2014 Top Flight & Tom Fool

Tom Fool Stakes at Aqueduct

Saturday's CharmIt’s time to preview the Grade 3 Tom Fool Stakes for three year olds and upward going a distance of six furlongs with a purse of $200,000. The morning line favorite is David Jacobson’s seven year old veteran Strapping Groom. This is his first start since he won the Gravesend Handicap at Aqueduct by 6 widening lengths. Before that he was second in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight Handicap, also here at Aqueduct. He likes to be on or near the lead in every race so look for him in front early. Irad Ortiz Jr. will be in the irons. Second choice in the ML is also trained by Jacobson and that is the seven year old Candyman. Candyman has won three races in a row including the Grade 3 Toboggan here at Aqueduct. Jacobson claimed this horse three races back for $62,500 and has won two straight with him including the Toboggan. He likes to be close in a stalking position so he could be laying just off the top choice, depending on how Jacobson wants to play it. Charles Lopez will be up. Third in the morning line is Rudy Rodriguez’s Dads Caps. This four year old has a blazing turn of speed but finished second to Candyman in his last two starts. Cornelio Velasquez will be trying to get him to hold on in this one but I believe that is doubtful. There is just too much speed in here for him to win it, I believe. So just who will win this thing? I see Dad and the Groom dueling for this lead and I’m afraid neither of them will prevail. I believe it will be Steven Asmussen’s Saturdays Charm will win it from off the pace with Candyman second and Strapping Groom third. Saturdays Charm ran a close second in this race last year to Comma to the Top. Jose Ortiz will be the rider today.

Top Flight Stakes at Aqueduct

Royal LahainaNow let’s look at the Grade 2 Top Flight Handicap which is for fillies and mares three year olds and up going a distance of 1 1/16 miles for a purse of $200,000. The morning line favorite in this short field is Chad Brown’s Summer Applause. This one has been off since November 14 where she finished fourth in the Grade 1 Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Before that she was second in the Grade 1 Spinster at Keenland. She has been working forwardly for this one but she has never raced at Aqueduct in her life. Second choice in the ML is Todd Pletcher’s 4 year old Teen Pauline. She is coming off two impressive wins in stakes company and was third in November in the Grade 3 Comely Stakes here. She likes to be be on the lead but can come from just off of it. Irad Ortiz will get the riding call after he won the last two on this filly. Thirdly is Thomas Albertrani’s Centring. This six year old mare has not won a race in two years but has finished second and third in some graded stakes affairs. I believe her best running style is to be from coming off the pace. She will have Rajiv Maragh in the irons. This is somewhat a tough one for me to figure but here goes. I believe that the other Todd Pletcher horse Royal Lahaina will come from a stalking spot and win it with Summer Applause second and Teen Pauline third. That’s the way I see it. Good luck gals and guys!



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Handicap Horses

Co-lead Author & Admin at Handicap Horse Racing
Mike Lane, Sr is co-lead author and administrator of With over 38 years of experience and a degree in the "School of Hard Knocks" for handicapping, Mike has seen it all when it comes to thoroughbred racing and wants to help other horse players learn how to handicap and avoid the mistakes he has made in the past.

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