Aqueduct Picks: Wood Memorial Day, plus a bevy of stakes on April 9

The Paddock at 'The Big A' will be filled to the gills on Saturday ... it's Wood Memorial Day! Check out these free picks, plus some targeted analysis from turfwriter J.N. Campbell ...
The Paddock at "The Big A" will be filled to the gills on Saturday ... it's Wood Memorial Day! Check out these free picks, plus some targeted analysis from turfwriter J.N. Campbell ...

Aqueduct Racetrack Picks - Saturday, April 9, 2022

  • Race 1: 9-6-1-2
  • Race 2: 1-2-6-4
  • Race 3: 11-4-1-9
  • Race 4: 1/1A-3-6-4
  • Race 5: 6-2-3-5
  • Race 6: 5-2-7-3
  • Race 7: 4-3-1-6
  • Race 8: 5-2-3-1
  • Race 9: 5-1-8-4
  • Race 10: 6-3-7-5
  • Race 11: 5-1-9-6
  • **Most Likely: Classy Edition #6 (Race 10)**
  • **Best Value: First Captain #5 (Race 9)**

NYRA’s Aqueduct Racetrack's Spring Meet is about to hits its zenith! Not only has grass racing returned ... although the weather has not cooperated well ... but this Saturday is Wood Memorial Day! That includes the Kentucky Derby "Points" contest, plus the Grade 1 Carter Handicap, and the Grade 3 Gazelle S. We have 11 competitive races scheduled, 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 Saturday 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 10: Classy Edition #6, 5/2):

The female version of the Wood is the Grade 3 Gazelle S. for 3-yr-old fillies (KY Oaks "Points" are on the table), and this race comes down to the fortunes of Todd Pletcher’s daughter of Classic Empire (a half to Morello). The filly already has a win over this surface in late November in a “Non-G.” That was her 3rd win in-a-row, and it was only next time out in the Davona Dale (G2) that she missed. In her defense, that was against Shug McGaughey’s Kathleen O, a horse that will be one of the favorites in the KYOaks. Pletcher teams with Joel Rosario, who has packed his overnight bag, and hopped a flight to Long Island. I am not too concerned with the stretch out because I think she can take that kind of step forward. This is really the moment when Pletcher opens up the floodgates at the NYRA track and rakes purse money into the coffers. She wins …

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #6


Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 9: First Captain #5, 8/1):

The Grade 1 Carter Handicap is here! Trying to beat Bill Mott’s Speaker’s Corner is going to be a chore … but the reward will be quite nice. I think I have an antidote to this on-the-engine-type, and it’s Shug McGaughey’s First Captain #5. This colt by Curlin is one bred by Chef Bobby Flay. West Point and Siena Farm co-own this talented tracker, that made a ton of noise last year after he won the Dwyer (G3) at Belmont. I think this one is just getting cranked up for his ’22 campaign, and I fully expect to see him in the winner’s circle on Saturday. Jockey Jose Ortiz can be a force in spots like these, and he knows his mount, having been the only rider that he has ever had. What a price this younger entry is going to be!

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


Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 8: Dirt, 1 1/8th, Wood Memorial S. (G2), $750k, 3):

Even though the Wood Memorial has not played a significant role in the Triple Crown “conversation,” that doesn’t mean it’s one “Prep” to overlook … not by a long shot. Speaking of those, we had some last year … Will we see a repeat? This year’s edition of the Wood has some tough favorites in Todd Pletcher’s Mo Donegal #1, Chad Brown’s Early Voting #3, and Steve Asmussen’s Morello #5. Each of these colts has their assets, and question marks … Pletcher’s entry (part of an uncoupled set) is looking to rebound after a miss against White Abarrio in early Feb. at Gulfstream Park in the G3 Holy Bull. The well-bred son of Uncle Mo won at “The Big A” in the Remsen S. (G2) somewhat controversially against Zandon. It is hard to gauge exactly how the Donegal Racing ace will respond here, but one thing is for sure, Joel Rosario is going to give it his best. When it comes to tackling a 2-turn route like this race, we already know that Brown’s entry has what it takes because he bested a very good field (Un Ojo and Gilded Age, among others) in the Withers S. (G3) going 1 1/8th. The Gun Runner router clearly appreciates the MT, and Jose Ortiz will be aboard yet again. Can this colt make it a perfect 3/3? As for Asmussen’s son of Classic Empire, he is my top selection, and I think the world of this power player. In the Gotham (G3) after winning impressively in the Jimmy Winkfield $100, he really turned up the heat with Jose Lezcano aboard (Pletcher’s Golden Code #2 was 3rd). Of course, going this distance and with this pedigree will make some pause … Not me … I want to make a bold statement right now … I think this Asmussen-trainee is a more talented runner than Epicenter. I know … again, it was prefaced with a “bold statement.” In a tough spot like this one, the cream rises to the top … and in this instance, it is Blue Lion Thoroughbreds and their talented runner. Time to book for Churchill Downs … Asmussen on top, again …

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Wheel, 5 w 1/2/3 w 1/2/3


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 !!!

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