The $125k Queens County Stakes is the Saturday feature at Aqueduct. A field of 10 will line up for this 1 1/8-mile test. Post time for the Queens County, Race 8 of 9 on the day, is 3:47 p.m. EST. As always, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#1 NAME CHANGER (3-1, morning-line favorite) has probably had the best year of anybody in this field and will try to cap it off with another victory. He’s 5-3-0-2 in 2018, including a win in the Grade III Monmouth Cup at today’s distance two starts ago. NAME CHANGER has been working steadily for a return off a mid-September layoff. He should get a ground-saving trip from this post while drafting just off the pace under Jose Lezcano. NAME CHANGER is certainly the one to beat on speed figures.
#3 BONUS POINTS (5-1) has two wins from six starts this year, though he seeks his first stakes score since last October. He was last seen closing from extremely far back to win an allowance at Laurel Park. He seems just a step below the top one in the speed figure department, but BONUS POINTS has top connections in his corner in Todd Pletcher and Manny Franco.
#10 EXULTING (4-1) and Rajiv Maragh will most likely try to clear the outside post early and set the pace. His late fade in the Red Smith last time out was discouraging, but perhaps the addition of blinkers will aid him in the Queens County. EXULTING had won three of four starts prior to his most recent outing, including one at today’s distance. Any moisture in the track will only help him (4-3-0-0 on off-tracks).
#7 DEGROM (10-1) could be worth using underneath as he steps up in class. Hiccups in May and August aside, DEGROM won four of six starts and placed in another two. His speed figures are in the ballpark here. Erick Lopez has the assignment.
The play: $4 exacta 1/3,10, $2 exacta 1/7 ($10)
DFJ analysis: Manny Franco looks like a ‘must-have’ this Saturday. He rides four race favorites in eight starts at Aqueduct. BONUS POINTS is a significant player for Franco in the featured Queens County.
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