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At the Gate - Thursday

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We started off the week about as chalky as I have seen it in a while at the Big A. We had four winners on top including a pair of winners that paid $9.10, which put us in the black for the day.

The two runners that paid $9.10 were actually the biggest prices we saw all day. The other winners paid $3.20, $9.00, $3.20, $4.20, $3.30, $3.70, and $6.80.

The early Pick 4 paid $144.00 for $2, and the late Pick 4 paid $328.50. The Pick 6 paid just $695.00.

Today's card has the potential to be on the chalky side as well, but we do have a couple of interesting live longshots that have a shot of being in the mix including Ride l'Ultimo (15-1) in the sixth race and My Donna Jean (15-1) in the nightcap.

On Saturday we have the opening of Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs which will help us find a few more payable races on the weekends.

The Claiming Crown is coming up on opening day at Gulfstream Park, and the seven stakes races for horse that have run for a claiming tag drew 97 horses.

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With horse coming from all around the country and large fields we should have seven solid betting races, and I will include the best of those in Saturday's Best Plays Report.

The feature on Saturday is the $200,000 Jewel which is for three-year-olds and upward which have run for a claiming tag of $35,000 or less since January 1, 2011.

The race drew a dozen including Homeboykris, the 2009 Champagne (G1) winner and Flatter This, who ran third in the Spend a Buck (G3) on Oct. 13 at Calder.

The race features runners that made their last starts at Santa Anita, Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, Mountaineer Park, Aqueduct, Calder, and Delaware Park.

The Claiming Crown was first run at Canterbury Park, and later was contested at Ellis Park, Philadelphia Park, and last year was at Fair Grounds. This will be the first year that Gulfstream Park has held the event.

I'll have my selections for the Jewel in tomorrow's column.

Purchase my Monthly Package and receive an entire month of Aqueduct action and Mike's weekend Best Plays Reports for just $99.95.

To purchase my full card report for Aqueduct for Thursday click here.


Here is today's second from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:

AQU Race 2 Clm $30,000B (12:49 ET)
7 Minescape 5-2
3 Sumo 2-1
4 Charlie's Quest 6-1
5 Political Justice 4-1


Analysis: Minescape tracked the early pace and did not have enough punch left late, weakening to check in fourth against $30K non winners of two or three year olds. The colt comes back with a barn switch from one sharp outfit to another, the Levine barn hitting at a 28% clip (with a +ROI) first off the claim. Blinkers are added to the mix here and this guy won at this level three back going a mile at Belmont Park earning a career top. He looks like a good fit in this spot.

Sumo was the beaten favorite least out, heading home with the lead but nailed late and coming up just a neck shy while 3 1/4 lengths clear of the rest of the field. The gelding makes his second start off a 2 1/2 month break and while he steps up from a $16K tag he was facing non winners of three or a race on turf since May 2. The winner Springcourt and third place finisher Drink With Pride both won here on Wednesday in their next starts.

Wagering
WIN: #7 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 3,7 / 3,4,5,7
TRI: 3,7 / 3,4,5,7 / 1,3,4,5,7

Today's Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 7 OClm $50,000SAL (3:14 ET)
6 Bomber Boy 5-2
1 Washington's Rules 2-1
2 Guyana Star Dweej 5-1
4 Sokitumi Samurai 3-1


Analysis: Bomber Boy is coming off a sharp win last out against $15K non winners of three or a race on dirt in six months. The colt exits the red hot Jacobson barn but the RRod barn is having a strong meeting as well and hits at a 21% clip first off the claim. The colt steps into a tougher spot here but his last three speed figs are good enough to win here.

Washington's Rules is coming off a runner up finish as the beaten favorite last out in the slop at this level. The Tricky Rick barn claimed this guy for $50K and is winless in five starts for the barn but did land in the bottom half of the exacta in four of the starts. The Dutrow runner does own the top last out speed fig and these do not look as tough as he faced in his last few outings.

Wagering
WIN: #6 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,2,6
TRI: no play

Live Longshots:
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.

Aqueduct
R1: #4 Always for You 8-1
R6: #4 Ride l'Ultimo 15-1
R8: #8 Appealetta 8-1
R9: #9 My Donna Jean 15-1

Good luck today!

  
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  HORSE RACING EXPERT
  Mike Dempsey
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.
Last Year Mike had a solid Triple Crown, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick.

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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Jerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to VegasInsider.com. When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins.

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