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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weekend Handicapping: The Hunch for today is Parent's Honor at Aqueduct

The Sugar Swirl turned out to be a nice 1 -2 with Pomeroy Pistol and Pica Slew paying a $53 exacta.   We have been a run now, with three in a row and today we head back north to Aqueduct.  Since sprints have been working for us, we will look at The Hunch Stakes for $60,000 for 3YO, going 6 furlongs on the inner track.  It’s a small field of 6 so no dark horse today, in fact, it looks like only 3 horses are really ready to win it.

Contenders:

#2  Parent’s Honor ML 5/2

He has won 2 in a row and is moving up in class.  I have a soft spot for this angle and usually play it if the horse looks ready, and he does.  Improving Beyer’s over the last three (79-88-91), last 2 wins came against older horses and Dutrow has been hot of late.  It appears the pace suits him and Dominguez takes over, always a plus.  Some minor points, he has won 4 of 8 as a 3YO and posted a 99 back in June.

#1 Crossbow ML 1/1

Hard not to like except he will be an underlay and no value.  He has won 2 races in 4 attempts, including breaking his maiden on the inner track here at Aqueduct.  Excellent Beyer’s, with the last being a 99.  The horse that beat him last out has gone on to win a $75K stakes race, and the breeding is dynamite.  It looks like McLaughlin has him primed to go and can wire a field easily.  The only thing and not sure if it’s contractual, but Dominquez moves to the #2 and doesn’t stay on what looks like a lock.

#3  Bug Juice ML 5/1

This would be my dark horse in a larger field.   He is a classic bouncer and we should get a nice run today if he stays to form.  He likes to rate just off the pace and with the front end speed today, he might be in a good spot to collect a winning ticket.  You have to respect his 2YO campaign, winning 3 of 5, including 2 sizeable stakes races at Finger Lakes.  Levine has a good record with 2ndoff wins at 28% and Cohen takes over in the irons.

Bombs Away:

#5  Sam Sparkle ML 8/1

He is another bouncer who can string a couple of good races together.  Last out was an 85 in an Allowance race for older horses so history says another good race today.  He has won on the inner track back in the day and Contessa is a trainer you can’t ignore.  He puts Luzzi on this time which is an improvement and the workouts have been crisp.  The only knock is 1 win in 13 attempts, but a cut back in distance could be the tonic today.

Note:  I left off the #1a Mysticism deliberately for if you take Crossbow you get him anyway.  He has all the ability to push Bug Juice off the board.  He will go to the front and set the pace, can win it too.

Selection:

2 – 1 – 3  

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