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At the Gate - Sunday

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The Todd Pletcher trained Violence made a good late rally to get up and win the Grade 1 $750,000 CashCall Futurity on Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park as the betting favorite, returning $4.40.

The $600,000 son of Medaglia d'Oro is now undefeated in three starts, having broken his maiden in his debut and then winning the Grade 2 Nashua at Aqueduct on Nov. 4.

The colt looks as if he will be an early betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby, and don't forget Pletcher also trains Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile champion Shanghai Bobby.

Violence was my second choice, and completed a recommended exacta that returned $59.20 as 16-1 longshot Fury Kapcori, who was my third choice in the race, held on for the runner up spot.

Coming up on Sunday is the last day of racing at Aqueduct until Dec. 26. Yes, that is nine days without racing at the Big A.

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It will give me some time to get my Christmas shopping done, and then I'll be back next weekend with a Best Plays Report.

Today'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 Clm $14,000 (12:30 ET)
2 Macho Muchacho 5-1
1 Modern Cowboy 7-5
5 Jemaru 4-1
7 Powhatan County 3-1


Analysis: Macho Muchacho makes his first start since a fast closing win last out at Finger Lakes against allowance foes that were non winners of a race other than in '12. He has won five of his 11 starts this year and now makes his first start for the Parisella barn that has been sending out live runners in the past few months. The gelding has landed in the exacta in four of five trips on the inner track and has handled a wet track which we may see today.

Modern Cowboy was claimed for $50,000 by the Jacobson barn back in January out of an Alw-2 optional claimer and has been on the bench since running fourth at that level on the inner track here in March. He takes a plunge here tagged for just $14,000 for a red hot barn, but Jacobson is showing a 0 for 9 mark with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff and the price is going to end up on the light side. The five year old is bred to handle a wet track and has a win and a third in two trips over the off going.

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

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

GP Race 9 The Harlan's Holiday (4:45 ET)
7 Cash Rules 3-1
3 Scatman 10-1
2 Csaba 5-2
4 Delegation 4-1


Analysis: Cash Rules took the field gate to wire to win the Carl G. Rose Classic Handicap last out at Calder going nine furlongs, his fifth win in nine starts this year. He showed two back he does not need the lead, sitting off the pace and taking over to win the Spend a Buck Handicap (G3). The runner up Dudac came back to win the Fred Hooper (G3) while the third place finisher Flatter This came back to win a $25,000 starter allowance and then ran third in the Claiming Crown Jewel. The gelding has won four in a row and has landed in the exacta in each of his last seven outings.

Scatman looks as if he is sitting on a good one here as he makes his third start off the shelf. The three year old beat third level optional claimers last out in a race taken off the turf in a sharp effort at Churchill Downs. He mixed it up in stakes company earlier this year including a game second in the Southwest (G3) and a third in the Rebel (G2). He looks capable of moving forward off his last effort and looks as if he may get overlooked on the tote in this spot.

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

Today's Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 7 OClm $50,000SAL (3:18 ET)
9 Moonshine Bay 8-1
1 Pryce's Posse 10-1
6 P J's Magical Wink 9-5
12 Palace 4-1


Analysis: Moonshine Bay set the early fractions and held on gamely until late, caught nearing the wire and coming up just a neck shy of the top spot. The gelding caught a racing strip that as playing to outside stalkers and closers that day. The Canani runner has won 10 of his 23 career starts and owns a solid pace profile throughout. There is plenty of early zip in here to keep him company early but this guy is worth a look if he goes off near his 8-1 morning line.

Pryce's Posse ships in from Philly where the gelding made a good late rally to beat Alw-1 company going 6 1/2 furlongs. The runner up and sixth place finisher in that race both came back to beat Alw-1 foes in their next starts. The gelding should get a good pace set up and we have seen horses coming from off the pace and winning here early at the meeting.

Wagering
WIN: #9 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 1,9 / 1,6,9,12
TRI: 1,9 / 1,6,9,12 / 1,3,6,9,12

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
R4: #8 Madame Prosecutor 12-1
R6: #7 Burning Flame 8-1
R7: #9 Moonshine Bay 8-1
R7: #1 Pryce's Posse 10-1
R9: #7 Granby Girl 8-1

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.

No handicapper in the industry works harder to bring you analysis that produces profits at the track!

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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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Jerry looks forward to working with everyone and making money for anyone who invests in his picks on a daily basis.

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