As it's less than a month away, we will once again be encouraging safe driving on New Year's Eve by donating up to $200 to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance ( ) for anyone who shows me a Taxi/Uber/Lyft receipt ( on Twitter or Facebook ) from 8PM-4AM on New Year's Eve !!   The donation will be up to $10 in YOUR name, as we want you all around to read us on New Year's Day !  

With the NHC Championship less than 2 months away ( $3 million total prize money ), I am once again proud to announce that I will be donating 15% of any profits to 3 great charities --  Old Friends at Cabin Creek ( benefiting retired horses ), Mercy Ships ( hospital ships that provide free lifesaving surgeries for people where medical care is nearly non-existent )  & Pets for Vets   ( providing a second chance to shelter dogs by rescuing, training, and matching them with American veterans who need a companion pet ). Feel free to match in whole or part !

I'd like to leave this bit of info here for y'all. When we're using the DRF Formulator platform while writing our columns, if we say "Sprints", for the most part we mean any one turn race, and when we say "Routes", we mean any TWO turn race. ( For example, we consider a 1 1/8th mile race at Belmont an elongated sprint, and a 6 1/2 furlong race at a Charles Town a route. ) We feel this way, because in our eyes, it's the number of turns that necessitate more energy than being relaxed on a straightaway. Sometimes the sample size for our study can be too large to manually break down, so there may be a few from one category in another, but usually the end result is pretty much the same!

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): None

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Aqueduct - 12/16


Race  1

1.Dreamers and Me

2.Hattie L

3.That's Speightful

#6 DREAMERS AND ME was an extremely game runner up versus state bred foes on November 18th, and did so despite Javy getting some butterfingers and dropping the stick. There's a fantastic DRF Formulator stat in play here, as Levine ( 15% day to day ) is a smashing 6:5-1-0 with second off the L/O maiden special weight dirt stock who hit the board last time out, and just look at the prices -- $3, $5, $8, $22 & $11 ! #1 HATTIE L begins her working life today, and filly who went for twice the stud fee at auction has a couple of honest morning moves to her credit. T.P. is a solid 5-13 with firsters fitting all these exact parameters, and this is the first foal out of a dam who was 6 for 8 in dirt dashes ( 130K ) while being sired by a goodie who was 3 fer 3 doing the same. #3 THAT'S SPEIGHTFUL ( owned by the late George Steinbrenner's stable ) posted an adjusted 61.7 in the lone dirt foray, and as that was also the debut, we see improvement as a possibility.


Race  2

1.Change of Venue


3.I Love Jaxson

#5 CHANGE OF VENUE never lifted a hoof and was eased when last seen more than five months back, but recent gelding put up a win & a third in the prior two outings, and deserves another shot -- especially with a change of venue. #1 TAKEOFF finished third in both starts over the strip, and lone win came from an inside slot like today. Gets in light, but not as light as the program says, as this kid is now a 7 pound bug -- not 10. #3 I LOVE JAXSON got the job done the only time he was available for purchase, and it came over this oval as well. Numbers are honest enough to include.


Race  3


2.Take It To Scale

3.Felix in Fabula

#7 MAIMO bested tougher right here a month back, and we see no reason that another win isn't well within reach, given the dropdown. Note the perfect 2 for 2 mark at this flat mile distance. #2 TAKE IT TO SCALE had a game win and placing the only two times he had a "For Sale" sticker attached to his rump, and Cohen sticks around despite the recent disappointment. #3 FELIX IN FABULA has done his best work right here, and although he's 0 for his last 3 at this level or higher, Persaud is compelled to hike him up if he's bringing him back this quickly. Thinking they'd be content with some minor awards here.  NOTE: AS OF 12:02, DUE TO THE TRACK BEING WET, WE HAVE AMENDED OUR SELECTIONS TO 8-4-6.


Race  4 

1.D Emcee



#6 D EMCEE has posted a few nice workouts since the first of September, and Barker ( who's not known for his prowess with firsters ) further tightened the screws up a bit with a 2nd best of 23 gate move on 11/24. The work came in company with the Bebe Banker ( same time ) who is in today's feature, and there were two other gate moves that morning, and they both went in 50.73. Additionally, the 4th best workout was .61 seconds slower by stakes runner Papa Shot, and the 5th best spin was .92 seconds slower, by Hoponthebusgus ( a repeat winner ). The aforementioned Bebe Banker was our top choice in the 11/30 debut, and didn't disappoint when finishing 2nd at 38-1. The Beyer was merely in the high 50's, but could've easily been in the low 60's had Luzzi gotten after him. Only one horse in here ( the Sciacca runner--our 4th choice ) has cracked the 60 plateau, so you can feel free to use that one as an exacta saver, but aside from that, we're not seeing any monsters like the one who blitzed Ferraro's 'Banker. This runner was entered in the same race that day, but drew the rail and was smartly scratched as there was a Charlie Baker odds on runner in the two hole. Because of that scratch, D Emcee had to wait to be re-entered, and is now, officially...our play of the month. #8 VENTUS has been faring purdy well in the A.M.'s for today's bow ( and for Oscar Barerra III no less ), and although this one may be no Shifty Shiek, we still have to respect the moves as much as the fact that he's a half to a 2 fer 8 dirt dasher & was sired by the quick Posse. #1 WISECRACK posted a nice numero in the penultimate fast track outing and could cause a ruckus if able to shake free early on.  NOTE: AS OF 12:05, DUE TO THE TRACK BEING WET, THE #2 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  5

1.Salty Smile

2.Tied Up


#1 SALTY SMILE has yet to have been entered at a level this low, but that's okay, as this one positively digs the strip ( 5:2-2-0, compared to a 10:0-2-4 mark otherwise ) and also has a placing from the pine. #3 TIED UP has oodles of speed & gets in light --- watch out, suckahs ! #7 MERCURIAN drops for the 3rd straight start & is as good as any for the show croissant.  NOTE: AS OF 12:11, DUE TO THE TRACK BEING WET, #'S 8 & 5 WILL BE OUR SECOND AND THIRD CHOICES RESPECTIVELY.


Race  6 




#4 TRANSISTOR closed out the triple in a similar spot behind a next out winner a month and a half back, and gets an upgrade in the jockey dept. from Stone to Junior this afternoon. Three year old has been a part of the money in all four outings at the dist and gets a tepid nod from us. #3 PLAYWRIGHT has hit the board in 11 of 15 lifetime starts, and right off the bat, that's hard to look past. This one can send a bit or rate a bit and deserves more than a bit of your respect. #2 FLATEXCEL did the ol' "pop & stop" when stepped up in last, but is back at a level less than the disaster, but higher than the last win, so it's your call here.  NOTE: AS OF 12:14, DUE TO THE TRACK BEING WET, THE #5 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  7


2.Papa Shot

3.Uncle Sigh

#9 DUBLINTHEPLEASURE has won two in a row, 3 of 5, and 'Miah ( from a limited sampling ) is 5:2-2-0 when cutting back optional runners off a win ( $10 & $6 ). The price is right, Mr. Barker. #8 PAPA SHOT has done his best fork at this trip & is also 1 for 3 over this strip. Could perk up back on a fast track. #5 UNCLE SIGH has won half of his six outings going a mile and at The Big A, while owning a touch of back class. Would be no surprise in a wide open affair.  NOTE: AS OF 1:59, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #10 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  8 

1.Invaluable Will

2.Kaden's Courage


#1 INVALUABLE WILL has hit the board in all three starts to date, and accomplished such with a couple of different running styles. 13% upstate conditioner is a jazzy 7-12 w/ungraded dirt dashers who made the money 9 to 45 days back at 30-1 or lower ( positive ROI ). Will need to sit the perfect trip & pounce when a seam opens late. #3 KADEN'S COURAGE blitzed maidens by a pole in last, but you must beware the bounce -- especially with a mediocre 314 Tommy on display. #4 KOSCIUSZKO failed to bridge one win with another when exploring stakes company in the most recent, but fig came back okay so I guess he deserves another chance, no? Stock goes up if front wraps are removed.  NOTE: AS OF 12:13, DUE TO THE TRACK BEING WET, OUR SELECTIONS WILL BE 1-4-8.


Race  9 

1.Dirty Bird

2.Rare Gift

3.Sarah's Rainbow

We rarely make trip notes on horses ( as we are majoritively figures oriented here ), but saw a doozy a while back and made a note on the ol' greaseboard for the #4 DIRTY BIRD..."Placed in the back of the pack in the two path behind a 78-1 shot by bug who was lacking proper race recognition; longshot then faltered badly, compelling bug to swerve around on the turn while gaining ground; runner then got to within 3 lengths of the 2nd place horse ( while 7th ) mid stretch, before once again, being compelled to alter head around another horse, dropping back to 4 1/2 lengths of 2nd place horse; runner then re-rallied gamely to get to within a length of the 2nd place horse before ONCE AGAIN being stymied and although finishing 6th -- lost 2nd by just over a length; look for a switch to a journeyman next out, and possibly a blinker addition to ensure some speed early on to stay out of trouble. Well...Junior is now on and so is the hood. Book it. #2 RARE GIFT ( uncoupled with the above ) is backed by a 4 fer 9 trainer stat which has the barn at exactly that with second time starters taking the biggest drop in the biz on the dirt ( 39 days or more ), with the winners returning $4 x2, $11 & $5. #12 SARAH'S RAINBOW exits a heat where 6 returnees ( from 4 different heats ) have gone 2-1-1 in their subsequent starts, with 5 of them improving 11.6 Beyer points per ( and the other was eased ). Lasix now part of the package. 


Aqueduct       ( Current )   40-231   ( $389.30 )   Beatable Favorites     8-28  ( 28.6% )  Favorites Win %: 89-239   ( 37.2% )( As of Sunday morning )


Belmont            ( Final )    51-320  ( $381.00 )    Beatable Favorites:   8-22  ( 36.4% )  Favorites Win %:127-320  ( 40.0% )

Saratoga           ( Final )   80-404   ( $865.30 )    Beatable Favorites:   7-40  ( 17.5% )  Favorites Win %: 142-404 ( 35.2% ) 

Belmont             ( Final )  88-499   ( $829.00 )    Beatable Favorites   12-39  ( 30.7% ) Favorites Win %: 170-499 ( 34.1% )

Indiana Grand     ( Final ):  3-8       ( $12.40 )      Beatable Favorites:   N/A                  Favorites Win %: 4-8        ( 40.0% )

Aqueduct Spring ( Final ): 15-138   ( $167.50 )    Beatable Favorites: 6-15  ( 40.0% )    Favorites Win % :61-138   ( 44.2% )

Aqueduct Winter ( Final ): 67-317   ( $493.40 )    Beatable Favorites: 4-17  ( 23.5% )    Favorites Win %: 121-328 ( 36.9% )

Graded Stakes    ( Final ):  13-78   ( $104.50 )    Beatable Favorites: 3-6   ( 50.0% )    Favorites Win %: 34-78     ( 43.6% )

All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Selected Grade 1's and Travers full days  ( These are also counted in the "Dirt Tracks" category ):

( 2014-2018 Final ): 58-365   ( $500.80 ) Beatable Favorites: 17-52 ( 32.7% ) Favorite's Win %: 123-365  ( 33.7% )  +/-: -31.4% against a 17.1% takeout  

Poly Tracks 2014-6 (All Final): 85-568      ( $819.20 )  Beatable Favorites : 15-68     ( 22.1% )Favorite's Win %: 163-587     ( 27.7% ) +/-: -27.6%  against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks  2014-8 (All Final):2003-9764 ($16,765.00) Beatable Favorites : 295-1051( 28.1% )Favorite's Win %: 3585-9859 ( 36.4% ) +/-: -14.1%  against a 16.7% takeout

Cumulative Stats   (All Final):2088-10330 ($17,584.20)Beatable Favorites : 310-1119( 27.7% )Favorite's Win %: 3748-10444( 35.9% )+/-:  -14.9%  against a 16.6% takeout