We had a good day on Friday at Aqueduct despite a rather lackluster betting card, with three winners on top on the nine race card highlighted by Bay Head Beauty, who returned $18.00 to win.
The mare topped a recommended exacta that returned $91.00 and a trifecta that paid $313.00, decent payoffs considering runner up Blondecat was 3-1 and third place finisher Skiddles n’ Bob was sent off at 5-2.
Saturday’s card looks better, with a pair of stakes, although each only has six betting interests.
The second race on the card is the $75,000 Coyote Lakes at 1 ½ miles on the inner track. Trainer David Jacobson sends out a trio of runners including the 8-5 morning line favorite Our Entourage, who was beaten 10 ¾ lengths in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap in his last outing on Nov. 17.
The trainer also sends out the couple entry Ea and Punster, although the latter just ran on Jan. 9 and figures to scratch.
The feature is the $75,000 Ruthless for three-year-old fillies going six furlongs on the inner track. I landed on the 5-2 morning line favorite Little Rocket (5-2) for trainer Mike Hushion, but it a wide open affair.
There is plenty of early speed signed up, which could benefit the Todd Pletcher trained Kimono, who is cutting back from a runner up finish going two turns on the inner against first level allowance optional claimers.
The feature at Gulfstream Park on Saturday is a good one as a field of eleven will go to the gate in the Grade 2 $150,000 Ft. Lauderdale at 1 1/16 miles on the grass.
The Pletcher trained Dominus is the 3-1 morning line favorite, but I am seeking a bit more value by going with the Chad Brown trained Big Blue Kitten (6-1), who figures to go off at a decent price.
Saturday’s Best Plays Report includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.
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Here is today’s opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
Analysis: Myopia chased the early pace from the rail and was no match for the winner last out for a $25,000 tag in her local debut. She ran into a winner who drew off to win by 16 1/4 lengths. She drops into a softer spot here tagged for $16,000 and she did show some ability at Finger Lakes with a couple of seconds and thirds in his first six starts. Alvarado takes the call and this gal figures to move forward with a race over the surface and the 8-1 morning line looks fair enough to give her a look here.
Boldchildsrevenge dueled for the early lead and weakened in the stretch to finish fifth last out for a $25,000 tag in her first start on the inner track. The filly owns solid early and mid pace numbers and out in a bullet drill on Jan. 7 for the Brown barn. The filly has a decent pedigree, by Point Given out of the stakes placed Bold Child ($46,000) her first foal to race. She looks well spotted here dropping in for $16,000
WIN: #9 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 7,9 / 3,5,7,9
TRI: 7,9 / 3,5,7,9 / 3,5,7,8,9
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 The Ruthless (3:48 ET) 3 Little Rocket 5-2 2 Kimono 3-1 4 My Kinda Party 4-1 5 Lady Banks 7-2
Analysis: Little Rocket caught wet tracks in both of her starts, breaking her maiden in her debut and then was a good looking winner against state bred Alw-1 foes last out, drawing clear to win by 7 1/2 lengths. She steps into a tougher spot here outside of the state bred ranks for her stakes debut but looks as if she still has some upside. She has a nice pedigree, out of the Grade 2 winner How About Now ($166,376) who has dropped six winners including multiple stakes winner Lovely Lil ($299,890) and Sweet Sweet ($191,341). She should get a good tracking trip behind a lively early pace.
Kimono set the early fractions over a speed friendly racing strip and could not hold off the winner late in a runner up finish going two turns against Alw-1 optional claimers. The winner of the race was Princess of Slymar, who came back to win the Busanda in her next outing here on Jan. 5. The Todd Pletcher trainee cuts back to a sprint and she broke her maiden in her second career start going seven furlongs. The barn is 26% winners moving runners from route to sprint.
WIN: #3 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,4
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:
GP Race 10 The Ft Lauderdale G2 (5:05 ET) 8 Big Blue Kitten 6-1 3 Fifty Proof 6-1 4 Dominus 3-1 2 Nikki's Sandcastle 5-1
Analysis: Big Blue Kitten was a game winner versus Alw-3 optional claimers last out in his first go off a 5 1/2 month layoff for the Chad Brown barn. The five year old had a productive 2012 campaign, winning five races in a row including the Hall of Fame (G2) at Saratoga. He should be sitting off what is going to be a lively early pace and figures to move forward in his second start off the bench. The barn is 25% winners with runners making their second start off a 61-180 day layoff. Decent value if he goes off near his 6-1 morning line.
Fifty Proof won the restricted Sir Barton last out at Woodbine on polytrack in his first start off 1 1/2 years on the sidelines. He has shown he is just as good on turf as the fake stuff, landing in the exacta in 7 of 9 starts in his career on turf including a runner up finish in the 2010 Canadian International (G1). There is plenty of early speed in here, but if Elvis can work out a good trip for this guy he has a short of being in the mix here and should end up going off at a fair price.
WIN: #8 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 3,8 / 2,3,4,8
TRI: 3,8 / 2,3,4,8 / 2,3,4,7,8
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.
R1: #5 Ivory Lightning 20-1
R5: #4 Winter Now 8-1
R9: #5 Everydoghashisday 12-1
R9: #9 Front 8-1
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 daily with top picks from Belmont or Keeneland. 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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