By Joe Quillen
The Grade 2 Red Smith Stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday November 11, 2023
Welcome to what I hope will be a new feature here on Bleacher Brothers here as give some picks on some weekend races, as well as some other races along the way. There may be some articles that are only one race, and there may also be races where there are more. The races will be pre-determined by the Daily Racing Form, and the site Sport of Kings, which I mentioned on my stream/podcast The Philly Guy Speaks.
This Saturday’s featured race on the Daily Racing Form site is The Grade 2 Red Smith Stakes going a mile and three-eights on the grass at Aqueduct. Usually this time of the year, the tracks on the northern parts of the country, especially the Northeast part of the United States are winding down their turf seasons because of the advance of colder weather, or seasonal tracks have completed their meetings. But Aqueduct has a few more weeks on the turf racing,
With the weather appearing to be mostly dry between Thursday afternoon when I am writing this and the projected 3:43 pm Eastern Time post, this race should be on the turf under optimal firm conditions.
There’s an overflow field of 16 horses entered, with the main field of 12, three also-eligibles and a “main track only” entry that would be very dangerous if this race is of the turf for some reason is moved to the main track. If it is, then the 16 Costa Terra would be my selection.
I’m handicapping with those presumptions here. I’m picking the 10 Verstappen here. Yes, this gelding is going to be wide going into the first of three turns here, but there’s enough room to get over some. There is speed here with the 2 So High, the 3 Main Event, 11 Tide of the Sea and potentially the 6 Nineeleventurbo.
This should set up nicely for the stalkers and closers in this race. Verstappen will have a shot to win this. The 4 Cross Border, who won the Cape Henlopen going a mile and a half on the turf at Delaware Park in September, the 5 Limited Liability who finished third by a length last time out at Keeneland last month, and the favorite #8 Soldier Rising who should be flying on the outside.
For the sake of giving the top four finishers here, I’m going 10-8-4-5 in the Grade 2 Red Smith.
My official play will be $10 to win on the 10 Verstappen. I’ll keep track of such things as winning selections, total amount won and return on investment going forward as well. Good luck on your wagers in this race and whatever you wager on this weekend!