At the Gate - Friday
November 30, 2012
By Mike Dempsey
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I spent most of last evening handicapping the Claiming Crown races on Saturday's opening day card at Gulfstream Park.
I had planned on cherry picking a few of the races to include in Saturday's Best Plays Report, but is such a good series of betting races I plan on just handicapping the entire card, and I will have it posted by Friday afternoon.
The Claiming Crown is in its 14th year, first run at Canterbury Park in Minnesota, and since then it has also been held at Parx Racing, Ellis Park, and last year was held for the first time at Fair Grounds.
I thought it should stay at Canterbury Park, which had a reputation of treating the connections great. My former racing group, the Hampshire Racing Partnership shipped Landler for the 2003 edition where the gelding won a three way photo for the victory in the $50,000 Express.
I thought in the past few years the Claiming Crown had lost some luster, particularly among horseplayers who on a Saturday have many different betting options to choose from.
This year's event at Gulfstream Park should put the Claiming Crown squarely back on the radar of horseplayers by coinciding with opening day, and with seven competitive fields, it should be a great day of betting.
I will have a special handicapping report for Saturday's opening day card at Gulfstream Park which includes all seven Claiming Crown races. The report can be accessed by noon on Friday by clicking here.
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To purchase my full card report for Aqueduct for Friday click here.
Here is today's second from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 2 Md Sp Wt (1:05 ET)
2 Artfully 6-1
4 Marcellina d'Oro 7-5
1 Iratinelexburance 4-1
5 Frege 7-2
Analysis: Artfully took some play in her debut, sent off at 7-2 in a field of seven but she was not much of a threat in a seventh place finish, beaten twenty lengths for the top spot. She caught a sloppy track in a race taken off the turf at seven furlongs. She is bred to go long, by A.P. Indy out of the stakes winner Magnificence ($163K), this being her first foal to race. Looking to see more on the stretch out to nine furlongs and we should catch a fair price.
Marcellina d'Oro shipped to Delaware Park for her last start. She set the early fractions over a sloppy main track and weakened inside the final furlong to check in third. She ran third in her debut two back at the Spa behind repeat winner Sign, who returned to win the Pocahontas (G2) in her next start at Churchill Downs. She figures to be tough here but her price is going to be on the light side.
WIN: #2 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 2,4 / 1,2,4
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 OClm $25,000N1X (3:43 ET)
7 Sage d'Oro 9-5
4 E Z Passer 4-1
5 Ode to Sami 7-2
3 Island School 5-1
Analysis: Sage d'Oro makes her first start since March, landing here from the left coast and going to Dutrow, who is 27% winners with newcomers to the barn and 21% winners with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff. The filly broke her maiden over the fake stuff at Hollywood Park three back and then ran second in two tries at today's condition. Last out she was beaten just a nose by Jemima's Pearl, who is now graded stakes placed. Two back our top pick was beaten by Princess Arabella, who won the Sunland Park Oaks in her next start by eight lengths and has not been seen since. She has decent works on the morning tab and looks as if she as facing much tougher than she catches here and just needs to be ready to go off the layoff.
E Z Passer makes her first start since Oct. 7 over a wet track at Belmont Park where he dueled for the early lead and weakened late to finish a decent third, beaten 1 3/4 lengths. The winner was Crespano, who beat Alw-2 optional claimers in her next outing on Nov. 25 at Philly. The former $7.5K claimer sure looks like she fits here but note she is 0 for 11 at today's condition.
WIN: #7 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 4,7 / 3,4,5,7
TRI: 4,7 / 3,4,5,7 / 1,3,4,5,7
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.
R4: #6 Fast and Strong 8-1
R5: #8 T C Lane 8-1
R7: #4 Sky Blue Pink 8-1
R9: #12 Sunny Sol Rio 10-1
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.
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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