04/12/2014 10:04AM

Dave Litfin's Aqueduct handicapping notebook April 12

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Friday, April 11, review

There was a backstretch tailwind for the second straight day, although not as brisk as Thursday.

Speed dominates on dirt

Early speed dominated seven races on the main track, all at distances ranging from 6 1/2 furlongs to one mile. All seven dirt winners either led throughout or pressed the early pace from second position, no farther than a length or so from the lead. Both turf races, however, were won from off the pace, which is typical on this course when the rails are zero feet.

The main track’s speed-favoring nature was just what the doctor ordered for Horatio (2nd, $4.60), who put some daylight on his rivals around the turn and held sway over You You, who was making his first start in nearly a year. Horatio, a seven-time beaten favorite, exited the maiden ranks at long last second time off a claim by Gary Contessa

Strong U.S. debut for Fizzy Pink

The toteboard spoke volumes about Fizzy Pink (6th, $4.20), whose only prior start had been on the all-weather surface at Wolverhampton in her native England back in February 2013. Making her U.S. debut for trainer Chad Brown, she overcame a tardy start to prevail over Truly Mizzed, despite drifting and carrying that rival out a bit late.

Lost in Success takes advantage

Lost in Success ($5.80) benefited not only from the track bias, but from poor starts by 11-10 favorite Regent’s House and 7-2 second choice Kara’s Match Point. Regent’s House stumbled badly at the break, while Kara’s Match Point hit the side of the gate at a cost of several lengths.

Horses to watch

SPINIT TO WINIT
Trainer: John Kimmel
Last race: April 11, 7th
Finish: 2nd by 4 3/4
Beyer: 71
After returning from a short layoff to notch her first-level allowance condition, this was the New York-bred filly’s initial attempt against N2X rivals, and she finished well after angling off the rail in the stretch to wind up clearly second best behind a front-running favorite. Her lifetime Beyer Speed Figure top was delivered in a maiden win at Belmont last May.

Saturday, April 12, preview

It’s a stakes-less Saturday at the Big A, where four allowance races are carded, two each on turf and dirt.

Prohibition – who has won four of five since claimed for a bargain $7,500 by Cal Lynch last fall, including two New York-bred allowance conditions on the inner track by a combined margin of more than 28 lengths – is the morning-line favorite in the grassy opener, a first-level allowance at one mile. Prohibition won a maiden race over the course back in November 2012, but has found his true calling on dirt. Lynch, who wants to get the vastly improved 4-year-old gelding to the $200,000 Commentator Stakes at Belmont on May 31, was hoping this race would come off the grass, which appears unlikely after Aqueduct dodged some rain that had been forecast for Friday.

Prohibition faces two rivals who REALLY relish this turf course: Idle American, who is 3-1-0 from 5 starts on it; and Front, who won twice here at double-digit mutuels last year.

There is plenty of pace in race 5, a second-level allowance at 6 1/2 furlongs where Abra, Green Gratto, and Best Man all have designs on the early lead. Carried Interest breaks from the outside, just as he did in this condition at six furlongs on March 22 when he wrested command in the stretch but faded late to third. He’ll try to get first run on late closers Erik the Red, Private Tale, and Sam Sparkle.

The late pick four with a $250,000-guaranteed pool begins with race 6 at 3:55 p.m. Eastern.

Race 7, a preliminary one-mile turf allowance for New York-bred fillies and mares, features the 3-year-old bow of Selenite, who ran her final quarter in approximately 23 seconds to win first time on the grass last fall – pretty good stuff for a juvenile in September. The “fuzzy” could be Milkyyourway, whose two fastest races happen to have been her two races on turf at Aqueduct; she is 10-1 on the morning line and picks up hot-riding Jose Ortiz.

It’s hard to believe he’s still eligible for first-level allowance conditions, but that is indeed the case with Salutos Amigos, who is the one to beat in race 8 based on a big starter allowance win first time off a private purchase by owner-trainer David Jacobson. Salutos Amigos was well within himself in recording a 97 Beyer on April 4, his best number since a 98 when a close third in the Grade 2 Amsterdam last summer at Saratoga.