Aqueduct Racetrack Picks – Saturday, March 6, 2021
Aqueduct Racetrack brings us four stakes races, including the Grade III Gotham Stakes, which not only promises a $200,000 purse but awards qualifying points to thoroughbreds competing for a place in the starting gate at the 2021 Kentucky Derby.
Aqueduct is also hosting the Busher Invitational, a stakes race that awards qualification points to the top four fillies on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
I assess all four stakes races here, but you can find Aqueduct’s entire ten-race card for Saturday — including horses, jockeys, trainers, morning line odds, and wagering options — at one of our recommended online racebooks.
Read on for my Aqueduct Racetrack picks and betting tips for the four stakes races on Saturday, March 6, 2021.
Pick for Aqueduct Race 6 – Busher Invitational Stakes
This is the Busher Invitational Stakes, a Listed stakes race for three-year-old fillies running a distance of one mile for a purse of $250,000. The Busher Invitational Stakes is a qualifying race for the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Oaks, the distaff race traditionally run at Churchill Downs the day before the Kentucky Derby and awards points to the four top finishers (50-20-10-5).
I like the 8/1 underdog in this race — Make Mischief, ridden by Dylan Davis. This filly has moneyed in all but one of her seven
starts, winning three — including her first race last June at Belmont Park and the Maddie May Stakes (Black Type) at Aqueduct just last month.
Between those two events, she scored second-place finishes at Saratoga in the Schuylerville Stakes (Grade III) and the Adirondack Stakes (Grade II) in July and August, respectively.
- Win: Make Mischief 8/1
Picks for Aqueduct Racetrack Race 7 – Tom Fool Handicap
This is the Tom Fool Handicap, a Grade III stakes race for four-year-olds and upward running a distance of six furlongs for a purse of $200,000.
My money’s on the 2/1 morning line favorite for this race — Share the Ride, with Victor Carrasco in the irons. This six-year-old gelding finished in the money 18 of his 23 career starts, winning nine, including his most recent race, the General George Stakes (Grade III) at Laurel Park In February.
At 12/1, Happy Farm, with Erik Cancel aboard, looks very good for a value show wager, if not an across-the-board bet. This seven-year-old gelding has a virtually identical starting record as the favorite: 17 money finishes in 23 career starts, with nine wins.
Incidentally, Happy Farm placed second in last year’s Tom Fool Handicap — the one race he ran in 2020.
- Win: Share the Ride 2/1
- Show/Across the Board: Happy Farm 12/1
Aqueduct Race 8 – Heavenly Prize Invitational Stakes Picks
This is the Heavenly Prize Invitational Stakes, a Listed stakes race for fillies and mares four years old and upward running a distance of one mile for a purse of $125,000.
Even though on paper the second-favored entry in this race has a slightly better starting record, I have to agree with the morning line here and cast my vote for the 8/5 favorite — Lake Avenue, with Manny Franco aboard. This four-year-old filly finished in the money five of her eight career starts, winning three.
I see Pablo Morales aboard a 50/1 longshot, and I’m intrigued. And with a bit of study, I find that like that longshot, Halo City, for a value show bet. This four-year-old filly moneyed nine of her 14 career starts, winning three. Fun Fact: All three of her wins are in 2021.
- Win: Lake Avenue 8/5
- Show: Halo City 50/1
Pick for Aqueduct Racetrack Race 9 – Gotham Stakes
This is the Gotham Stakes, a Grade III stakes race for three-year-olds running a distance of one mile for a purse of $300,000. The Gotham Stakes is part of the Championship Series of the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby and awards points toward KD qualification to its top four finishers (50-20-10-5).
While the 5/1 Capo Kane stands to win the most in this race — a leap to the top position on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard — I think the second-favored (at 5/2) Freedom Fighter, ridden by Manny Franco in the irons, is more likely to win this race.
This colt moneyed both of his career starts, breaking his maiden with his first and scoring a second-place finish in the San Vicente Stakes (Grade II) at Santa Anita just last month.
There are three longshots in this race, but I don’t see any of them finishing in the money, not against this field.
- Win: Freedom Fighter 5/2
My Other Predictions for Saturday
I found plenty more wagering action at the other two tracks I reviewed for Saturday: