aqueduct's fall meet with his locally-based youngsters.
Third Race

1. Princess Langfuhr2. Footsie3. Saint's Play

PRINCESS LANGFUHR raced greenly while wide in debut, but still earned a Beyer figure superior to anything run by the experienced fillies in this field; Aqueduct-based filly has had several long workouts over the track and should only improve. FOOTSIE chased a very fast pace when a distant third to begin this form cycle; seems likely to be on or near the lead along with HEAVENLY PSALM, who is also stretching out. SAINT'S PLAY is turning back from a front-running try vs. winning stablemate The Queen's Stamp at 1 1/16 miles; doesn't figure to outrun the stretch-out fillies down the backstretch, but has done some off-the-pace running before.
Fourth Race

1. Cielo Song2. Devil's Preacher3. Ivanovsky

CIELO SONG was bumped at the start, finished gamely to miss in a blanket finish to Keeneland repeater International Cat opening day at at Belmont's fall meet; regular works at Saratoga since then, call despite post if started. DEVIL'S PREACHER steadied along while racing greenly, and finished willingly when severely compromised by a slow pace in Spa debut; trainer/jockey combo winning at 28% the past two seasons. IVANOVSKY has been entered back quickly, after giving way in off-the-turf route last week; $950K colt may look to control the pace.
Fifth Race

1. Lady Byar2. Coded Princess3. Brushme On

LADY BYAR tests her limits stretching to a mile, but has been in the money at five tracks this year, finishing in the exacta seven of 13 starts and showing the ability to stalk the pace or rally from far back; produced a new top Beyer first time off the claim, then caught a sloppy track most recently. CODED PRINCESS is very hard to gauge, after being basically eased as the choice at Delaware and returning from a short layoff at Belmont on turf and in the mud; three wins from nine starts on fast tracks, but all around two turns. BRUSHME ON takes the most negative class drop imaginable, after winning decisively for twice today's claiming price; fact that she ran her lifetime best race this track & distance makes the choice of spots seem all the more suspicious.
Sixth Race

1. Facial Expression2. Marc of Approval3. Lion Song

FACIAL EXPRESSION debuts in a field where the experienced starters haven't shown much early speed; improved workout second time over this track last Sunday. MARC OF APPROVAL fell 11 lengths behind the leaders and finished evenly in debut; should show more adding Lasix and getting off the rail. LION SONG raced closer to the pace in his second start; shipper fits well with the local New York-breds. TIPPERARY passed five rivals when unveiled in a slow-paced turf route at the Spa; dirt pedigree.
Seventh Race

1. Achilles of Troy2. Sunriver3. No Called Strikes

ACHILLES OF TROY is a layover on Beyer figures based on his fast-closing debut, but the catch is that the figure was recorded at six furlongs; Monday's sharp workout over the track and the addition of blinkers suggest he's going to be more of an early factor from post #2. SUNRIVER also drew a cozy post for the stretchout by Todd Pletcher, who wins at 30% with second-time starters and sprint-to-route types; chased a fast adjusted pace and finished well after altering course first out. NO CALLED STRIKES made two moves before finishing evenly to edge ALL PLAY in the slop last month; neither colt has any fast-track form to go on, but the former has the benefit of five local workouts.
Eighth Race

1. Flaming Heart2. Pleasant Laughter3. Merrill Gold

Second best five VERDANA in a row, FLAMING HEART gets one more chance after outfinishing Play Ballado, who has since come back to win an allowance and an overnight stake. PLEASANT LAUGHTER has been on the improve since coming back from a short layoff during the summer, climaxed by a good try behind Play Ballado first time in this condition. MERRILL GOLD has been freshened since encountering early trouble and stopping in the Monmouth Oaks, and has won off works; four wins this season include a score over the choice.
Ninth Race

1. Beautiful Bay2. Spiritual Drift3. Russian Sweetiepie

The drop in class, a post toward the inside and the prospect of an early lead make BEAUTIFUL BAY a formidable pacesetter in this grass claimer; has won two of three on firm turf, the loss when outsprinted in a 5f dash. SPIRITUAL DRIFT has won four of eight starts when in for a claiming tag since June of '04; turnback seems like the right move after she was unable to hold the lead deep stretch of 1 1/8-mile try. RUSSIAN SWEETIEPIE routinely wins or runs close-up in this kind of field, but she is now 8 and coming off her lowest figure in a long time; beaten favorite last three outs.