Late Winners on Aqueduct Championship Day

3 Late Winners and Picks at the Big A Saturday

The New York Racing Association’s Claiming Championship Series is set for Saturday, April 2 at AqueductWe’ve chipped in with a some picks in the late races for those that miss out on the early betting action or the $250,000 guarantee late Pick 4 starting with Race 7 and wish to wager online at Twinspires.com.

Favorite bettors will like our support of Toledo Eddie (7/5) in the Race 7 Stud Muffin Stakes. He’ll shoot for his fourth straight victory in the mile race after winning a 1 1/16 mile claimer against stronger at Santa Anita March 6. Toledo Eddie recorded a best Beyer Speed Figure of 106 in that race and went wire-to-wire while getting clear by 12 lengths in the stretch. Anything similar is plenty good enough here.

Race 8 is the Sis City Stakes and another top choice favorite to support with the versatile Can Can Babe (4/5) also looking to make it four in a row with her last win January 31 at Santa Anita. She too went wire-to-wire to beat five rivals at a mile as the even money favorite. The dark bay crossed over leaving the gate and dueled outside the backstretch and far turn before battling down the stretch to inch away late. She worked lightly at Belmont Park three times the end of March and will again be on the front end as the controlling speed of the race.

We’ll conclude our late day racing at Aqueduct with a value play of the day on #6 Winning For Sarah (10-1) in Race 10, the Karakorum Elektra Stakes. She’ll have to beat 5/2 favorite Stroke Play and come off the pace to track down Nuffsaid Nuffsaid and Brenda’s Way who will battle on the front end. But Winning For Sarah enters off back-to-back wins at Gulfstream, the latest March 10 at 14-1 odds when she angled out in the lane and closed hard for the win. She’s in the best form of her career, and her speed figures have gone up each of the last three races a total of 10 points each race. That’s significant speed improvement to support at a price.

Post time for Race 1 on Saturday, April 2 at Aqueduct is 1:20 p.m. ET with Race 7 scheduled for 4:38 ET.

Spiral Stakes Next Test for Kasseopia

In his first race on U.S. soil, Kasseopia made a valiant comeback to earn a third-place finish in the El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) on February 13th. Not only was that the first time the Team Valor International horse ran in the U.S., but it was also his first time racing as a three-year-old.

The April 2nd Spiral Stakes (gr. III) will mark the second occasion for both milestones for Kasseopia.

“I think he did everything he could have possibly done considering the start he got off to,” said trainer Graham Motion. “The frustrating part of it is that he actually had to run very hard to do what he did. What ended up as being a fairly inconsequential race because of the way he started—he had a pretty hard race that day.”

There was no bumping or stumbling for Kasseopia during the El Camino Real Derby; it was just that he was unfocused. “This horse is extremely laid back, very kind, very relaxed, and that’s what you want in a horse,” said Motion. “But it’s almost like he went to sleep and it surprised him when the gates opened.”

In order to prepare him for the Spiral Stakes and make him more focused, Motion has taken Kasseopia to the starting gate multiple times for extra schooling.

“He was pretty forward,” said Motion. “I wouldn’t say he breaks like a sprinter or anything like that, but I certainly expect him to break better on Saturday, and he needs to, otherwise it’s going to compromise him again.”

Motion and Team Valor are looking for their third Spiral Stakes victory as partners. They previously won this race in 2011 with Animal Kingdom and in 2012 with Went the Day Well.