At the Gate - Friday
November 9, 2012
By Mike Dempsey
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I got an extra two day forced vacation, as bad weather knocked out racing at Aqueduct on both Wednesday and Thursday, but we should be back in action on Friday afternoon as the sun is supposed to make an appearance.
I doubt we are going to be back on turf, but there are only three turf races scheduled for today, so the card should hold up well.
The Friday feature is the $75,000 Mr. Nasty, which goes off as the third race on the card, and it is a race worth watching.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will send out the undefeated Overdrive, who has not made it to the track since last summer where he earned a 100 Beyer breaking his maiden, and then won the Sanford (G3) at Saratoga in his first start against winners.
He was being pointed toward the Hopeful (G1), but physical issues sent him to the sidelines. The colt returned to training earlier this year, but had to be stopped again due to a stress fracture, and now will be making his first start off a 15 month layoff.
The colt has a string of solid looking works and Pletcher's go to guy John Velazquez is in the irons. The main problem is he is 7-5 on the morning line and I have a hunch he will be bet down from that light price. Originally a $350,000 Keeneland purchase, he could turn out to be one of the barn's top runners for 2013 if he can stay healthy.
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Here is today's opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Clm $25,000B (12:20 ET)
2 Smokin Candy 10-1
4 Adirondack Dancer 5-1
3 English Major 7-2
12 Balance the Budget 15-1
Analysis: Smokin Candy invades from Finger Lakes and looks tough in here if this race comes off the turf as I expect it will. The gelding is coming off a win versus state bred allowance foes upstate on the main track, his fifth win in 16 career starts. The runner up in the race was Talk Therapy, who came back to beat state bred allowance company in his next outing on Oct. 20 at Finger Lakes. Ramon takes the call and this guy will even look better if there is still some moisture in the racing surface.
Adirondack Dancer came up short last out in a fifth place finish on turf for a $35K tag and drops into a slight softer looking spot here depending on how many scratches we might see. The colt beat state bred Alw-1 foes three back on turf and this will be his second start off a three month break for the Rice barn. His last try on the main track was a runner up finish on the inner track back in February. He should move forward off his last effort and looks like a good fit here.
WIN: #2 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 2,4 / 2,3,4,12
TRI: 2,4 / 2,3,4,12 / 2,3,4,9,12
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 Alw $54,000N1X (3:43 ET)
6 E Street Bourbon 12-1
5 Agilion 8-5
2 Sus Annmarfies Gold 2-1
4 True Fortune 4-1
Analysis: E Street Bourbon was a good looking maiden winner in her debut for a $50K tag and was claimed out of the race by the Martin barn. She was placed in stakes company in the Joe Gimma where she was sent off at 46-1. She dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish fifth, beaten 3 1/4 lengths for the top spot. She caught a racing strip that was playing to outside stalker and closers that day. She fits here and will be right in the mix early and her 12-1 morning liner looks more than fair.
Agilion also exits the Gimma where she was outrun early and made a good late run to finish in the runner up spot, beaten just 3/4 of a length for the top spot. She did take advantage of the way the racing strip was playing that day. Two back she was third against the boys at this level and three back she was beaten just a head in the Aristle in her first go against winners. She is the logical one to beat but the price is going to be on the short side.
WIN: #6 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 5,6 / 2,4,5,6
TRI: 5,6 / 2,4,5,6 / 1,2,4,5,6
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R1: #2 Smokin Candy
R1: #12 Balance the Budget 15-1
R4: #4 My Piano Man 8-1
R5: #7 Galaxy Gal 8-1
R6: #8 Apologize 10-1
R7: #12 Box Office 8-1
R8: #6 E Street Bourbon 12-1
R9: #16 Pure Attitude 8-1
Good luck today!
HORSE RACING EXPERT
Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders’ Cup.
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Mike has also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively.
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