Aqueduct & Woodbine Horse Racing Picks for Saturday, November 21, 2020

Red Smith Stakes – Race 9 at Aqueduct – Post Time 3:45 PM Eastern

Ziyad, who almost won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint Cloud in June when well regarded at 4/1, was making his second ever start in North America last month in the Sycamore Stakes and was moving late when the wire came up, ending up beaten a head for second at 7 to 2. He’s not stepping up in class as that too was a grade three race and the distance is no concern as that was a mile and one-half, as was the race in France. His other North American start came in the Grade 1 Canadian International in 2019 in which he led from the start and was beaten a half-length and a neck on the wire as the 6/5 favorite. Opening at 9/2 here could provide us with a gift if he improves second off the layoff as he should because no matter how good a horse like last year’s Red Smith winner Sadler’s Joy is, Ziyad has been facing much tougher in France and has a class edge.

Aquaphobia finished seventh in the Sycamore after pressing the pace in second, which was counter to his running style as he had never done that before. He won the Grade 1 United Nations at this distance when sitting third and fourth early and with the jockey change to Irad Ortiz, Jr. I am expecting a repeat of that United Nations Stakes effort, which puts him second, perhaps first if Ziyad doesn’t fire, and opening at 6/1 that makes him very playable.

Sadler’s Joy shows up once in a while, resulting in seven wins in 33 races. He won the similar Bowling Green three back in August only to be disqualified, and his last win before that was four races earlier when taking the 2019 Red Smith. He opens like he’s a standout at 8/5 but isn’t although he is a contender and should be used on exacta and trifecta tickets.


Win: Ziyad and Aquaphobia at odds of 3/1 or more.

When making multiple win bets, use a “Dutching” tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. A Dutching tool lets you set the amount you want to bet or the amount you want to win, then based on the odds your bets are proportioned accordingly. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.


Ziyad, Aquaphobia and Sadler’s Joy over Ziyad, Aquaphobia, Sadler’s Joy, Postulation and Doctor Mounty

Ziyad, Aquaphobia, Sadler’s Joy, Postulation and Doctor Mounty over Ziyad, Aquaphobia and Sadler’s Joy

Ontario Derby – Race 8 at Woodbine – Post Time 4:58 PM Eastern

Field Pass may be a legitimate favorite here but even if he’s not a good win bet there are some horses at decent odds to use on exacta and trifecta tickets to make some money if he wins, and for sure he’s a strong play on pick 3 tickets. Field Pass moves back to all-weather after a couple of third place finished on turf to tougher and the last time he ran on a similar surface he won the Jeff Ruby Stakes in March. His last race 106 Equibase Figure earned in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby towers over these so it may just be if he repeats that effort in this field he wins.

Just the same, Belichick and Dune of Pilat are worth considering, particularly for win bets, opening at 5/2 and a whopping 20/1, respectively. Belichick was the ONLY horse closing into runaway winner Mighty Heart in the Queen’s Plate and when that one bombed (seventh at 6/5) in the Breeders’ Stakes, Belechick ran fantastically well to win by four lengths. He can handle the all-weather and his runner-up effort to older at this nine furlong main track trip in August was solid as well. Dune of Pilat finished second, first and first in his first three starts, all in the United Kingdom, all on all-weather. He tried turf in July and ran poorly then imported to the U.S. and ran better than it looks in an allowance race versus older last month at Keeneland. Running four paths wide then six paths wide, he was finishing well when bumped and ended up ninth but beaten under four lengths. He adds blinkers and there is no doubt he could be this good on all-weather as a son of Medaglia d’Oro, who produced multiple all-weather stakes winner Wonder Gadot. At the least I will be betting Dune of Pilat as below at high odds.


Win: Belichick at 5 to 2 or more.

Instead of a win bet on Field Pass I’ll play an exacta of Field Pass over ALL and then Field Pass over Belichick, Lucky Curlin, Mighty Heart and Dune of Pilat.


Dune of Pilat over ALL and then (the opposite) ALL over Dune of Pilat

NOTE that race 9 at Woodbine is the Kennedy Road Stakes (Post Time 5:28 eastern)

This is my Race of the Day for Woodbine and you can get that analysis by clicking here. Feel free to use the selections above in the Ontario Derby along with the Kennedy Road in doubles and then onto the Bessarabian Stakes (Race 10) below on pick 3 tickets.

Bessarabian Stakes – Race 10 at Woodbine – Post Time 5:58 PM Eastern

Amalfi Coast opens as the third choice on the morning line at 7/2 and I’m hoping it stays like that as she’s a KEY OVERLAY win bet at those odds. Amalfi Coast just won the six and one-half furlong Sweet Briar Too Stakes to get back into winning form and won last year’s Bessarabian off a similar win. The win last out earned a 104 Equibase figure and was much better than the win before this race last year with a 92 figure, before jumping up to a 107 effort. She put in a FANTASTIC 46.8 half-mile workout last week which was the best of 63 on the day and leading jockey Stein rides back.

Artie’s Princess and Boardroom are two three year olds who could do this year when Amalfi Coast did last year at the age of three and that is post the mild upset. Artie’s Princess is nearly undefeated on all-weather, with four wins and a neck defeat in five races. She shipped up to Woodbine two months ago to win the Ruling Angel stakes then back down to Wesley Ward’s Lexington base and ships back up again with a spectacular five furlong Woodbine workout coming into the race and a 104 last race figure on par with the one Amalfi Coast earned in her last start. Boardroom is three for three in my book as in the other equipment broke and she was uncontrollable. She just won the Duchess Stakes at this seven furlong trip and with only three races under her belt hasn’t run her best yet. Opening at 10/1 she’s exceptionally playable here.



Amalfi Coast at odds of 9 to 5 or higher

Artie’s Princess at odds of 3 to 1 or more

Boardroom at odds of 7 to 2 or more.

This is EXACTLY the kind of race where a “Dutching” tool like the free one at Amwager really comes in handy as it proportions your bets based on the odds so you don’t have to do the math for yourself because we can bet two, or even three horses to win at the right odds.


Boardroom, Artie’s Princess and Amalfi Coast over ALL (except Outburst)

ALL (except Outburst) over Boardroom, Artie’s Princess and Amalfi Coast

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Ellis Starr

Ellis is a well respected handicapper and contributor of AmWager. He has been a public handicapper for more than twenty years, educating racing fans of all skill levels with detailed commentary few other handicappers provide.

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