We finished up the week in fine fashing with a $248 triple box and a $23 on top winner ( who's return we were waiting for ).

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 - 12/20


Race  1

1.Hailey's Flip

2.Estilo Feminino

3.Short Kakes

#1 HAILEY'S FLIP showed zilch in the most recent, but to quote 'Bad Santa', "They all can't be winners, kid." Four year old has partaken in the superfecta in 14 of 18 when the jockey stays on, positively loves this trip, and recent bullet breeze is a positive sign for one who likes to come from off the pace. Oh yeah, from a limited sampling, 18% clan nearly doubles that rate ( 3 fer 9 ) with optional dirt dashers who missed the baccala 17-35 days go that are 8-1 or lower ( $10, $7 & $12 ), and this one id 6:2-1-2 when starting from the pine. #4 ESTILO FEMININO has yet to miss the exacta and owns a triad of solid numeros since the hibernation; must use. #5 SHORT KAKES is 7:3-2-2 right here and may come along for a slice of shortcake.


Race  2

1.Into a Hot Spot


3.Hero's Welcome

#4 INTO A HOT SPOT flashed brief speed in the debut during opening week at the Spa this year, but was sent to the shelf for one reason or another afterwards by Lynch. The good news is that this one returns with a gate bullet in tow ( albeit 'handling' ) and gets the wonder drug today for the first time as well. Look for Luzzi to send, or rate just off the leader. #3 FRANKMJYMME has a decent overall body of work and gets off the wood this afternoon. #6 HERO'S WELCOME has changed barns since the initial local flop and is still claim protected, despite the fact that quite often a new conditioner will ask an owner to drop a horse down when taking them on like this.


Race  3

1.American Power

2.Consensus Thinking

3.Missle Bomb

#7 AMERICAN POWER is a very consistent performer who owns a 2 for 3 mark at the dx., and has also won both his starts when breaking from the outermost two slots ( some horses simply fare better uncovered. ) Expect Junior to be riding a lot of live runners for this barn during the wintah. #6 CONSENSUS THINKING was oddly gelded after a solid placing last time out ( a Mineshaft out of a Grand Slam mare who seems to be figuring things out ? ) and deserves your respect today. #3 MISSLE BOMB is truly a fantastic claiming animal, as he's compiled a 22:8-6-4 career mark, and that includes exacta finishes in 12 of the last 13 ( under the tutelage of 7 different conditioners ). Should be no worse than 1-2-3 for all you show bettors out there. 


Race  4 

1.Foolish Ghost

2.Local Counsel

3.Discreet Mission

#1 FOOLISH GHOST faded a bit in a nearly identical spot about two months ago, and has been given a bit of a freshening by Brown since then. Runner totes the lightest impost of his working life today, and could go all the way if able to catch a flyer, then back the field down a bit. #2 LOCAL COUNSEL positively crushed maiden foes during Thanksgiving week 27 days back in a lifetime best performance and we see no reason a repeat isn't well within reach. #7 DISCREET MISSION missed by just a sliver in last and figures once again. 


Race  5




#7 MORETTI came along decently to get up for second in the bow, but this one is bred to go long ( Medaglia d'Oro out of a Concerto mare ), and isn't interesting to see Johnny V. leave the sunny climes of Hallandale Beach for dreary Aqueduct? Pletcher owns a 5 for 10 mark with second time starters on the stretchout at this level, who hit the board 2-4 dozen days back ( 5-2 or less ). Would not be surprised if this one scored convincingly, then went on a path that the connections have done with other potential Triple Crown prospects ( allowance, small stakes, Fountain of youth, Fla. Derby/Wood ). Yeah, we're getting ahead of ourselves, but man --- Johnny in town? #2 MONTAGALLY improved slightly from the 1st start to the next, and Brown is 3 fer 8 with first time routers on the sand off breaks of 27-55 days. #4 ERLICH has gotten better & better, and posted an adjusted 74.6 in the lone 2X try over a fast track.


Race  6 

1.Smiles From Sadie

2.Mo Flash

3.Vip Nation

#2 SMILES FROM SADIE passed a bevy of horses to procure 20% of the purse in this race about a month back, and as Junior had some options here, it's reassuring to see him lean this way. Numbers heading in the right direction, and fella has yet to miss the exacta. #5 MO FLASH shoots for the hat trick this afternoon, and drops weight off a score -- which we always dig. 4:3-0-1 local ledger duly noted. #1 VIP NATION is still protected in the second off the claim try, and jock piloted an $80 winner for this barn not too long ago.  NOTE: AS OF 12:03, WE ARE FLIP FLOPPING OUR TOP TWO CHOICES.


Race  7


2.Three to Thirteen


#2 HOKULEA is wheeled back in less than a week after splitting the field versus tougher, and sheds some lb.'s off that effort. May be overlooked in the wagering a bit here. In our eyes, the #1 THREE TO THIRTEEN will be no worse than second ( for all you place punters ) based on the solid recent try, as well as a poyfect 3 for 3 mark when starting from the pine. #3 PLAYTHATFUNNYMUNIC has not missed the triple in more than a year ( seven starts ) and who are we to rock that boat?


Race  8 


2.Proximate to Power

3.Leap to Glory

#7 UNSULLIED got the diploma by a pole a dozen days back, and did so while posting a lifetime best numero. Fella loses 96 ounces off that score, and we'll give him a tepid nod in the nitecap. #3 PROXIMATE TO POWER finished just a half length behind a next out winner when showing in the most recent, and ended up in a new barn afterwards for all his efforts. Pre-claim jock returns, and we like that this one ( unlike many others ) has already faced winners. #2 LEAP TO GLORY won the only other time he was available for purchase ( AND in a second off the shelf try to boot ), and has enough speed to cause a ruckus.

Aqueduct       ( Current )   41-240   ( $412.70 )   Beatable Favorites     8-28  ( 28.6% )  Favorites Win %: 90-248   ( 36.3% )


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