At the Gate - Saturday
January 19, 2013
By Mike Dempsey
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Jockey Ramon Dominguez was well on his way to his 5,000th win and likely winner of another Eclipse Award tonight, but a spill on Friday sent him to the hospital instead.
The first report from the New York Racing Association was that he bruised his eye and would be held overnight at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for observation.
Later we learned through his agent Steve Rushing that he suffered a fractured skull and was in critical but stable condition and in the intensive care unit.
There were positive signs this morning, with HRTV’s Joanne Jones tweeting: “Just got off the phone w/Ramon Dominguez's agent, Steve Rushing. Positive signs this morning.”
Let’s hope for a speedy recovery for the nation’s top jockey.
There is plenty of great racing today, with the Grade 3 $200,000 LeComte, a Derby prep for three-year-olds, and the Sunshine Millions is later today at Gulfstream Park, six sakes with purses totaling $1.3 million.
Saturday’s Best Plays Report includes my strongest plays from Aqueduct, the Sunshine Millions races from Gulfstream Park, and the stakes action from Fair Grounds.
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Here is today’s opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 OClm $50,000N2X (12:30 ET)
1 Summer Sunset 3-1
3 Sailmate 2-1
6 Crushing 4-1
2 Photon 4-1
Analysis: Summer Sunset is coming off a win versus Alw-1 foes at Philly off a two month break. The gelding chased a sharp early pace and got up late for the win by a neck. The runner up in the race was Purely Determined, who came back to beat $10,000 starter allowance foes in his next outing on Jan. 1 at Philly. The gelding stretches out to two turns and owns solid early and mid pace numbers and may be able to shake loose as the lone speed in here. The gelding has a win on the inner track, beating starter optional claimers here last February going a route of ground.
Sailmate made a mild late rally to finish third last out at this condition, catching a racing strip that was playing to inside speed. The five year old makes his third start of his current form cycle and seldom runs a bad one, landing in the money in 10 of his 13 career starts. The Kimmel barn is overdue, off to a slow start at the meet (0 for 14).
WIN: #1 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,6
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 The Evening Attire (3:48 ET)
7 Arlo 8-1
5 Last Gunfighter 2-1
6 Isn't He Perfect 5-1
3 Scotus 20-1
Analysis: Arlo invades from Philly where the gelding comes in off back to back wins, last out taking the Auld Lang Syne in gate to wire fashion. Two back he earned a career in the slop beating Alw-2 optional claimers. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and looks capable of wiring this field. The morning line favorite Brigand is reportedly scratching to race Sunday and I am hearing Norman Asbjornson will scratch to race Monday at Laurel Park, knocking this race down to a field of five.
Last Gunfighter comes in riding a three race win streak for the Chad Brown barn. Last out the colt won the Raymond Earl in the slop here on the main track in his stakes debut. The colt has the talent to win here but the scratches may actually hurt him as he is going to be chasing our top pick and may end up with too much to do late.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 7 / 5,6
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:
GP Race 9 The Sunshine Millions Turf (4:35 ET)
2 Doubles Partner 8-5
3 Slews Answer 5-2
4 Bad Debt 4-1
6 Teaks North 12-1
Analysis: Doubles Partner shipped to the left coast last out for the Citation (G2) at Hollywood Park and made a mild late run to finish third. The six year old was in tough versus Grade 1 company in his two previous starts, both fourth place finishes. He is a multiple graded stakes winner and will appreciate the drop in to face state breds here. He has won two of his three starts over the grass here including winning the Canadian (G3) last March. He looks tough here as the legit favorite.
Slews Answer makes his first start since June for the Motion barn that is 18% winners with horses coming back off a +180 day layoff. This guy ran well in this race last year in a runner up finish to gate to wire winner Little Mike, who went on to win three grade 1 races including the Breeders' Cup Turf in November. The gelding should be fit and ready to go off works at Palm Meadows.
WIN: #2 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,4,6
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,4,6 / 2,3,4,5,6
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.
R3: #3 Alcomach 8-1
R4: #9 Awesome Island 15-1
R6: #7 Love Scott 10-1
R7: #2 Jet Ski Cat 10-1
R8: #7 Arlo 8-1
R8: #3 Scotus 20-1
R9: #8 Our Day in Court 20-1
Good luck today!
HORSE RACING EXPERT
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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