Aqueduct Friday Highlight Horse: Sandy Strikes has an outside chance to upset the heavy favorite


Aqueduct | Race 6 | Post Time 3:20 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs

I can’t argue with anyone who views this as Zabaione’s race to lose. While he’s been a bit inconsistent, a repeat of his most recent effort would make him virtually untouchable. That day, he almost ran down Papa Shot while pulling eight lengths clear of the rest of the field. His 2-5 morning-line odds are not really an exaggeration of his chances of winning against this group.

That said, I do still think this is a playable race if you’re looking at exactas and trifectas. That is primarily because the longest shot on the morning line has a legitimate chance to finish in the money. I’ll be playing against horses like Primo Pentimento, who comes out of weak maiden-claiming races, and Ode to the Hunt, who is going to take money primarily based on this turf form.


SANDY STRIKES (#6), at anything close to his 20-1 morning line odds, should offer far better value. This Leo O’Brien trainee is in deceptively good form. He was racing against inside biases on both Dec. 9 and Dec. 31. In the latter effort, he actually ran an excellent race to be fifth, closing mildly in a race that was dominated by the front-runners. Some may hold his last race against him, but he had an equipment problem early on and his rider was given no choice but to pull him up. He’s clearly better than that and he now gets a positive rider switch to Dylan Davis.


Win/place: 6

Trifecta: 1, 6 with 1, 6 with ALL

Trifecta: 1 with ALL with 6


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