The Grade III, $200,000 Red Smith Stakes is the feature on Saturday at Aqueduct. There are 10 turf runners in the body of the field along with three AEs and three MTOs. Post time for the 1 3/8-mile Red Smith, the eighth of nine races on the day, is 3:47 p.m. EST. As always, feel free to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#6 CALL PROVISION (7-2) brings his 4-3-1-0 record at Aqueduct into the 2018 Red Smith. The Chad Brown trainee was second by a diminishing half-length in last year’s edition of this race to eventual Grade I winner Spring Quality. CALL PROVISION can be considered a distance specialist, posting an 8-4-3-0 career record at the demanding 1 3/8-mile trip. He will do his best running late under Irad Ortiz Jr. and should have plenty of pace to close into.
#3 ZULU ALPHA (5-2, morning-line favorite) turned out to be a shrewd claim by trainer John Ortiz as he won his last two starts, including the Grade III Sycamore at Keeneland. He’s now in the Mike Maker barn as he scales back a furlong in the Red Smith. The speed figures are certainly there and he’ll likely get first run at the tiring leaders. Luis Saez has the call.
#7 INSPECTOR LYNLEY (9-2) seldom wins but runs competitive figures on a regular basis. He always closes well and is by Lemon Drop Kid, so perhaps the increase in distance will help. Jose Lezcano will be in the irons.
#12 FOCUS GROUP (3-1) must be respected but has to draw in off the also eligible list. He has three wins from five starts in 2018, all at extended distances. The John’s Call winner drops out of the Grade I Canadian International, where he was third. Jose Ortiz maintains the assignment.
#5 SOGLIO (10-1) moves up if there’s a scratch. He has two Grade III placings in 2018 and just won a 1 1/2-mile allowance at Keeneland. The speed figures are respectable and John Velazquez sees fit to climb aboard.
The play: $2 exacta 6/3,5,7,12, $2 exacta box 3/6 ($12)
DFJ analysis: Irad Ortiz Jr. rides in eight of the day’s nine races. His best chances to visit the winner’s circle are with Sparty Boy (8-5 favorite) in Race 1 and CALL PROVISION (7-2) in Race 8, the Red Smith. Keep an eye out for rider changes should any turf races be moved to the dirt; he could pick up the mount on an easy winner.
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