Aqueduct: Horses to play in the $25,502 Pick 6 carryover

May 18th, 2024

Many bettors are focusing their Saturday attention on Pimlico, where the Preakness (G1) is taking place. But don’t overlook the Aqueduct card, which features a $25,502 Pick 6 carryover.

The $1 wager gets underway in Race 6 at 3:06 p.m. ET. The six-race sequence is packed with competitive fields, including in Race 9, the featured $175,000 Vagrancy (G3) for fillies and mare sprinting 6 1/2 furlongs on dirt.

Only six horses have entered the Vagrancy, and a case can be made for many of them to win. Interestingly, one of the most accomplished horses—#5 Leave No Trace (6-1)—is the co-fourth choice on the morning line, even though she’s undefeated in dirt sprints.

That point is worth reiterating. In the summer of 2022, Leave No Trace rallied boldly to win her debut in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight at Saratoga by 2 3/4 lengths. She followed up with a pace-tracking victory in the seven-furlong Spinaway (G1), in which she defeated future champion and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Wonder Wheel by 1 1/4 lengths.

Leave No Trace went on to lose her next seven starts in a row, but it’s important to note four were dirt routes, two were grass contests, and one was a synthetic sprint. And while Leave No Trace failed to win, she did run well in a couple of those dirt routes, finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and third in the Frizette (G1).

The good news is, Leave No Trace bounced back when returning to a dirt sprint in a $62,500 allowance optional claimer on March 17 at Aqueduct. After pressing the pace, she took over to win by a neck, earning a career-best 90 Brisnet Speed rating.

Leave No Trace certainly isn’t a lock to win the Vagrancy, but she can’t be left out of the Pick 6 while sticking to the same conditions as her recent victory. She’s the only Grade 1 winner in the field, after all.

The Pick 6 wraps up in Race 11, a maiden special weight for fillies and mares racing 1 1/16 miles on turf. Assuming the race stays on turf (some races were off the turf at Aqueduct on Friday), first-time starter #9 Opera de Ravel (5-2) looms as a logical contender.

Opera de Ravel is bred to shine on grass and hails from the barn of Chad Brown, a top-tier turf trainer who wins at a 20% rate with first-time starters. Jockey Manny Franco is winning at a 27% rate on turf this year and has gone 11-for-34 (32%) teaming up with Brown over the last two months, so statistically speaking there’s a lot to like about Opera de Ravel.

Good luck!