Aqueduct Picks: Big Castle is impregnable in R6 on March 18

Aqueduct's Winter Meet is winding down, but before they switch gears, they still have a few weeks left of some excellent racing. Free picks and specific analysis below ...
Aqueduct's Winter Meet is winding down, but before they switch gears, they still have a few weeks left of some excellent racing. Free picks and specific analysis below ...

Aqueduct Picks - Friday, March 18, 2022

  • Race 1: 6-3-1-5
  • Race 2: 5-3-4-2
  • Race 3: 3-4-1-6
  • Race 4: 2-6-3-5
  • Race 5: 4-5-2-3
  • Race 6: 5-1-4-7
  • Race 7: 5-1-2-3
  • Race 8: 5-4-1-7
  • Race 9: 3-5-2-7
  • Race 10: 2-4-3-8
  • **Most Likely Winner: Big Castle #5 (Race 6)**
  • **Best Value: Cinderella's Cause #3 (Race 9)**

The call to the post is imminent ... and soon, it will be time to head to the gate! 

NYRA’s Aqueduct Racetrack has their Winter Meet beginning the last weeks of racing, despite battling tough weather conditions. 

As for the Derby Trail, it is heating up, now that the Gotham S. (G2) now complete. That means that the Wood Memorial S. (G2) is just around the corner. Plus, do not forget all of the other NYRA stakes competition that is coming as well. We have 10 competitive races scheduled for today, so enjoy!

At we have you covered, including all of the action! It is a good time for some of the best that North American racing has to offer. Stay tuned!

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Friday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter ... Horseracing_USA !!!

Horse Racing Picks

Most Likely Winner: (Race 6: Big Castle #5, 3/1):

It is not assured that Horacio De Paz’s gelding by Paynter is going to race any better than he has in his last pair of attempts (Clm40kn2L/Clm25kn2L), but I think he will for several reasons. First, he is 3rd off-the-shelf for a solid barn … next, he gets the services of an aggressive bug like Jose Gomez … and finally, this distance around 1-turn gives him the chance to rate close to the lead. If he gets a decent break, then I think he has a strong shot to score a win … his 1st since Belmont back in October.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #5


Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 9: Cinderella’s Cause #3, 6/1):

In this high-level state bred contest, I found a gem of a runner that should bring a nice price come post time. Owned by the ever-present Gary Barber, it has been interesting to watch Chris Englehart (not Jeremiah), reap some benefits from the Aqueduct Winter Meet. This conditioner’s numbers look better and better, especially when you look at his in-the-money stats (111/8-13-16). Kendrick Carmouche has some ticks in the box going for him with this 4-yr-old filly by Congrats. Coming over from Chad Summers’ outfit, she ran well in her debut for Englehart at this precise level last time on 25 Feb. Her fitness is sound, and I think she will be the right price (6/1 or thereabouts) when this goes off. The “Blinkers” are one of those equipment adjustments that can really assist. Let’s hope it provides the focus she requires to get this win.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager WPS #3 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)


Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 7: Dirt, 6F, OC80kn1x, 3F NY Breds):

A salty group of 7 will be breaking from the backstretch gate and vying to go 6F on the AQ MT. They don’t have a choice, since the turf course is not open yet. These are young filles that are just coming into their own, but we could see any number of them in stakes competition later this year. David Aragona sets the M/L, and he is usually up to scratch when it comes to assigning those numbers. He believes that Bank On Anna #2 is a pretty special 3-yr-old, and I tend to agree. She sure did not do much wrong when she wired the field in her last race, a MSW70k contest. Maybe it was just too easy, but when you win by a margin of 6-lengths, that is saying something. Jose Lezcano gets the call once again, and I am sure Phil Serpe thinks she can step-up to this caliber of company. I am not so sure … hold fast there Mr. S. When it comes to a top pick, I am considering the talent level of Christophe Clement’s Ready A.P. #1. Here is a speedster that showed great promise about 8 months ago at Saratoga. The filly by More Than Ready was stellar then, and now that she is coming back, her maturity and drive could be even better. Maybe she needs a race … but this is West Point T-Breds that are involved here, and you know Clement is savvy in spots like these. I like her, but maybe not on top of my ticket. That honor is going to fall to one of Ray Handal’s charges. He has an uncoupled entry that looks quite promising. Both Ribot’s Valentine #3 and Thinking It Over #5 have loads of attributes. The former broke her maiden last time out at Aqueduct in January in MSW Co., and she returns to jump off the class high dive. Handal is hot right now, so I would expect this move to be calculated and sound. Trevor McCarthy climbs aboard, replacing Dylan Davis, and he is going to have to try and contest the lead early, if this filly by Point of Entry wants a chance. I am inclined to bet the “other” Handal in this spot, because that 3-yr-old by Overanalyze is dropping out of a much tougher spot. Davis is riding for the 4th time, and with a work tab that looks more than satisfactory, she should win. Nothing like a run 3rd in the cycle too … If I could get 9/2 on her, I think it would be a miracle. Handal is too scorching right now to be overlooked. This one is the play, and without further ado, here is the bet …

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Superfecta Box, 1/2/3/5


Enjoy some racing from the “Big A!” Best of luck on another run at Aqueduct! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter … Horseracing_USA !!!