Aqueduct | Race 8 | Post Time 4:26 p.m. (ET) | Go to the TimeformUS PPs | Not already a TimeformUS member? Sign up
In the handicapping puzzle that is the Stymie, the most difficult puzzle piece to fit into the larger picture is that of Repo Rocks (#3). He is the key to this race, as the chances of all the other competitors depend on which version of this horse shows up. If Repo Rocks repeats the 130 TimeformUS Speed Figure that he earned for his victory in the Toboggan Stakes, there isn’t a horse in this field that will be able to defeat him. Yet he had never reached that level before and even his prior starts for Jamie Ness at Parx don’t nearly rise to the lofty heights that he achieved last time. He’s obviously a horse that has run well at Aqueduct before. However, he has never been successful beyond 7 furlongs, and the distance of this race is a major factor, as others are proven going this far. I’m certainly afraid of anything the Jamie Ness barn sends out, as his horses will improve suddenly and maintain that form for several starts. Perhaps Repo Rocks in the midst of one of those peaks. However, he’s now going to be a very short price, whereas last time he was 10-1, and I’m just not comfortable endorsing a favorite that still has significant questions to answer.
I also have reservations about Miles D (#6), who could be the second choice in this race. There was a time when this Chad Brown trainee would have been pretty formidable against this field. However, he managed just one start during his 4-year-old season, and returned from a one-year layoff last time at Gulfstream with a disappointing effort. I never thought that was the right spot for him, as he drew the rail going a distance that seems too short for him. Yet now he’s back in a one-mile race, perhaps because there are no other options for him.
Bourbonic (#1) is more interesting to me at a similar price, since he’s at least in great form right now. He ran pretty well to win that optional claimer 20 days ago, as he closed into a moderate pace and beat a horse who has been on a roll this winter. I’m using him, but my top pick is another Parx shipper.
FAR MO POWER (#2) will be making his first start outside of his Pennsylvania home base, but I think he stacks up pretty well against the competition. This horse was a surprise winner – though ultimately disqualified – in the Parx Dirt Mile last year, finishing in a photo with the classy Mind Control. While that 12-1 upset might seem like an outlier, he had run extremely well after getting a poor trip in his prior start. He then got another nightmare journey two back when he got badly fouled in traffic heading into the clubhouse turn. He got back on track last time with a nice confidence builder, earning a strong 121 TimeformUS Speed Figure. I think he’s going to be perfectly suited to this one-turn mile at Aqueduct, and the price should be more than fair.
WIN: #2 Far Mo Power, at 3-1 or greater