Horses to play in Aqueduct’s $108,589 Pick 6 carryover
After going unsolved on Thursday and Friday, the $1 Pick 6 at Aqueduct heads into the weekend with an enticing double carryover worth $108,589.
Saturday’s stakes-packed sequence gets underway in Race 5 (post time 1:48 p.m. ET), the Hill Prince (G2) for three-year-olds racing 1 1/8 miles on turf. The race features a heavy favorite in the form of #3 Integration (1-1), and his credentials are strong. The Shug McGaughey trainee is 2-for-2 and was last seen rallying to win the 1 1/8-mile Virginia Derby (G3) over Saratoga Derby (G1) winner Program Trading and next-out Bryan Station (G3) winner Runaway Storm.
There are other talented horses in the Hill Prince field, but none can boast a form line as impressive as Integration’s Virginia Derby triumph. We’re willing to single Integration to start the Pick 6.
Race 7 is the Key Cents S. for New York-bred juvenile fillies sprinting six furlongs on dirt. There are many viable win contenders among the eight entrants, including stakes winners #3 Cara’s Time (5-2) and #6 Soloshot (7-2) plus the impressive debut winner #7 Ashburn Alley (4-1).
But don’t count #5 Tricky Temper (4-1) out of the mix. True, she misfired when trying turf in the 1 1/16-mile Chelsey Flower S. last time out, finishing eighth. But two starts back she ran second in the six-furlong Matron S. against non-state-restricted competition at Aqueduct, gaining ground down the homestretch to finish 3 1/4 lengths behind next-out Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) runner-up Jody’s Pride. That effort produced a strong 93 Brisnet Speed rating, so while Pick 6 bettors might want to spread a bit, Tricky Temper is our top pick to win the Key Cents under four-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz.
The third and final stakes in the Pick 6 is the Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship taking place over six furlongs on grass. Woodford (G2) runner-up #4 Our Shot (5-2) is the morning line favorite, but two starts back he was beaten in the Harvey Pack S. at Saratoga by #11 Thin White Duke (5-1). Both warrant inclusion in the Pick 6, but arguably the most intriguing contender is #1 Wit (5-1).
Wit has done well running long on turf, winning Saratoga’s Better Talk Now S. and placing a close third in the Hollywood Derby (G1), but you can make a case he’s better sprinting. Wit is a versatile runner whose one-turn efforts on dirt include wins in the Sanford (G3) and Bay Shore (G3) plus top-three finishes in the Hopeful (G1) and Champagne (G1).
Wit has never sprinted on turf, but perhaps that’s what he’s wanted to do all along. Under hot jockey Jose Ortiz (a 24% winner at Aqueduct this meet), Wit is a must-use contender in the Pick 6.