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At the Gate - Friday

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The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters (NTWAB) announced the Eclipse Awards for media, with NBC winning a ninth Media Eclipse Award in the Live Television category.

NBC won for its broadcast of the 2012 Kentucky Derby. The 2 1/2-hour live telecast from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, aired on May 5, culminating with the victory of I'll Have Another in the 138th "Run for the Roses."

In the 2012 Media Eclipse Award in the Television-Features programming category ESPN took top honors for "Notinrwildestdremz," the story of a rescued and neglected Thoroughbred filly who makes a dramatic recovery to become a racehorse. The feature segment, which aired on October 30, was produced and directed by Heather Lombardo.

If you have not seen this feature, grab the tissues and head over to ESPN Video to watch it.

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In the 2012 Media Eclipse Award in the Audio/Multi-Media Internet category, Glenye Cain Oakford of Daily Racing Form won for "Zenyatta: Wait for First Foal Combines Science, Art and Anticipation," which appeared on drf.com on February 28.

We have a sunny day on tap at the Big A for Friday, and then snow will be moving into the area for Saturday.

As of right now the forecast for Saturday is calling for one to three inches, and is forecast to start around 6:00am. As long as we do not get more than the three inches in the forecast, we should be good to go for racing.

Just in case I am going to take a longer look at the races from Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park and will include my strongest races in Saturday's Best Plays Report.

Friday's Aqueduct Report includes my selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race on the card.

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

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

AQU Race 1 Clm $20,000B (12:30 ET)
5 Hewitts 4-1
4 Becky's Kitten 6-1
8 So Scott 5-2
7 Crown the Chief 3-1

Analysis: Hewitts
dueled for the early lead while down along the inside and did not have enough punch left late, weakening to finish fourth against $30,000 non-winners of three or a race in six months. He drops in for a $20,000 tag but these are just as tough, non-winners of three or a race in three months. The gelding owns a solid pace profile throughout and gets a jock upgrade from the bug to the hot Maragh.

Becky's Kitten was a game second last out, beaten a neck against $16,000 non-winners of three or a race on turf in six months. Two back at Laurel Park in his first go for the Servis barn off the claim he made a mild late rally to finish seventh behind repeat winner Hold On Smokey, who beat Alw-2 optional claimers on Dec. 22 at Tampa Bay Downs. The gelding has done most of his best work on turf and the fake stuff, but looks as if he is heading in the right direction for a sharp outfit.

Wagering
WIN: #5 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 4,5 / 4,5,7,8
TRI: 4,5 / 4,5,7,8 / 2,4,5,7,8

Today's Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 8 OClm $25,000N1X (3:48 ET)
8 Sage d'Oro 3-1
1 Shesabronxbomber 7-2
3 Hey Babe 8-1
4 Fiftyfour Forever 5-1

Analysis: Sage d'Oro
made her local debut last out off an eight month layoff and was outrun early and wide after stumbling coming out of the gate. She checked in fifth as the beaten chalk. She owns back speed figs earned on the left coast that fit here and we will give this gal another look here. The Dutrow barn is 26% winners (with a +ROI) with runners making their second start off a +180 day layoff.

Shesabronxbomber tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fifth last out as the beaten favorite. The filly was claimed out of her last outing by the RRod barn that is 25 winners first off the claim. She has a win on the inner track and has landed in the exacta in 6 of her 11 starts this year. She figures to bounce back with the barn switch.

Wagering
WIN: #8 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,8 / 1,3,4,8
TRI: 1,8 / 1,3,4,8 / 1,3,4,8,9

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: #3 Mr Beauregard 12-1
R4: #1 Awesome Island 12-1
R4: #8 Galaxy Gal 12-1
R7: 3 Tweet Me 10-1
R7: #6 Slot Play 8-1
R8: #3 Hey Babe 8-1
R9: #11 Wildhaasssee 12-1

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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