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At the Gate - Thursday

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It was a tough break when the Todd Pletcher trained Violence was taken off the Derby Trail with an injury after his runner up finish in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth last Saturday, but do not feel too sorry for the five-time Eclipse Award winning trainer.
 
Pletcher has six runners among the 23 separate betting interests in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, with betting opening on Friday.
 
Delhomme (50-1), Overanalyze (20-1), Palace Malice (30-1), Revolutionary (12-1), Shanghai Bobby (15-1)and Verrazano (10-1) make up the six Pletcher runners.
 
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Overanalyze will be in action on Saturday as the 5-2 morning line favorite in the Grade 3 $400,000 Gotham, the only Derby prep coming up this weekend.
 
The Rudy Rodriguez trained Vyjack is the second choice in the Gotham at 3-1 and is the only other runner from the 23 separate betting interests that is in action this weekend. Vyjack is listed at 30-1 for the KDFW.
 
The new additions to Pool 2 are Ive Struck a Nerve, Orb, Palace Malice, Shakin It Up, Titletown Five, and Treasury Bill.
 
The horses from Pool 1 that are now relegated to “all others” or are off the Derby Trail are Capo Bastone, Frac Daddy, He’s Had Enough, Mylute, Violence, and Will Take Charge.
 
Betting in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager will open Friday at noon eastern time and will conclude at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
 
While the Derby Trail features just one prep this weekend, we do have an outstanding card on Saturday at Santa Anita Park with a trio of Grade 1 races.
 
The highlight is the Grade 1  $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap featuring a matchup of Game On Dude and last year’s winner Ron the Greek.
 
The 2012 champion juvenile champion Beholder is in action in the Grade 1 $250,000 San Virgenes, and a field of eight will line up in the Grade 1 $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe.
 
The Gotham is supported at the Big A by the Grade 2 $200,000 Top Flight Handicap and the Grade 2 $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap.
 
All the stakes action will be in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.
 
2013 Kentucky Derby Future Wager Pool 2
Number - Horse - Morning Line Odds

1 - Code West 20-1
2 - Delhomme 50-1
3 - Den’s Legacy 50-1
4 - Dynamic Sky 50-1
5 - Falling Sky 50-1
6 - Flashback 12-1
7 - Goldencents 20-1
8 - Itsmyluckyday 12-1
9 - Ive Struck A Nerve 30-1
10 - Normandy Invasion 15-1
11 - Orb 12-1
12 - Overanalyze 20-1
13 - Oxbow 30-1
14 - Palace Malice 30-1
15 - Revolutionary 12-1
16 - Shakin It Up 15-1
17 - Shanghai Bobby 15-1
18 - Super Ninety Nine 10-1
19 - Titletown Five 30-1
20 - Treasury Bill 30-1
21 - Uncaptured 30-1
22 - Verrazano 10-1
23 - Vyjack 30-1
24 - All Others 3-1

Click here to purchase my full card report for Aqueduct for Thursday.
 
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 OClm $60,000SAL (12:50 ET)
2 Endless Chatter   2-1
5 Grand Mere   4-5
1 Go Olivia Go   4-1
4 Ascended Fever   12-1
 
Analysis: Ouch, a five horse field to start the day. Endless Chatter faces winners for the first time here after taking the field gate to wire to break her maiden last out for a $60,000 tag in her third career start and first on the inner track. The runner up Lenderoflastresort came back to break her maiden in her next outing on Feb. 24. The filly showed plenty of promise last fall in her debut in a runner up finish at the maiden special weight level, beaten by Gal About Town, who thanks to a DQ is now a Grade 2 winner, placed first in the Pocahontas and also running second in the Grade 2 Golden Rod. She has the pedigree to handle the extra ground here and she is in good hands with the Chad Brown barn that is 34% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route.
 
Grand Mere made a good late rally to break her maiden last out in the mud on the stretch out to two turns. The filly earned the top last out speed fig in the effort and finds a soft spot here for her first go against winners. We might see a wet track which she has shown she can handle but tough to get too excited about backing her at less than even money.
 
Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 2 / 1,5
TRI: no play
 
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
 
AQU Race 8 OClm $35,000C (4:22 ET)
4 Sacred Success   5-2
6 Expression   2-1
3 Sing Dixie Sing   4-1
1 McCarren Park   6-1
 
Analysis: Sacred Success makes her first start for the RRod barn who takes over from Dutrow. The filly was last seen on Jan. 8 where she chased the early pace from the outside and finished with some interest for third, beaten 1 1/4 lengths for the top spot as the beaten favorite. She was the beaten favorite in each of her last three starts since beating state bred Alw-2 foes four back. This might be the first time in her career where she is not the betting favorite. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and has handled a wet track. She looks well spotted here by RRod who is 30% winners (with a +ROI) with newcomers to the barn.
 
Expression bobbled coming out of the gate but finished full of run to beat $35,000 non-winners of three or a race in six months or four year olds. The filly has won four of her six starts on the inner track with a second. The profile of the way the surface is playing certainly does not fit her but she wins anyway. She should get a solid pace to run at here.
 
Wagering
WIN: #4 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 4,6 / 1,3,4,6
TRI: 4,6 / 1,3,4,6 / 1,2,3,4,6
 
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
R1: #4 Ascended Fever   12-1
R4: #1 Hulett   8-1
R4: #6 Pass the Tap   10-1
R6: #6 Imreloaded   8-1
R9: #5 One Or the Other   20-1
 
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.
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.

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