Aqueduct | Race 7 | Post Time 4:34 p.m. (ET) | TimeformUS PPs are now available on DRF.com. Go to PPs
Whittington Park (#4) figures to go favored here after twice hitting the board at this level in recent starts. He’s clearly improved since returning to this circuit over the winter, and has benefited from added ground going a mile. However, now he’s being asked to stretch all the way out to 9 furlongs, and it’s unclear if he really wants to go that far. He’s out of a dam, See the Forest, who has primarily produced one-turn specialists. I also felt he was merely picking up the pieces against superior horses in his last couple of starts, without ever really threatening to win either race. He’s obviously a win candidate, but I don’t see value here.
Jeremiah Englehart’s other horse Six Percent (#7) could also take some money as he stretches back out in distance. He did win going this far at Saratoga last summer, but he earned that victory against much weaker company. He hasn’t finished off his recent races as well as I would have liked to see, and I thought he got a great trip moving outside when he won on Jan. 6.
I want to go in a different direction with the speedy SUNDAESWITHSANDY (#2). This horse also beat cheaper company when he last won two back, but he was a resounding winner, pulling clear to win by nearly 14 lengths with a strong 115 TimeformUS Speed Figure. He lost his next start at this level, but I thought he ran a little better than it might appear. He got an unexpected challenge in the early going that day, and battled on gamely through the lane to nearly come back for third at the end. I don’t mind him stretching back out to 9 furlongs even though he lost his prior attempt at this distance. He was having some gate issues back then, which he seems to have since overcome. I’m hoping he gets an aggressive ride from Romero Maragh.
I also don’t want to discount Full Moon Fever (#8), the horse who displayed unexpected early speed in that Mar. 18 affair, pressing Sundaeswithsandy early. Both of them paid the price late, but Full Moon Fever has prior form that puts him in the mix here. I expect him to revert to closing tactics under Trevor McCarthy and the distance shouldn’t be an issue.