9 AQU The Empire Classic
$300.000 1 1/8m 3yo&Up Foaled in NY
New York breds are the game today at AQU and we look at the center piece of this one, The Empire Classic and a field of nine where just about anyone has a chance. I’m probably going against the tote board today, and I have Singapore as my top choice. Mb Stables always comes with the guns loaded and it looks the same today and I’ll take the sophomore son of Dexter to get back to the winner’s circle here. He’s been second in his last pair including a nice run vs. graded types so he’s my choice. I’ll put Curveball in the second spot and although his most recent win was at FL, he’s held his own vs. similar. He’s run some big race over this track and may be under-bet in this one. Let’s also give Having A Blast a chance in this one. Throw the last start out and he’s about as consistent as you can ask, and he’s faced some very tough competition. This has attracted some very nice horses and you have to give all of them a legitimate shot and getting the job done.
Here’s The Field –
1 Texas Flood – he’s faced a steady stream of graded foes and has held his own although he doesn’t show a win against such. His last win may be his biggest upside, coming over this surface at 7f back in February taking the Winkfield. Maybe getting back to the Big A will help him get back to the winner’s circle as well.
2 Demon – was fourth in the KYD (GI) so you know he can run a little, but his other TC races were certainly forgettable and he’s another that has a single win this season but it was at this oval, taking the Gander vs. state bred types. He was also a close up second in the Wood Mem (GII) here and broke maiden over this track, so he’s another that may like getting back to where he’s had some of his best races.
3 Brady Is A Lady – we continue the 1-win for the season types but this one took the Peter Pan (GIII) at BEL, so his graded win is something that makes you take a second look. He’s been close in his last three, beaten a length in each, and all of those were against graded types. He can sit just off of the pace or close from sitting back and having those skills may be a difference maker today.
4 Curveball – has been taking on state-bred stakes types of late and got the job done at FL last out in the GV Breeders Stakes. His local efforts have been solid which makes him a contender and he carries a few more pounds being a 5yo. He’s an eight time winner, so don’t leave him off of your exotics.
5 Kris Kross – changed hands in August via private sale and hasn’t beaten a horse for the new outfit. It’s a sharp barn so I’m not sure what’s happening here other than both of those were on the grass and he switches back to the main track where he’s had more success. That could be key in this one pulling an upset.
6 Singapore – another that was purchased via the private sales route and has been stellar since switching to the Mb machine. A sold place showing vs graded horses at BEL two back and was second vs. similar at the Spa in the Albany. You certainly have to consider him on all of your tickets.
7 Topside – switched hands two back and rewarded the barn right away with a win in the fore-mentioned Albany. Showed little in the PA Derby (GI) but moving back to state-bred types should line this one back up for a solid effort. He loves being on or near the pace, and that may also be a reason to like this one in this bunch.
8 Having A Blast – the big barn brings another talented individual to the fray and I’ll dismiss that fifth place finish last out as I don’t think the marathon distance is to his liking. Solid efforts in both The Jockey Club and Suburban facing some of the best in the land, and was only beaten a length in both of those. I think this one may be getting ready to fire a big one and could be a decent price as well.
9 Fox News – won his ’19 debut taking the San Paqual (GII) but it’s been a forgettable season since that, not hitting the board in his next six starts. He’s been working like a champion, but just hasn’t been able to transfer that over to when they run for money. The post does him no favors and I have to look at some others.
COZMAN Picks 6 / 4 / 8 Willie’s Green Card 7 / 4 Scotty 3 / 6 / 4