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Owning the Inner

Posted by on 12/9/2014 8:23:15 PM

For those betters that enjoy living in the New York minute realm of things and thrive betting at Aqueduct, the menu will be sliced for the next few months, as the inner strip will be utilized.

This means no main track racing and no turf racing so astute handicappers look for specialists on the inner strip or runners that figure to take to the abbreviated surface.

Like the name suggests, the inner strip is just what is says, on the inner part of the huge Aqueduct racetrack. It’s compact, the turns are tight and some horses like the strip and some hate it

Because the more potent stables already have shipped or are in the process of moving their stables to Florida where more money and abundant sunshine are the order of the day, the smaller barns have a chance to make hay while the big barns are away

What players should look for during this time is try to isolate horses that have done well over this tricky surface in the past.

Inside speed can be extremely potent especially if the other legit contenders are hung out in wide posts

Also try to pay attention to the Beyer Pars. In cheap maiden $20,000 claimers, a 75 Beyer Speed Figure is a solid number. If a mid-grade claimer, a runner that runs for $50,000 or $75,000 sales tags gets a Beyer that hovers around 95 or higher, that runner could be set to string together some victories.

It is possible to come from off the pace and win on the inner strip but just like with any race shape, handicappers have to project a number of contenders that will promote the pace of the event.

As far as the human element is concerned, the Ortiz boys, Irad and Jose, should also be closely watched in the winter months. They were dominant through this time frame last year and have not lost any business.

If Cornelio Velasquez stays north and doesn’t head to Gulfstream Park, he will vie for the riding title.

New Jersey stalwart Chuck Lopez rides the inner strip as well as anybody. He is an aggressive pilot so his horses will most often than not be in the right position to take advantage at the top of the lane.

And when it comes to sprints, Manuel Franco was one of the best at Aqueduct last year.

Those that pull the strings, the trainers, will be well represented by guys like David Jacobson, who is very good with horses stretching out from a sprint to a route and figures to pop with nearly 25% of his starters.

Rudy Rodriquez lives and breathes New York racing and he hit with 29% of his runners through late April of this year.

And there are some smaller barns that excel in the winter. Keep an eye on Nicholas Esler, Edward Barker and Steve Klesaris, all high percentage guys in the past.

So far, the song remains the same. The first winner of an inner strip this season was first-time starter Liberty Island, who got the ideal trip when sitting third early and drawing away.

The next race was run in the same fashion as America beat a small field as the solid chalk.

The trend continued in 2 of the next 4 races as we were quickly into the second day of the inner sanctum.

Speed was immediately the order of the next day as Lil’ Zilla sat a length off the leader early, took over after three quarters of a mile and won going away.

Both stalkers and horses that made the lead from the sound of the bell won four of the next 6 races.

This style is something that should hold up through the winter.

Players really can’t get greedy during this meet because form is quickly established. The quickest learners in the crowd will pay attention to way a horse was hung wide in his prior start, but now gets a favorable pace and a much better post.

Key on speed and top connections and things will roll out just fine.

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