Dan's Double: Saturday Stakes Twosome at 'The Big A'

Enjoying the races at Aqueduct. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

Dan’s Double of the Week, featuring handicapping analysis from America’s Best Racing’s New York correspondent Dan Tordjman, is brought to you by Horseplayers.com, the official online qualifying site of the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). Horseplayers.com offers low-cost feeders every day and BCBC and NHC qualifiers every weekend, and it’s the only site where you can qualify for the $1 million BCBC. It’s free to sign up – click here to get information about registering and how to enter contests.

When it comes to making money when handicapping races and betting on horse racing, it’s all about picking winners. Tordjman – DanonymousMan to those who follow him on Twitter – is one of the sharpest horseplayers around.

Each Week, Tordjman will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Good luck!

Saturday, March 9

Aqueduct, Race 8, $200,000 Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap

#4 Syndergaard: This horse has looked like his old self after a few months off late last year. Not only has he been sharp, he seems to have finally figured out how to rate off a pace, since when he first broke onto the scene a few years ago, he had only one dimension: speed. Given his return to form and the ability to sit off the pace (which will help him in the company of several speed horses), this seems to be a logical spot for Syndergaard. Barring any major trip trouble, this is one I’d single in all of your late sequences. 

$10 Budget

$10 to win on #4 Syndergaard ($10)

$25 Budget

$25 to win on #4 Syndergaard ($25)

$50 Budget

$30 to win on #4 Syndergaard ($30)

$5 pick three 4 with 2,4 with 5,6 ($20)

Aqueduct, Race 10, $300,000 Grade 3 Gotham Stakes

#5 Haikal: This isn’t the horse I thought I’d land on when I started handicapping this race, but I just kept coming back to him as the one who makes the most sense. Between bona fide front-end speed runners like Mind Control, Much Better, Instagrand, Not That Brady and Knicks Go, there’s no way that the pace isn’t scorching hot in this race. There’s always the chance that one or more of the above attempts to rate off the pace here (and good for that horse if they’re able to do it), but invariably two or more of the other contenders will vie for the lead early. In looking for a mid-pack runner or a closer who might benefit from that sort of pace scenario, you’ve got to love how Haikal finished up last out in the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes. Not only did he show maturity and courage when he waited and then fired through a rail opening to win, he also moved late like a horse who should enjoy a little added distance. He’ll be tested for class on Saturday, but he’s underexposed and has the right running style to pick them off late and score those crucial Derby points. 

$10 Budget

$2 win, place and show on #5 Haikal ($6)

$2 exacta box 5,6 ($4)

$25 Budget 

$4 win, place and show on #5 Haikal ($12)

$2 exacta 5,6 with 5,6,7 ($8)

$1 trifecta 5 with 6,7 with 6,7,8 ($4)

$50 Budget

$8 win, place and show on #5 Haikal ($24)

$2 exacta 5,6 with 5,6,7,8 ($12)

$1 trifecta 5,6 with 5,6,7,8 with 5,6,7,8 ($12)

Last Week’s Earnings: $0

Year-to-Date Earnings: $1,595.96

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