Aqueduct features a pair of stakes on Saturday including a competitive group squaring off in the $100,000 Artie Schiller.
The one mile test on the inner turf drew a field of 13 with four of those main track only entrants, meaning we likely will have a field of nine. The weather is on the improve in New York after a couple of days of rain.
The Christophe Clement trained Therapist is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The gelding has lost three in a row, the last pair against state breds, but he did earn a career top speed figure in his runner up finish in the Mohawk last out.
“His last race came up pretty tough,” Clement said. “He’s been training well, maybe a week earlier than I would like to run him back, but that’s the way it is.”
Trainer Chad Brown sends out a pair of runners in Delaware (9-2) who is coming off a fifth place finish at Woodbine in the King Edward (G2) and Valid Point (6-1), a Grade 1 winner who has been disappointing in his last four starts.
Rinaldi is the second choice on the morning line at 3-1. The gelding had his worst career finish when sixth in the Mohawk last out. He won four of his first seven career starts including a pair of New York Stallion Series races and the state bred West Point.
The action from Aqueduct and Churchill Downs will be televised on FS2 from 11:30 to 2:30 ET. My Best Plays Report for Saturday will include my strongest plays from Churchill Downs and Belmont Park.
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Let’s head out to Aqueduct for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Aqueduct Race 9 The Artlie Schiller (3:47 ET)
9 Valid Point 6-1
10 Therapist 5-2
2 Rinaldi 3-1
4 Delaware 9-2
This colt is one of two in here sent out by the Chad Brown barn. The colt is back on turf after fading to finish a well beaten eighth last out in the Salvatore (G3) on the main track at Monmouth Park. This guy won the Secretariat (G1) at Arlington Park last summer but has not been better than eighth in four starts since that victory. Two of those starts did come in G1 company and he gets into a much easier spot here. The colt has put in good works since his last outing and looks capable of bouncing back with a much better effort here.
The Clement trainee stalked the early pace while saving ground and could not catch the gate to wire winner last out in the state bred Mohawk at Belmont Park. This gelding is an eight-time stakes winner, his last coming at seven furlongs in the First Defence at Belmont Park back in June off a 7 ½ month layoff. He has won three times at a mile and should be able to work out a good trip sitting mid pack. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and in good hands with the Clement barn that is off to a good start at the meeting.
The gelding tired to finish sixth last out in the state bred Mohawk. The gelding jumped out to the lead but Saez gave up the lead to Somelikeithotbrown who went on control the pace and win. The Bond trainee took the field gate to wire in the state bred West Point two back and beating state bred Alw-2 optional claimers three back. The strategy last time just did not work, and he gets a jock switch to Juarez who figures to send the gelding here. He has run well in a couple of starts with give to the ground which may still be the cast this afternoon.
WIN: Valid Point to win at 7-2 or better.
EXACTA: 9 / 2,4,5,10 and 9,10 / 2,4,9,10