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New York Racing "The Insider"
Aqueduct Inner Track Tips

Destroying The Myths: The one-mile inner dirt track is not a "synthetic" surface. It is a dirt, clay, and loam composite over a limestone base to facilitate drainage.

There are no underground hot-water pipes to keep the track from freezing.

The stretch isn't short - at 1,155.5 feet, it's the longest of any NYRA dirt stretch because of the tight, short turns.

Distances: Sprints can go no longer than 6-furlongs. Seven-furlong races would start on the clubhouse turn so are not run at all.

One-mile races go two turns with a very short run to the first turn, making inside speed a big advantage.

Same with the mile and 70 yard and mile-and-a-sixteenth races. Races at 9-furlongs are not as post-dependent but are speed favoring nonetheless.

Horse For The Course Angle: Early in the meet, this one pays out some dividends.

Horses that have been plodding along at Aqueduct Main Track, Belmont, Saratoga, and other venues but who have shown an affinity for the inner track in past seasons often come alive when they get back to winter racing at Aqueduct on the inner dirt.

Look for the HORSE FOR THE COURSE ICON which indicate which horses have good records over the inner track.

Inside Speed At Two Turns: Races from a mile to 8.5 furlongs leave the gate and hit a sharp turn very quickly.

Outside posts get fanned wide and lose a lot of ground or drop back to tuck in to lose a lot of ground. Both maneuvers are not to a runner's advantage.

Inside runners with early pace that carry huge numbers (odds) often outrun their odds. Outside posts can be OK if the horse can clear the field and get to the inside.

Speed At Any Distance: Nobody wants to be fanned on the tight turns. Racing wide over the Aqueduct inner track doesn't work unless the horse is much the best.

Many races are won by a rail-skimming ride and then a sweep to the outside once by the quarter pole.

Study the riders and charts to see who's cashing with this move.

Trainer Angle$: Nowhere is the trainer angle more important than on the Aqueduct inner dirt. Gary Contessa is loaded for bear year after year and snags the majority of his earnings during the winter at Aqueduct.

Look for the TRAINER PATTERN ICON on the report to pot trainers that are employing a successful move in today's race.

If you really want to swat a few home runs this winter use the Super Longshot Trainer Angle. You can view this fantastic angle here.

Shippers: Look for Finger Lakes, Philadelphia, and Suffolk shippers that come in with their out-of-state riders.

This angle can sometimes make your day. The big horses are laid up or down south, the top trainers are in Florida, and the competition is wide-open.

Rail Bias: Is the rail "golden"?

You'll know after the third race. When the inner rail is on, the top riders will do most anything to get there.

Check to see if they're avoiding it and make adjustments in your plays. Be aware of the track condition.

After a thaw, water that was frozen deep down can rise to the top of the track on a sunny day and change track conditions in short order.

Planning ahead is fine but the winter Aqueduct player has to be prepared to make adjustments on a race-by-race basis.

Summary: Aqueduct inner track racing can be very profitable but requires the handicapper to virtually re-learn the game and keep in mind that standard handicapping will not work.

The best horse does not always get home on top because of the "quirks" inherent in the physical layout of the track and the weather conditions. Those that heed the "angles" are at a huge advantage.

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