The Grade III, $300,000 Gotham Stakes for three-year-olds is the Saturday feature at Aqueduct. Fifty Kentucky Derby points are available to the winner, down to five points to the fourth-place finisher. The one-mile Gotham attracted a field of nine, which will be led to the gate at 5:42 p.m. EST. It’s the final event on a 10-race card and the payoff leg of an all-stakes Pick Four. Be sure to consider all of Aqueduct’s races if you’re playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#5 FIRENZE FIRE (5-2) certainly isn’t flashy but the consistent colt’s consecutive ITM finishes over this course make him the most reliable option in the Gotham. Manny Franco guided FIRENZE FIRE to victory in the Jerome and will climb back aboard after a one-race absence. FIRENZE FIRE was second to Avery Island last time out in the 1 1/8-mile Withers. The son of Poseidon’s Warrior should appreciate turning back to a mile, the same distance the Jerome was contested at. He should get a good mid-pack trip behind a host of horses that will be looking for the early lead.
#6 FREE DROP BILLY (9-5, morning-line favorite) was last seen running an isolated second in the Holy Bull Stakes. He was keener than usual in his first start since November, racing within a half-length of the lead before backing off late. The rider change to meet-leader Dylan Davis suggests a change in tactics is forthcoming. His speed figures are competitive (though certainly not spectacular) but the cutback to a mile may not be the best idea for him. FREE DROP BILLY might simply prove best late but may not be worth the price.
#3 BEAUTIFUL SHOT (8-1) switches to Angel Arroyo, as Kent Desormeaux decided to stay home on Santa Anita Handicap day. He’ll be making his first route start in his seasonal bow but gets six pounds from his chief competition. The bullet work on Feb. 24 inspires confidence.
The play: $3 trifecta 5,6/5,6/3, $2 trifecta 5,6/3/5,6 ($10)
DFJ analysis: Dylan Davis has a good chance to expand his lead over Manny Franco in the jockey standings this Saturday. Davis has a mount in all 10 races, and seven of his charges are below 5-1 on the morning-line. That includes Harlan Punch (3-1) in the Stymie, Boule (4-1) in the Heavenly Prize, Great Stuff (7-2) in the Tom Fool, and FREE DROP BILLY in the Gotham.
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