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At the Gate - Thursday

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Trainer Rick Dutrow went 0 for 3 on Wednesday at Aqueduct, and has one horse entered on Thursday and a pair of runners entered on Friday's card.

Is time running out on the controversial trainer?

I wrote yesterday about his most recent troubles as the New York Court of Appeals ruled for the second time that they will not hear his case, paving the way for the ten year suspension handed down by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board to go into effect.

Following Dutrow's saga since his horse Fastus Cactus tested positive for the painkiller butorphanol on Nov. 20, 2010 at Aqueduct has been better drama than anything on the Bravo Network.

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Dutrow told David Grenig of The Daily Racing Form on Wednesday that he plans on taking his appeal to the federal level on Friday.

The Board slapped him with a ten year suspension and stated at the time that the trainer was a "person whose conduct at racetracks in New York State and elsewhere has been improper, obnoxious, unbecoming, and detrimental to the best interests of racing."

Dutrow was quoted in The Daily Racing Form:
"I will not give up, there's no way I'm going to give up. I keep saying it, but I know I'm going to be okay at the end of the day, I know it. I'm not interested in anything else. I'm going to fight until everybody sees it our way."

Is the New York State Racing and Wagering Board on a witch-hunt here? Dutrow is certainly not the only trainer that skirted the rules and had multiple horses test positive for drugs.

I still think somehow Dutrow is going to dodge a bullet and have the 10-year suspension reversed or at least reduced.

In the meantime the trainer continues to rack up the winners, with 12 winners from his last 33 starters at Aqueduct, good for a 36% win clip.

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)
1 Ultimo Principe 2-1
3 Classic R and B 5-2
7 Sensational Slam 5-1
4 Catalan 4-1

Analysis: Ultimo Principe
is coming off a game effort last out in a neck loss against $25,000 non-winners of three or a race since June 2. The gelding figures to be tighter for his second start off the bench and has RRod in his corner, the trainer has been sending out live runners at the meet and is 33% winners (with a +ROI) with runners making their second start off a +180 day layoff. The gelding has done most of his best running on the inner track, landing in the exacta in 5 of 7 trips.

Classic R and B prompted the early pace and did not have enough punch left late in a third place finish against $30,000 non-winners of two or three year olds. The runner up in that race was Ancient Rome, who came back to beat restricted $15,000 foes in his next outing on Dec. 28. The gelding as claimed out of his last outing by the Levine barn that is 29% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. He gets a jock upgrade here from the bug to Ramon.

Wagering
WIN: #1 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,4,7
TRI: 1,3 / 1,3,4,7 / 1,3,4,6,7

Today's Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 7 OClm $25,000N2X (3:18 ET)
6 Quiet Favorite 20-1
4 Bigger Is Bettor 3-1
3 Readtheprospectus 2-1
1 Readthebyline 7-2

Analysis: Quiet Favorite
is going to be a price in here and looks capable of moving forward off his last effort, a fourth place finish at this level. He was coming back off a 2 1/2 month break and rallied against the track bias, which was favoring inside speed that day. He has now lost nine in a row but has faced mostly tougher, four of those starts coming in stakes company. He has done his best work on the inner track, beating state bred Alw-1 foes here last January. The barn can pop with a longshot on occasion and we should catch a generous price in this spot.

Bigger Is Bettor is coming off a decent effort in a runner up finish last out at this condition, beaten four lengths by loose on the lead gate to wire winner Tug of War over a speed friendly racing strip that day. The five year old looks like he is headed in the right direction form wise and while he is 0 for 5 on the inner track in his career he has run pretty well, landing in the money in all five trips.

Wagering
WIN: #6 to win at 10-1 or better.
EX: 4,6 / 1,3,4,6
TRI: 4,6 / 1,3,4,6 / 1,3,4,6,7

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: #2 Spirit of Peace 15-1
R4: #4 Tweet Me 10-1
R4: #5 Mr Lit 12-1
R5: #5 Floating Alone 15-1
R6: #6 Unbridled Band 8-1
R7: #6 Quiet Favorite 20-1
R8: #4 Dr Disco 15-1
R9: #2 Bos'n Alwyne 10-1

Good luck today!

  
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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.
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