Playing the Derby Wars $1,000 Saturday Aqueduct Survivor game

Playing the Derby Wars $1,000 Saturday Aqueduct Survivor game
Photo: Chelsea Durand/NYRA

Racing has resumed at Aqueduct after a break for the winter holidays. There are big fields for the $1,000 Saturday Survivor game at Derby Wars. This survivor game will span races 2-9 and with each entry costing only $5.75, players have the opportunity to buy in up to 12 times. There is a $100 jackpot if you are the only one player to correctly pick all eight races.

Here is a look at all eight races with a survivor pick and some playing strategies for the contest:

Race 2 – There is a field of 10 for this N2L claimer going six furlongs. Left Leaning Lucy is a possible single to start the contest with a significant edge in speed figures over this field. She should go right to the lead and hit the top three.

Race 3 - This first-level allowance drew a competitive field of six, so half of them will survive. Four of the horses have several wins to their credit and they all have excellent in-the-money records. Instinctive Rhythm hit the board in five of his races and should get an ideal trip under top Aqueduct rider Jose Lezcano.

Race 4 – Z’finale looks to have found a very weak field of New York-bred maiden claimers that he should make him a horse to key on in this survivor contest. The switch from turf to dirt last race was to his liking.

Race 5 – Be prepared to spread in this $12,500 open claimer which drew 10 horses. These low-level claimers typically have runners that move in and out of form very quickly and often unexpectedly. My three picks to survive and advance in the contest are Hardcore Folklore, Lucky Ramsey, and Creative Style.

Race 6 – In this New York-bred maiden special weight, Jill’s a Hot Mess returned from a four-month layoff to finish second in a state-bred stake and now drops back to this maiden while getting Lasix for the first time.

Race 7 – Perceived was last seen winning a maiden special weight for Chad Brown in February and returns in a N2L claimer. Brown wins with 28 percent of his starters after a long break.

Race 8 – A contentious field of five will meet in the Gravesend. Stan the Man is in fine form and exits two top three finishes in graded stakes. He has an outstanding record at the Big A.

Race 9 – Hopefully you will have a few entries left alive as the finale drew a full field of 14 in a $16,000 N2L claimer. Being able to spread in this race will be crucial. With three plays left, use I See the Stars, Super Wicked Charm, and Beachside.


Get in the game every day at DerbyWars! Free to sign up and contests are as low as $5.75 - what are you waiting for? 

Play DerbyWars Now!

Meet Matt Shifman



Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently is a Senior Writer. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs, Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing

Matt has been a co-host of the popular weekly video show HorseCenter for many years.

Since 2012, Matt has been a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

Matt is also a partner in the New York Hot List handicapping service @NYHotList where he handicaps the races on the NYRA circuit everyday. The Hot List picks are available at several ADW sites around the country.



You may also know Matt by his Twitter, Facebook, and HRN screen nameAndyScoggin.

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