SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Belmont at Aqueduct Selections & Analysis - 9/15 - Opening Day - Steeplechase Day


Welcome back, everyone !

We come into a fresh meet having nearly cut the takeout rate in half at Saratoga, while once AGAIN, besting the grain in our ever popular and ALWAYS the original "Beatable Favorites" department.

After busting a gut this summer ( Golf? What's that?? ) we'll continue to work hard for you at The Big A !! 

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): None

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. Additionally, when it comes to layoffs, we consider more than 50 days in a dirt to dirt scenario a layoff, more than 58 days in D to T or T to D a layoff, and more than 67 days in a turf to turf deal a L/O. Furthermore, if we amend our selections for a wet track, and the track becomes fast, our original selections are in play.


Please visit the Old Friends at Cabin Creek website ( by clicking the image to the left ) and consider helping out in these challenging times.

I want to thank those that read my column, and have recently opened up accounts as a result of their fondness for what they see here. If you have any questions at any time, you can reach me here on Disqus, Parler @BrooklynCowboy, or on Twitter @brooklyncowboy1. For those who dig the scene here, and would like to be part of it, registration on our home page is easy, and if you'd like, feel free to include my name in the referral box, and let me know, so I can try and get ya' some cool swag!


Belmont at Aqueduct - 9/15 - Opening Day - Steeplechase Day


Race  1

1.The Mean Queen

2.Proven Innocent

3.Howyabud ( Ire )

#1 THE MEAN QUEEN hasn't been seen in nearly the full length of a calendar, but lightly raced six year old is 9:7-1-0 lifetime, and while it's possible she may not be fully cranked today ( in order to set her up for a key race or two this fall ), barn likes to tighten up the screws a bit in the mornings, and even at 75%, she lays over this grouping. #2 PROVEN INNOCENT is on a 3:1-2-0 run of late, drops a pound off the recent tally ( which we always dig ), and makes his 3rd start off the bench. Threat if the big girl falters. #6 HOWYABUD (IRE) ( uncoupled barnmate with the above ) has won all three starts when going vertical. There's an old adage in the game to never discount an undefeated animal at 3-1 or more, and as this one has never lost over the jumps, we'd be remiss in excluding. 


Race  2

1.Snap Decision


3.Song for Someone ( Ger )

#1 SNAP DECISION just may complete the lowest Opening Day Early Daily Double in Aqueduct history, as this sensational hurdler ( 16:11-5-0 ) can win from off the pace, or on the choo choo, and he doesn't need to bring his track with him ( as seven of the steeplechase tallies have come at different venues ). Lot of lead in the saddle, as he totes the heaviest impost of his career, but is looking good once again. #2 IRANISTAN hasn't shown much over the last pair, but we like to go back three races to find something positive, and there is in fact a Grade Two win on display from back in April, and as he has more than 2X as many wins as minor placings, we'll toss in the hopper. #6 SONG FOR SOMEONE (GER) is 5:1-2-1 in second off the bench engagements, and as he washed out in the American bow, you should incorporate if he looks good pre race. 


Race  3

1.Crypto Mama


3.Risk Free

#1 CRYPTO MAMA improved by about 12.4% in the adjusted Beyer department, and slides in six slots while retaining Rosario. Slight edge. #2 EXTESSA switches over to what we feel will be her preferred surface down the road, and is second time blinkers today; threat with a tidier sojourn. #5 RISK FREE outran her parimutuel offering when overcoming a disadvantageous slot to complete the exacta at 15-1 in the 'Toga bow, and while she may have outran her pedigree that day, gal draw better and May foal will only improve with time. NOTE: AS OF 11:48, OUR SELECTIONS WILL BE 1-3-5.


Race  4 

1.Grape Nuts Warrior



#1 GRAPE NUTS WARRIOR came along late in the game to secure 12% of the pot two months back, and makes his "true" 3rd try off the pine today for Brown, who is toting along a nice DRF Formulator stat relating to today's circumstances. Over the last 60 months, the aforementioned shedrow is 9:5-1-2-1 w/ optional sod stayers who crashed the fiesta 57-63 days back ( $2.92 ROI ), and there's a sub category of 2-2 with Irad in the irons. #4 BARRAGE has been a different animal since switching barns this year and can make up for the recent disappointment. #6 BARLEEWON comes in with some sharp form of late, and as we feel today is a drop in class, we have no problems including at double digit odds.  OFF TURF: 5-4-9(MTO)-1-3


Race  5

1.Sul Pharoah

2.Lupo's Legacy 


#1 SUL PHAROAH has been pretty bad in his troika of turf outings thus par, and is understandably switched back to the main, and why not, as he's gone 51-74 in both of his dirt attempts. Being an A.P. out of a Tiznow mare, we see ample room for improvement on the brown stuff. There's a nice trainer statistic in play here, as 16% Mott more than doubles that rate ( 6-17 ) when going T to D with those getting Lasix off sabbaticals of 33-57 days ( 10-1 or less ), with a return on investment of $2.88 in that regards. #5 LUPO'S LEGACY closed out the super at 17-1 right outta the box for 'Miah, and is another who should fare better in getting off the gramma. In a bit of an anomaly, #4 ACTUALIZE goes over for a glib surface for just the first time in this, his 6th call to the post, and while we'll be using, it would behoove you to take a peek in the paddock because of the back to back layoff lines. 


Race  6 

1.Orange Freeze 


3.Smokie Eyes

These three and no more for all our rolling action.  #8 ORANGE FREEZE displayed a mild "Z" pattern in the curtain raiser two fortnights back, when losing 2 1/2 lengths from the quarter to the stretch, before regaining 1 3/4's from that point to the line. Lone returnee from that affair showed in a 150K stakes next time out, improving by 8.5% in the adjusted Beyer area also. #3 COLLABORATION ( who should be no worse than 3rd, for all you show punters out there ) displayed some nice early hoof right outta the box, and after finishing third that afternoon, deserves your respect once again. #7 SMOKIE EYES was an honest runner up when starting things out last month, and is an obvious factor.  OFF TURF: 6-2-3-9-13(AE)


Race  7

1.Miss Tapirado

2.Mrs. Green

3.Thunder Love ( GB )

#8 MISS TAPIRADO comes in today off of back to back career figaros, while showing steady improvement in all her 2022 forays, so who quite knows where her ceiling is in that regards. The one turn pedigree is just as good as that going long, and gal is a slight edge in a heat with no clear standouts. You can feel free to draw an upwards arrow alongside all four of #3 MRS. GREEN's starts, as this one has gotten better and better along the way, and makes all kinds of sense.  #6 THUNDER LOVE (GB) rounds out the top three.  OFF TURF: 8-6-7-16(MTO)-11(MTO)


Race  8 

1.Money Supply


3.Major Spin

#8 MONEY SUPPLY is nearly an "Omnifig" ( " rare as the ivory billed woodpecker." ), which is a term given to a horse who's EVERY figure earned is better than anything anyone in the field has posted. In this case, there is but one other runner in the race who has fared better at times ). 3YO is 1 for 2 when going one turn on a track labeled FST, and this $400,000 purchase can be all yours for 1/10th of that price today ( Huh? ). Super stat in play here, as shedrow is 9:7-2-0 when putting their dirt stock up for grabs for the 1st time at this level ( 30-50 days ), and there is a fat $3.54 R.O.I. with that survey. #6 HOMETOWN is that aforementioned runner discussed above, and is another with the "For Sale" sticka attached to her butt for the first time. #3 MAJOR SPIN finishes up our triad of choices who may find new homes after this, and Irad sees fit to take the call.  NOTE: AS OF 12:02, #4 WILL BE OUR 3RD CHOICE.


Race  9 

1.Forty Smooth

2.Poncho Song


#8 FORTY SMOOTH was smartly protected against the claim off the 8+ month hibernation, and ( going back a while ) won for the 2nd consecutive time, 3rd of 4, and 4th of 6. We actually consider this a mild drop in class, so why not take a shot at 6-1 ?  #4 PONCHO SONG takes a precipitous drop in class and totes the lightest impost of her career. #5 TRUANCY has done little wrong in either affair and is a deserving chalk. 


Race  10


2.Empire Ridge

3.KImbo Dancer

#8 THEREGOESMYMIRACLE nearly blew up the totalizator board when going long up in the Adirondacks on "Bijou Day", and before you dismiss that as an aberration, know that this chestnut chap hung up an adj. 56.8 in the dash prior to that -- at a substantially higher level, WITH a good deal of trouble. Trainer is 2:1-0-1 with those going short on the verde at 19-1 or beneath...and oh-fer-121 otherwise, so you may still get some decent value here. #7 EMPIRE RIDGE has partaken in the super both times going short on firm ground and ( we guess ) has to be left in the hopper. #10 KIMBO DANCER is back where he belongs after the snag two back.  OFF TURF: 7-14(MTO)-2-9-13(MTO)


Graded Stakes      ( Current ):  8-34      ( $73.90 )  Beatable    Favorites:   1-2   ( 50% )    Favorites  Win %:  12-32     ( 37.5% )


Saratoga                    ( Final ):  82-417  ( $760.30 ) Beatable    Favorites:   7-27( 25.9% )  Favorites Win %:  153-417 ( 36.7% ) 

Belmont                      ( Final ): 88-420   ( $563.10 ) Beatable   Favorites    7-28 ( 25% )    Favorites  Win %: 154-420 ( 36.7% )   

Aqueduct Spring         ( Final ): 34-134   ( $317.10 ) Beatable   Favorites     2-8  ( 25% )    Favorites  Win %: 42-134  ( 31.3% ) 

Aqueduct Winter         ( Final ): 107-438 ( $926.20 ) Beatable  Favorites: 11-40 ( 27.5% )  Favorites Win %: 166-440 ( 37.7% )

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

( 2013-2021 Final ) 74-465  ( $703.70 ) Beatable Favorites: 18-57 ( 31.6% ) Favorite's Win %: 140-414 (33.8%)  +/-: -24.3% against a 16.8% takeout  

Polytracks   2013-16 (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  2013-22 (All Final):3433-17431 ($29438.80)  Beatable Favorites : 417-1530( 27.3% )Favorite's Win %: 6555-17441 ( 37.6% ) +/-: -15.6%  against a 16.8% takeout

Cumulative Stats    (All Final): 3517-17999   ( $30,258 )   Beatable Favorites : 432-1598( 27.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 6565-17685 ( 37.1% ) +/-: -15.9%  against a 16.7% takeout