September 28, 2022

Optix Eyes Enticed To Rebound in Gotham Stakes

by JOHN DOYLE

The Gotham Stakes is race 10 on Saturday at Aqueduct. For FREE Past Performances, CLICK HERE. For all handicapping reports, CLICK HERE.

#1 DIAL OPERATOR (10/1 – EX) draws the rail for his third consecutive start, and he’s had issues breaking cleanly in previous starts. OptixFIGs are light for today’s race, but this horse has shown OptixNOTES visual ability with two B+ efforts and the BURST he showed in his debut effort. At this point I am not sure if he is just a closing sprinter, but this one-turn mile can play like an elongated sprint and there is some pace in here. Maybe he can spruce up the exotics underneath at a big number.

#2 COVE BLUE (30/1 – TOSS) will be most likely front runner with inside draw. He will get pressure from outside horses. His last two are his best OptixFIGS (88) but are still on the low-end of today’s OptixFig Range (OFR) 88-94.

#3 BEAUTIFUL SHOT (8/1 – VALUE CONTENDER) his 2 year old OptixFIGs with some upside are competitive in here. First time at a route distance, but the one-turn configuration fits his style. Desormeaux doesn’t take the trip with him and there are lots of questions off the bench, but he’s not impossible in what looks like a soft Gotham.

#4 WHERESHETOLDMETOGO (30/1 – BELOW) just ran his biggest OptixFIG (92) 21 days ago while benefitting from a near perfect trip and first time blinkers. He hasn’t changed leads NO_LEAD in last two races and his 8F races are subpar to today’s OFR.

#5 FRIENZE FIRE (5/2 – NO_VALUE) had a PERFECT trip in 9F Withers. He might be more of a ONE_TURN horse so today’s distance might be more suitable. His best OptixFIGs are within range and he is projected to sit a good trip behind first flight and should get first run. It all comes down to acceptable pice.

#6 FREE DROP BILLY (9/5 – SOFT) passed Fountain of Youth for today’s race and is cross entered in the Tampa Bay Derby. Maybe the connections wanted to give him more time off  the Holy Bull big OptixFIG (102) off 91d layoff.  The last time he ran a big OptixFIG (96) in the G1-Hopeful his OptixFIGs regressed for two consecutive races. He will be bet off that last race/figure so he might lack value.

#7 OLD TIME REVIVAL (15/1 – BELOW) ran OptixFIG fast enough to compete last time, but based on race visuals, I project a REGRESS? He’s coming back fairly quickly, 21d, and he is early speed horse with pace drawn to his inside and outside.

#8 NINE ROUTE (30/1 – TOSS) draws well for a pace horse, outside the other speed, however, he would need to step it up to compete here. His OptixFIGs are below today’s OFR.

#9 ENTICED (7/2 – KEY) cross entered in Tampa Bay Derby. He has nice small incremental OptixFIG progression, and no red NOTES on his form.  He might have needed his last race the Holy Bull. His KyJC-G2 two back was strong B+. He PLOTS well just off the first flight. He looks like it’s between him and #5 FRIENZE FIRE on the win end. Prefer him especially at higher odds.