Two horses running in today's 104th running of the Queens County Handicap at Aqueduct, Naughty New Yorker and Stud Muffin, are horses with names after my own heart. Unfortunately neither of these hard knocker's are The Turk's chalk and that distinction belongs to Researcher, the defending champion. The weather in Ozone Park is chilly but dry. As always, understand the weather, the scratches, and the intricacies of a particular track before building your handicap. Let's Go!
Race 8 Aqueduct Post Time 3:44 ET; The Queens County Handicap Grade III; 1 3/16 miles on the Inner Dirt Course for 3 YO and Up.
Researcher is the defending champion, the morning line favorite, and a previous winner on the inner track, a tight cornered affair that not all horses do well with. Comes in training sharply and off a Place at one mile and a big 108 BSF on the slop in October. Winner of 7 of the last 16 entered. J. Velazquez is up for Trainer Runco who wins 25% of his routes but doesn't get many entered in stakes.
Rodman is another inner track winner and comes in off a 102 BSF at 1 Mile at the Big A in early November. Distance will be the issue for the 4 YO who has mostly stuck to 6, 7 and 8 furlong affairs.
Honour Devil (Arg) is a nifty Argentinian with A. Garcia up today. Enters 4th race since coming from Mike de Klock's barn in late September and is looking for a break out win in the States. Comes in off an OC 100K win where he was loose on the lead. 4 Wins in last 9 starts, none at distance or at Aqueduct, but at least all on Fast Dirt.
Naughty New Yorker is making his 53 start here at the end of his 7th year. 9 of 11 in the money on the inner track but only 1 win in last 12 starts and only 3 of last 12 in the money. The son of Quiet American may be near the end.
So what do we do with this? I must say, I'm not wildly impressed with the field, but beggars can't be choosers this time of year when it comes to graded stakes.
10 Cent Supers are in fashion. I'm going to watch the tote closely and try to find value on my base handicap. That may mean a few boxed Supers and then a few exactas with value, such as Honour Devil on top and a few others in the Place spot. Again, I'm not sure where the bettors will go with this and where the tote board goes will determine how deeply I play. Bet responsibly.
I'd like to thank Equispace for joining me this morning at the 1st Annual Symposium on Horse Racing and Cigar Smoking.
Have Fun, Turk Out!