At the Gate - Wednesday
March 20, 2013
By Mike Dempsey
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Racing is back on Wednesdays at Aqueduct for the first time since January, just in time for the first day of spring. While we had a little snow and rain on Monday and Tuesday, the sun will make an appearance by Wednesday afternoon.
This is also the last week of racing on the inner track. Racing on the main track starts on March 27, and turf racing will be here shortly as well.
Today’s card features a stake, the $75,000 Sonia’s Scamp for New York bred fillies and mares going one mile. The race drew a field of six led by Harbor Mist, who is the 9-5 morning line favorite.
The four-year-old filly ships back from Florida where in her last outing she set the early fractions and faded to finish a well beaten seventh against second level optional claimers going a one turn mile at Gulfstream Park.
She may appreciate the return to the state bred ranks but we’ll try to beat her for the top spot with Lady Gracenote.
I am still kicking myself for not using Oxbow in my exotics in Saturday’s Grade 2 Rebel at Oaklawn Park. My second choice Will Take Charge pulled off the big upset returning $58.00, but I missed out on the exacta and trifecta.
In addition we missed out on a great potential payoff in the daily double. In the previous race Tiz Miss Sue was my top pick in the Grade 3 Azeri. She handled the big favorite My Miss Aurelia, returning $18.40.
I attempted to play an Azeri-Rebel double, but forgot that Oaklawn Park does not have rolling doubles. The track only has an early and late double.
A double including winners that paid $18.40 and $58.00 would have likely paid $400+, and instead I was left scratching my head.
The two daily double pools that Oaklawn Park did have on Saturday had $72,000 and $95,000 wagered. The track is costing themselves millions in handle each meeting by not offering rolling doubles.
C’mon Oaklawn Park, this is not 1986.
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Here is today’s opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Hcp $12,500s (12:50 ET)
3 Warrior Marie 15-1
4 Rhonin Victoria 2-1
7 Sheza Classy Lady 9-5
1 Skiddles n' Bob 3-1
Analysis: Warrior Move set the early fractions and weakened to finish fifth last out against state bred Alw-1 optional claimers last out, catching a racing strip that was playing to outside stalkers and closers that day. This gal owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and both of her wins have come on the inner track. She is going to have to step up her game in this spot and has the low % Davis in the irons for a low % outfit, but this mare is likely going to outrun her odds in this spot.
Rhonin Victoria tracked the early pace, made a good middle to get into the mix and could not match strides late with the winner in a runner up finish last out against $12,500 non-winners of three or a race in six months. She was better than 20 lengths clear of the rest of the field in the effort. She goes from RRod to Barbara who is showing a 0 for 9 mark first off the claim. She makes her second start off a 2 1/2 month break and even with a slight regression she is the one to beat in this spot.
WIN: #3 to win at 8-1 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 1,3,4,7
TRI: 3,4 / 1,3,4,7 / 1,3,4,6,7
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 The Sonia's Scamp (4:22 ET)
3 Lady Gracenote 2-1
2 Freud's Notebook 7-2
6 Harbor Mist 9-5
4 Shesabronxbomber 5-1
Analysis: Lady Gracenote drops into a better spot here after a fourth place finish last out in the Top Flight 'Cap (G2). Two back against state bred Alw-2 foes this mare was a sharp winner, defeating Freud's Notebook by 5 1/4 lengths. The runner up came back to beat state bred Alw-2 optional claimers in her next outing on Feb. 21 and is our second choice in here. The Servis barn is having a solid meeting and this gal looks well spotted here.
Freud's Notebook went gate to wire in that score last out and was flattered when third place finisher Erin's Enchanted came back to win at the state bred Alw-2 level in her next outing on March 14. The mare has now won 5 of 11 starts on the inner track in her career and today makes her first start for the Rice barn that is 19% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim.
WIN: #3 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,6
TRI: no play
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: #3 Warrior Move 15-1
R9: #11 Last Run 12-1
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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