Winter is Coming: A Preview of the Aqueduct Winter Meet

By | November 9, 2021

Breeders’ Cup is over which signals a lull in the racing calendar until January. In the void will be the popular Aqueduct winter meet which can be a profitable one for bettors. The Aqueduct winter meet will kick off on Thursday, November 11, 2021.

Aqueduct Winter: A Different Animal

NYRA is home to some of the most prestigious races around the country including the Belmont Stakes and the Travers Stakes. While many fans of Saratoga and Belmont are accustomed to seeing some of New York’s finest running for huge prizes against competition from around the country, the winter meet will be very different.

The Horses

All of the best horses from 2021 will be retired, trained to races like the Pegasus World Cup in January, or turned out for the winter to recover from their campaigns. What is typically left to run in the winter are hard knocking lower level horses within their divisions. This includes a heavy dose of claimers, low level allowance , and state bred stakes runners.

The Connections

Players unfamiliar with the game may think it odd to run this time of year in New York. It can be windy, cold, and even snowy. Needless to say, the winter meet isn’t for everyone. This includes some of the top names that people became familiar with over the summer.


With turf racing only making up a small slice of the meet, the likes of Mike Maker and Christophe Clement will take their strings down to Florida to run at Gulfstream Park. Chad Brown will largely go into hiding as his turf contingent gets winters off and will start surfacing in the spring. Todd Pletcher will split his string, but will have his most prominent runners at Gulfstream with Clement and Maker.


Jockeys will also migrate to more desirable climates. Veteran runners like the Ortiz brothers will jet off to Gulfstream. Ricardo Santana Jr. has historically gone to Oaklawn and the Fair Grounds to ride for his top trainer Steve Asmussen. John Velazquez and Joel Rosario often ship their tack out west to California.

Aqueduct 2020-2021 Winter Statistics

With so many big names out of the picture, the Aqueduct winter meet creates champions out of the connections that maintain their barns and tack in New York year round. Trainers and jockeys that have abysmal summer meets in New York can quickly rise to the top of the standings.

Here are the jockey and trainers that were most successful at last year’s winter meet. All Statistics are based on win totals. Full stats can be found on the Equibase website.

Aqueduct Jockeys

Entries have been listed using the following format:

  • Jockey Name: starts-wins (win percentage)/in the money finishes (in the money percentage)

Main Track

  1. Eric Cancel: 357-78 (21.8%)/193 (54.1%)
  2. Kendrick Carmouche: 319-74 (23.2%)/185 (58%)
  3. Manuel Franco: 352-60 (17%)/184 (52.3%)
  4. Dylan Davis: 298-43 (14.4%)/131 (44%)
  5. Trevor McCarthy: 272-39 (14.3%)/120 (44.1%)
  6. Luis Cardenas: 301-31 (10.3%)/105 (34.9%)

Sprints (Distances Less than 1 Mile)

  1. Kendrick Carmouche: 187-43 (23%)/107 (57.2%)
  2. Eric Cancel: 208-41 (19.7%)/107 (51.4%)
  3. Manuel Franco: 207-34 (16.4%)/101 (48.8%)
  4. Dylan Davis: 174-33 (19%)/77 (44.3%)
  5. Luis Cardenas: 189-24 (12.7%)/74 (39.2%)

Routes (Distances of 1 Mile or Greater)

  1. Eric Cancel: 153-37 (24.2%)/87 (56.9%)
  2. Kendrick Carmouche: 138-33 (23.9%)/82 (59.4%)
  3. Manuel Franco: 150-27 (18%)/86 (57.3%)
  4. Trevor McCarthy: 117-20 (17.1%)/51 (43.6%)
  5. Jose Lezcano: 60-17 (28.3%)/32 (53.3%)
  6. Dylan Davis: 130-11 (8.5%)/55 (42.3%)

Aqueduct Trainers

Given that there are so many trainers on the grounds, wins are spread out much more dramatically in the jockey ranks. The following lists have been expanded to include trainers that hit a win threshold indicating impact. Entries have been listed using the following format:

  • Trainer Name: starts-wins (win percentage)/in the money finishes (in the money percentage)


  1. Rudy Rodriguez: 177-35 (19.8%)/87 (49.2%)
  2. Linda Rice: 146-26 (17.8%)/64 (43.8%)
  3. Rob Atras: 91-21 (23.1%)/57 (62.6%)
  4. Chad Brown: 46-17 (37%)/33 (71.7%)
  5. Wayne Potts: 124-16 (12.9%)/39 (31.5%)
  6. Charlton Baker: 67-13 (19.4%)/34 (50.7%)


  1. Rudy Rodriguez: 118-22 (18.6%)/52 (44.1%)
  2. Linda Rice: 89-16 (18%)/40 (44.9%)
  3. Rob Atras: 58-15 (25.9%)/36 (62.1%)
  4. Wayne Potts: 89-9 (10.1%)/26 (29.2%)
  5. Chris Englehart: 64-8 (12.5%)/24 (37.5%)
  6. Michael Miceli: 32-8 (25%)/13 (40.6%)
  7. H. Bond: 33-8 (24.2%)/14 (42.4%)
  8. Raymond Handal: 35-7 (20%)/19 (54.3%)
  9. Charlton Baker: 41-6 (14.6%)/20 (48.8%)
  10. Mertkan Kantarmaci: 42-6 (14.3%)/18 (42.9%)
  11. John Kimmel: 23-6 (26.1%)/13 (56.5%)
  12. Mark Hennig: 19-6 (31.6%)/9 (47.4%)
  13. Bruce Levine: 43-5 (11.6%)/23 (53.5%)
  14. David Donk: 53-5 (9.4%)/17 (32.1%)


  1. Rudy Rodriguez: 63-14 (22.2%)/36 (57.1%)
  2. Chad Brown: 23-13 (56.5%)/19 (82.6%)
  3. Todd Pletcher: 46-10 (21.7%)/25 (54.3%)
  4. Linda Rice: 57-10 (17.5%)/24 (42.1%)
  5. Charlton Baker: 26-7 (26.9%)/14 (53.8%)
  6. Michelle Nevin: 36-7 (19.4%)/19 (52.8%)
  7. Wayne Potts: 35-7 (20%)/13 (37.1%)
  8. Rob Atras: 35-6 (17.1%)/21 (60%)
  9. Kelly Breen: 29-6 (20.7%)/12 (41.4%)
  10. Michael Maker: 36-5 (13.9%)/22 (61.1%)
  11. John Kimmel: 21-5 (23.8%)/11 (52.4%)
  12. Orlando Noda: 49-4 (8.2%)/17 (34.7%)
  13. Jeremiah Englehart: 37-4 (10.8%)/19 (51.4%)
  14. Bruce Levine: 20-4 (20%)/13 (65%)
  15. Gary Sciacca: 25-4 (16%)/10 (40%)
  16. James Jerkens: 19-4 (21.1%)/7 (36.8%)
  17. Jorge Abreu: 10-4 (40%)/5 (50%)

Playing Aqueduct in the Winter

Horse players looking to get involved with the winter meet at Aqueduct should be aware of a couple of key trends that pay huge dividends at the windows.

Heating Up

One of the most common phenomena at the winter meet is the barn that heats up in the cold of winter. Keeping track of jockeys and trainers that are hitting the board at prices of 10-1 or higher can be a signal that their going well and could be the key to big payoffs. If the connections end up on your list a couple times within a weekend, it is wise to start including their horses in your wagers.

Unique Weather

Running in snow something you just don’t see that often. For that reason, many players do not adjust their handicapping to match the conditions.

The track will pretty consistently shift from speed favoring to closer friendly and back again. Typically any one condition lasts for about 3 days. The way to determine a bias is to establish how different price horses are running. If favorites are losing on the front while bombs are coming from the back, it may suggest that a bias in play.

Tracking and taking advantage of these situations is a must for success when playing winters in New York.

Aqueduct Free Selections

With the meet starting Thursday, allow Betting News to help you with your play throughout the entirety of the Aqueduct meet. Selections and computer assisted handicapping are available on our selections page.

The post Winter is Coming: A Preview of the Aqueduct Winter Meet first appeared on Betting News.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *