HORSE RACING

Aqueduct Horse Racing Picks for Saturday 12/5/20

It's a great time to dive into horse racing, and FanDuel Racing gives you the chance to do just that.

Starting at 11:30 p.m. EST, we have 10 races at Aqueduct. Using numberFire’s projections as a guide, here are some of the best bets.

As always, check the program for scratches and changes, and check the weather and track conditions.

(I will reference Equibase's Speed Figure in selected races, which tells you how fast a horse has been running in each of its races -- adjusted for track, distances, and conditions.)

Nonna Madeline and Portal Creek, Race 6

FanDuel Racing Odds: 4/5 and 8/1

We enjoyed a 3-0 sweep Friday with favorites at Los Alamitos, and Saturday we head across country for four graded stakes races at Aqueduct. It rained in Queens on Friday and is expected to continue raining through the morning Saturday. A sloppy track is likely, so check for scratches and changes.

Race 6 is the $100K Grade III Go For Wand Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 mile. The top pick of numberFire is Portal Creek (8/1), who comes in from Parx Racing off two straight wins and a front-running victory as favorite with a 100 speed figure. The favorite is Nonna Madeline with John Velazquez riding for EPO trainer Todd Pletcher. She finished a well-beaten third a month ago against stronger runners in a Grade III race here but posted triple-digit speed figures in winning two of her three prior races.

Sharp Star (3/2) steps up in class, comes off a lifetime best performance against state-bred Allowance runners and faces older horses. Horse Racing Radar (HRR) notes she’s finished in the money in three starts at Aqueduct with a win.

Stand for the Flag (8/1) has Manny Franco riding for EPO trainer Rob Atras. She races off a long nine-month layoff, having finished runner-up in her last two starts at Aqueduct. Stand for the Flag tends to fade late, but Horse Racing Radar suggests some value on her since she has hit the board in 6-of-7 starts.

Malathaat and Dollar Mountain, Race 9

FanDuel Racing Odds: 4/5 and 12/1

Race 9 is the $150K Grade II Demoiselle Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, going a route of ground at 1 1/8 miles. The top pick according both Guaranteed Tip Sheet and numberFire is the prohibitive favorite, Malathaat (4/5). She's an impressive daughter of Curlin and will break from the rail with John Velazquez riding for Todd Pletcher. HRR notes she has the best last-race speed figure in this field and has won both her races with ease.

But 2-year-olds are learning their way, and Caramocha (15/1) is a real threat to try to steal another race in her second start should she improve her speed now stretching out. Caramocha won at 99/1 odds a month ago, going wire-to-wire to win going away. Millefeuille (7/2) improved sharply in her second start as noted by HRR. Dollar Mountain’s (12/1) late-speed numbers suggest she will like the added distance. She won in October, drawing clear with sharp improvement in her second start over a sloppy track.

Performer and True Timber, Race 10

FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/5 and 15/1

Race 10 is the $250K Grade 1 Cigar Mile. Guaranteed Tip Sheet and the algorithm of numberFire project favorite Performer (7/5) to win with Joel Rosario riding for trainer Shug McGaughey.

HRR notes that Performer has won five in a row since finishing third in his debut at Aqueduct. Only one of those wins was in 2020, when he won in October off a long layoff at this distance, and HRR adds that Performer won that race over a muddy track and posted a 109 speed figure as the heavy favorite.

Firenze Fire (5/2) is an 11-time stakes winner but will likely be scratched by trainer Kelly Breen if the track comes up sloppy, so check the weather and track condition early. Should he run, Firenze Fire has put up some of the best speed numbers in the field. King Guillermo (9/2) hasn’t raced in seven months but is working well for his return.

Mr. Buff (6/1) has been dominant against New York-breds but has not fared well in graded stakes. Still, eight of his 15 wins are at Aqueduct, and he’ll likely break to the front looking to stay clear and kick mud into other runners. True Timber (15/1) finished second in the 2018 Cigar Mile and third last year. He’s in good form with a pair of in-the-money finishes in 2-of-3 recent stakes races. He can be added to Exacta and Trifecta wagering.