Ed McNamara's Aqueduct selections for Friday, Feb. 17
BEST BET: MIDTOWN LIGHTS (7TH)
BEST VALUE: COMPLETE AGENDA (4TH)
FIRST RACE: Cheap maiden claimer starts pick 5 ($285,092 carryover) that might baffle a psychic. Sounds Spooky adds Lasix off seven-week break for layoff ace Todd Pletcher. Steady Progress was solid second last out at this level and distance. Stormandy was third two back in slop; may move up with rain in forecast.
SECOND RACE: Vallarand beat better in wet-track mile at Aqueduct last month. Blue Paynt has seconditis (11 times in 25 starts); 0-for-6 at Big A. Viradia gets 100% class rise for Jeffrey Englehart, who wins at 20% first time off claim.
THIRD RACE: Spirit of St Louis, out of a mare with four winners from four foals, debuts for Chad Brown. Refuah is a bridesmaid (eight times second or third in 10 starts). Central Pride was second or third in four of last five; handles wet tracks.
FOURTH RACE: Complete Agenda, from hot Linda Rice barn, gets nod over Fromanothamutha, whom he dominated Jan. 7 in good-track mile over this surface. Doctor Love was third in that race; made strong mid-race move before tiring in last.
FIFTH RACE: Spelterini, an 0-for-5 Godolphin-Mott collaboration, narrowly fell short last time after bad trip; graduation day? Fabulously Funny was edged for second by Spelterini and also had trouble. Either/or. Swanson Lake debuts with strong works.
SIXTH RACE: Scilly Cay (four wins at Big A, two on wet track) could capitalize on possible speed duel. Turnback from 7 furlongs to 6 1/2 could aid front-running Excellent Timing, but he's 0-for-3 on off tracks and winless since March 2021. Writer's Regret has early zip, could hang on for third.
SEVENTH RACE: Midtown Lights turns back after big middle move in tough-trip second in muddy state-bred stakes; Cox 38% first-time Lasix. Downtown Mischief dominated debut for Linda Rice on good track; would be no surprise. Luna Loca likes off tracks; led throughout last two.
EIGHTH RACE: Bad Connection debuts with good works for Rodriguez and Franco. Flattering Gal has two in-the-money finishes in sprints. First-timer War Museum, by hot sire War Dancer, is out of a mare with seven winners from nine foals.