The feature at Aqueduct on Saturday is the $100,000 Say Florida Sandy, a seven-furlong sprint that drew a competitive field of nine.
Gold for the King is the 6-5 morning line favorite. The Charlton Baker trainee was a game third in the Gravesand in his last outing and is back with New York breds on Saturday afternoon.
“He’s coming into this race in good shape,” said Baker. “He was right there running hard in the Gravesend and it just didn’t go our way that day, but since then he’s been training well, and I think the distance fits him.”
Junior Alvarado picks up the mount for Baker and will break from the two post. The gelding is a seven-time winner in 19 career starts, four of the victories coming at Aqueduct.
Honor Up (9-2) is going to end up offering a bit more value for the top spot The Michelle Nevin trainee beat Alw-1 company in his last start over a wert track at the Big A on Dec. 15.
“We knew he always possessed speed, but in his last race he also showed how versatile he is coming from off the pace, against the rail and taking dirt,” Nevin said. “We thought this was the right spot to put him back in stakes company.”
Syndergaard (8-1) showed a ton of promise as a juvenile, missing in the 2016 Champagne (G1) by a nose and running fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). However, he has won just once in six starts since, beating second level state breds in his most recent outing.
Aqueduct Race 8 The Say Florida Sandy (Post time 3:58 ET)
#9 Honor Up 9-2
#7 Syndergaard 8-1
#2 Gold for the King 6-5
#6 Celtic Chaos 5-1
This colt is back with state breds here after a sharp win last out against Alw-1 foes. The colt tracked the early pace, dropped back to seventh and came with a good late move, drawing clear late and earning a career top speed fig. Nevin took over form Mott three back and this guy has run three solid races. He has landed in the exacta in all three of his trips at seven furlongs and has shown some versatility, two back pressing the early pace before getting caught late in a runner up finish. He should work out a good tracking trip here breaking from the outside.
The five-year-old was the runner up in the ’16 Champagne (G1) and went on to burn some serious money as the beaten chalk in each of his three starts in ’17. He went from Pletcher to Terranova and his first two starts for the barn produced a couple of losses by a combined 34 1/4 lengths against state bred Alw-2 optional claimers. However, he earned a career top last out winning at that level in a game effort. He put in a couple of good works since that win and looks back on track. Decent value if he goes off near his 8-1 morning line.
Gold for the King
The morning line favorite, the gelding rolled in a New York Stallion Series race two back by 9 1/4 lengths at this distance. Last out in the Gravesand he was a game third, beaten 3/4 of a length as the beaten favorite. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and five of his last six numbers fit well in this spot as he is back with state breds. He has won four of his six trips over the Big A main track but tough to get too excited about backing him at 6-5.
WIN: #9 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 7,9 / 2,6,7,9
TRI: 7,9 / 2,6,7,9 / 2,5,6,7,9