This finale is a wide-open race in which there are many ways to go and few horses that are trustworthy.
Smokey Brown (#2) is in great form, but it’s difficult to trust a deep closer on this Aqueduct turf course. Seventhfleethumor (#6) is dropping into an easier spot and picks up Irad Ortiz, but David Cannizzo has very poor numbers with horses coming off layoffs of this length. Mambo At the Gym (#5) merits consideration based on his prior turf races, but a lot of time has passed since then.
We’d rather not settle for a short price in such a competitive race, so our top selection is CHILLY BAY (#8).
Chilly Bay has put in some decent efforts on turf, but is coming into this race off a couple of subpar efforts. However, he had excuses in both of those starts. Two back, he was probably overmatched anyway, but he got a terrible trip. For some reason, his rider was committed to taking him well off the early pace, which Chilly Bay resented. He became rank, at which point his rider allowed him to make a wide middle-move up to the front of the pack. His race was essentially over at that point. Then two back, he was again slightly rank, but also got involved chasing a fast pace (color-coded in red). He could sit the right kind of stalking trip as he switches back to a trainer that gets an 86 trainer rating with his turf runners. His speed figures stack up well enough with the top contenders, but he may still get overlooked in the wagering.
Exacta Key Box: 8 with 2,5,6