I thought we might be in trouble when the forecast for New York went from 1-3 up to 2-4 inches, with the heaviest snow coming in right around post time at Aqueduct for today.
I forged right through handicapping the entire card anyway, hoping the forecast was wrong (as it often is), but I woke up to the announcement that Aqueduct canceled today.
That is okay, because my Best Plays Report for Saturday also includes seven races from Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park, so we still have plenty of wagering action to look forward to.
The feature at Gulfstream Park is the $100,000 Mr. Prospector (G3) at six furlongs on the main track. Action Andy and Indiano, the top two finishers in the Pelican Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs will square off again and figure to take most of the betting.
There is a trio of stakes at Santa Anita Park this afternoon including the $100,000 Daytona (G3) which will be contested on the downhill turf course.
It is one of the best betting races today, drawing a competitive field of 12 including Great Mills, who was fourth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) in his last outing.
Saturday's Best Plays Report includes my seven strongest plays from Santa Anita Park and Gulfstream Park.
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Here is today's opening from Gulfstream Park to get the day off to a good start:
Analysis: Redfoxey Dorothy failed to fire last out in an ugly 12th place finish on turf versus $35,000 claimers. Two back this mare set the early fractions and held on well for third for $16,000 tag, beaten just a half-length for the top spot. She drops into a softer spot here while returning to turf and gets a jock upgrade to Paco.
Imperial Luck ran huge to beat $10,000 non-winners of three last out, drawing off to win by 9 1/4 lengths and earned a career top Beyer (91), 21 points higher than her previous top. The runner up Caps Lady came back to beat $10,000 non-winners of three in her next outing on Dec. 26 here. She earned a 64 Beyer in her win, making that 91 seem like it is on the generous side. However, even if she regresses she will be in the mix against this group and she is in good hands with the Ziade barn that is hitting at a 31% clip overall this year.
WIN: #2 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 1,2,3,6
TRI: 2,3 / 1,2,3,6 / 1,2,3,6,9
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:
GP Race 5 The Mr. Prospector G3 (2:37 ET)
1 Bull Dozer 6-1
6 Indiano 8-5
4 Action Andy 6-5
2 Dreaming of Neno 6-1
Analysis: Bull Dozer is coming off a sharp win against Alw-2 optional claimers and was claimed out of the race by the Mike Maker barn that is 34% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. The gelding is an 11-time winner that has run for as little as $12,500 but is also has run in the money in three stakes in his career. He looks capable of moving forward off his last effort and may end up getting overlooked on the tote in this spot.
Indiano stalked the early pace and finished up well for second in the Pelican behind Action Andy. It was his first go off a four month layoff and he may be able to turn the tables today. He won the Giant Ryan two back at Calder and reeled off three straight stakes wins last year including the Carry Back (G2).
WIN: #1 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,4,6
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Santa Anita Park:
SA Race 8 The Daytona G3 (1:05 PT)
2 Byrama 8-1
1 Great Mills 4-1
5 Circa'sgoldengear 8-1
12 Tale of a Champion 15-1
Analysis: Byrama is coming off a good effort in the Maddy where the filly was caught in tight early and made a good late rally, beaten just 3/4 of a length for the top spot. The top two in the race came back to run one-two in the Cool Air Stakes in their next starts on Nov. 23. Our top pick won her first two trips on the downhill turf course and the 8-1 morning line looks fair enough.
Great Mills tracked the early pace, made a good middle move to get to the lead and did not have enough punch left late in a fourth place finish in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1). The colt is a five time turf winner and figures to move forward in this spot and with a race over the course under his belt. The colt has just one win in seven starts this year but has run well every time out and looks like this is a good spot for him to pick up his second win.
WIN: #2 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,5,12
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,5,12 / 1,2,3,5,7,12
Mike DempseyMike 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. The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes. Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, 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 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! Mike's Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card. Join Mike each day with daily picks from Belmont and Churchill Downs or capture the 2nd jewel in the Triple Crown with Mike's Preakness Stakes package. You can also get his Weekend Best Plays Report in his Multi-Track package or sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
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Jerry SessaJerry "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. Jerry opened the 2016 Triple Crown season by hitting his Derby Day best bet, Nyquist. He also nailed the Derby exacta for a $30.60 payout. On 4/16/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.
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