Past Kentucky Derby winners Pleasant Colony, Go for Gin, and Thunder Gulch … Preakness Stakes winners Pleasant Colony and Pine Bluff … Belmont Stakes victors Thunder Gulch and Mo Donegal …
Since 1980, the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes at Aqueduct has been won by a bevy of top-class horses, including the above-mentioned American classic winners. Other noteworthy winners from recent years include 2011 TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Court Vision and 2015 champion older dirt male Honor Code.
Will a star racehorse emerge from the 2022 Remsen? Only time will tell, but seven horses have turned out for the 1 1/8-mile Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve qualifier, and there are several intriguing names in the entries.
Chief among them is #2 Tuskegee Airmen. There isn’t much to dislike about the son of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, because Tuskegee Airmen has yet to be defeated — or even challenged — in two starts.
Tuskegee Airmen debuted in a maiden special weight race sprinting seven-eighths of a mile at Parx Racing on the Pennsylvania Derby undercard and left no doubt about his superiority. After settling in eighth place through the opening quarter-mile, Tuskegee Airmen unleashed a sharp rally to roll past the leaders and dominate by 5 1/2 lengths. His performance was flattered when the distant runner-up returned to win his next start at the same class level.
Off this impressive debut, Tuskegee Airmen was heavily favored to win the one-mile Rocky Run Stakes at Delaware Park, and the bay colt didn’t disappoint. Despite falling behind the pacesetter by 5 1/2 lengths with a quarter-mile remaining, Tuskegee Airmen rallied strongly down the stretch to draw clear and win by 3 1/4 lengths.
The fact that Tuskegee Airmen is perfectly effective rallying from off the pace is significant. The Remsen field is packed with speed horses who do their best work on or near the lead, which should ensure that the early pace is contested. A quick tempo going 1 1/8 miles would surely play to the stretch-running strength of Tuskegee Airmen, allowing the undefeated colt to rally successfully down the Aqueduct stretch and keep his unbeaten record intact.
Who are the other key contenders in the Remsen? We have to highlight #4 Arctic Arrogance, who boasts two wins and a second from three starts against New York-bred rivals. The son of 2014 Remsen runner-up Frosted has set the pace in all of his races, including a flashy 4 1/2-length victory in the one-mile Sleepy Hollow Stakes at Aqueduct last month.
Arctic Arrogance was impressive in the Sleepy Hollow, running the final quarter-mile in a sharp :24.72 to defeat #6 Quick to Accuse with ease. It’s worth noting that Arctic Arrogance benefited from setting a slow pace in the Sleepy Hollow and figures to face significantly more pace pressure in the Remsen, but speed figures suggest Arctic Arrogance may be the best of the speed horses. Even if the pace proves too hot for Arctic Arrogance to hold off Tuskegee Airmen late, a top-three finish should be within reach.
The other key speed horse in the Remsen field is #5 Midnight Trouble. Never out of the top three in six starts, the son of Midnight Lute has turned in two of his best efforts running long. In a one-mile allowance-optional claimer during the summer at Delaware Park, Midnight Trouble led all the way to trounce his opposition by 7 3/4 lengths. More recently, Midnight Trouble employed pace-setting tactics to finish second behind Tuskegee Airmen in the Rocky Run.
The amount of speed entered in the Remsen may prove problematic for Midnight Trouble, but it’s not a stretch to think the talent and consistency he’s shown so far will be sufficient to land yet another top-three finish.
We also have to highlight #7 Dubyuhnell as a live longshot worth supporting. The son of 2017 champion 2-year-old male Good Magic didn’t really factor when finishing fourth in his debut at Saratoga, but it’s worth noting the winner was Instant Coffee, who won the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes on the Road to the Kentucky Derby last week.
Dubyuhnell added blinkers for his second start at Aqueduct and looked like a different horse, rallying strongly to win a one-mile maiden special weight by 2 1/2 lengths. His final time wasn’t especially fast, but Dubyuhnell is on the rise and probably hasn’t shown us his best yet. As a late runner, he’ll benefit from the expected quick pace of the Remsen and may be capable of snatching a top-three finish.
So how should we bet the Remsen? Let’s play Tuskegee Airmen on top of exotic wagers like the exacta and trifecta. Underneath, we’ll emphasize Arctic Arrogance while rounding out our tickets with Midnight Trouble and Dubyuhnell.
Wagering Strategy on a $12 Budget
$6 exacta: 2 with 4
What to say at the betting window: Aqueduct, Race 7, $6 exacta 2 with 4
$3 exacta: 2 with 5,7 ($6)
What to say at the betting window: Aqueduct, Race 7, $3 exacta 2 with 5,7
Wagering Strategy on a $30 Budget
$10 exacta: 2 with 4
What to say at the betting window: Aqueduct, Race 7, $10 exacta 2 with 4
$5 exacta: 2 with 5,7 ($10)
What to say at the betting window: Aqueduct, Race 7, $5 exacta 2 with 5,7
$3 trifecta: 2 with 4 with 5,7 ($6)
What to say at the betting window: Aqueduct, Race 7, $3 trifecta 2 with 4 with 5,7
$2 trifecta: 2 with 5,7 with 4 ($4)
What to say at the betting window: Aqueduct, Race 7, $2 trifecta 2 with 5,7 with 4
Good luck, and enjoy the race!
Chester Broman & Mary R. Broman