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At the Gate - Sunday

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We have four stakes on the nine race card at Aqueduct today, but the first two will be rather unforgettable unless you are an owner, trainer or jockey.

The second race on the card is the $80,000 Raymond Earl, and the third race is the $75,000 Traskwood. Both overnight stakes drew five horse fields.

The New York Racing Association has a habit of carding these unappealing races, and while owners love them, these are the kind of races horseplayers despise.

I just do not understand why any track would card a race with six or less runners.

The stakes action does getter better later on the card, as a field of nine state breds will go to the post in the $80,000 Damon Runyon, the sixth race on the card.

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The Todd Pletcher trained Notacatbutallama is coming off back to back stakes wins in open company, winning the Incurable Optimist and Super Mario. The colt has landed in the exacta in five of his career starts, and now tries the main track for the first time.

His 2-1 morning line looks fair enough, but his price is likely going to be lighter by the time they load him in the gate.

The colt with the most upside appears to be the Tony Dutrow trained Giant Finish, who was a good looking maiden winner in his debut.

The eighth race on the card is the $80,000 East View for two-year-old fillies going one mile on the main track.

The Rudy Rodriguez trained Kelli Got Frosty is the 1-2 morning line favorite off a victory in a New York Stallion Series race on Nov. 11.

I hate backing the chalk in these state bred races so I will take a swing with longshot Flattermewithroses, who is sent out by Jena Antonucci, who has been sending out live runners at the meeting.

The feature at Gulfstream park is a good one. A field of 13 will go in the $100,000 South Beach, a 7 ½ furlong test on the turf for fillies and mares.

It is a wide open race and I am going to give the Woodbine invader Chokurei a good look if she goes off near her 8-1 morning line odds.

Sunday's Best Plays Report includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.

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

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

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

AQU Race 1 Md Sp Wt (12:30 ET)
2 Momentary Magic 2-1
6 Miss Brown Sugar 5-1
1 Baragah / 1a Asiya 5-2
5 Masasi 3-1

Analysis: Momentary Magic
lunged at the break, tracked the early pace and could not get to the loose on the lead gate to wire winner last out in a runner up finish. The filly took some play in her debut, sent off at 5-2 in a nine horse field. The third place finisher Tapicat came back to graduate in her next start at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 2. The Bond barn usually does not have them fully cranked first out and hits at a 19% clip with second out maidens.

Miss Brown Sugar set the early fractions and faded to finish seventh last out at Churchill Downs going a mile in her second career start. She made her debut two back at Keeneland on poly where she made a mild late run in a sixth place finish. The runner up and third place finisher both graduated next out at Churchill Downs versus maiden special weight company. The Kenneally filly is a half to stakes winner Ha Ha Tonka (4 for 7, $156,400).

Baragh is out of $1.6 million earner Golden Apples who has dropped a couple of nice runners already in Habaya (2 for 5, $135,000) and Hatheer (2 for 12, $169,367).

Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 2,6 / 1,2,6
TRI: no play

Today's Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:

GP Race 8 The South Beach (4:05 ET)
7 Chokurei 8-1
8 Romacaca 3-1
13 Whipsaw City 5-1
6 Hooh Why 15-1

Analysis: Chokurei
is coming off a good effort on poly at Woodbine in the River Memories, beaten a half-length or the top spot. The winner of the race was Magic Broomstick, who came back to win the Bessarabian Stakes (G3) in her next outing on Nov. 24. Our top pick ran a good second two back behind that same foe going seven furlongs on the grass. She is a three time winner on turf and may get overlooked on the tote here shipping in from Canada and coming off poly.

Romacaca took the field gate to wire to win the Indian Maid Handicap last out at Hawthorne. The mare has now won 15 of her 29 career starts on turf and she has done some of her best work over the Gulfstream Park turf where she has won four of nine with a couple of seconds. She is the logical one to beat in this spot.

Wagering
WIN: #7 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 7,8 / 6,7,8,13
TRI: 7,8 / 6,7,8,13 / 6,7,8,9,13

Today's Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 8 The East View (3:48 ET)
2 Flattermewithroses 15-1
6 Agilion 5-2
3 Kelli Got Frosty 1-2
7 Carameaway 10-1

Analysis: Flattermewithroses
tries a fast main track for the first time in her career today if the weather clears up. The filly pulled off a big upset three back in the Voodoo Dancer at 53-1, and then in her last two starts was soundly beaten by double digit lengths. Pedigree wise she seems better suited for dirt and we are going to look for her to bounce back here. The barn has been very live at the meeting, winning with five of 19 starters. Worth a look here if she goes off near her 15-1 morning line.

Agilion made a good late run to finish in the runner up spot last out against state bred Alw-1 foes. Two back she ran second in the Joe Gimma, edging the chalk in here by a head. She looks as if the extra ground here going a one turn mile should suit her.

Kelli Got Frosty came back from her third in the Gimma to win a New York Stallion Series race and bumped up her career top Beyer by 20 points. She came back with a bullet drill on Dec. 5, but she really did not beat much last out and that fig looks generous. At odds south of even money I'll try and beat her for the top spot.

Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 8-1 or better.
EX: 2,6 / 2,3,6,7
TRI: 2,6 / 2,3,6,7 / 2,3,5,6,7

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
R2: #4 Guyana Star Dweej 8-1
R3: #5 Keep the Canoli 8-1
R4: #7 Brandy's Big Guy 30-1
R5: #7 Galaxy Gal 15-1
R6: #5 James Jingle 30-1
R7: #7 Rakin' Gold 8-1
R8: #2 Flattermewithroses 15-1
R8: #7 Carameaway 10-1

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 Sessa
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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