At the Gate - Friday
November 8, 2013
By Mike Dempsey
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The rains have passed at Aqueduct and the sun has come out, meaning we are back on the turf today and the main track is listed as fast.
After five days at the Big A, trainer David Jacobson has heated up again. Jacobson had cooled off at the Belmont Park meeting, winning with 16 of 120 starters, just a 13% clip.
The barn had a solid Saratoga meeting, finishing in a tie for third in the trainer standings with 16 winners from 71 starters (23%).
The Aqueduct meet seems to suit the barn’s horses better, and so far that has worked out. Through five days of the meeting Jacobson has won with six of 18 starters (33%). He has runners in six of the nine races today, several very live.
Former Rick Dutrow assistant Michelle Nevin is also off to a good start at the meeting, winning with three of here four starters.
Another trainer to keep an eye on is Chris Englehart, who was live at Belmont Park, winning with eight of 39 starters (21%) good for eighth in the standings. He has started off the Big A meeting going 0 for 10.
Rudy Rodrigues hit at just an 11% clip at Belmont Park, and is another tricky barn to read over the past year. His line so far at the Big A is 12-2-4-2.
Another usually high percentage trainer that is on the chilly side is Bruce Levine. He hit with just five of 53 starters (9%) at Belmont Park and has started off the Big A meeting going one for 10.
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Here is today’s opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Clm $16,000B (12:20 ET)
5 Speedy's Gal 3-1
12 Double Berg 9-2
6 Score Boyera 10-1
10 Another Please 6-1
Analysis: Speedy's Gal gets the call and I am hoping we are back on turf today, as the final couple of races came off the grass yesterday. Our top pick stalked the early pace while saving ground and made a mild late rally to finish a good third last out at this condition for a $20,000 tag. The mare makes her third start of her current form cycle and is a four-time winner on turf. Her last win came over the turf here back in April over ground labeled as good.
Double Berg exits the same race as our top pick and she has some trouble, having to steady avoid a tiring foe with three furlongs to go. After angling toward the outside in the stretch, she made a good late run to finish in the runner up spot. She draws a tough post and goes from 37-1 last out to a 5-2 morning line here which seems on the short side. She seems to like her turf on the firm side.
WIN: #5 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 5,12 / 5,6,10,12
TRI: 5,12 / 5,6,10,12 / 1,5,6,10,12
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 OClm $100,000N3X (3:43 ET)
7 Majestic Hussar 3-1
1 Ravalo / 1a Praetereo 4-1
4 Reload 7-2
9 Night Maneuver 6-1
Analysis: Majestic Hussar chased a sharp early pace and weakened to finish sixth last out in the Gallant Bob, which seems to come up salty every year. The runner up Clearly Now came back to win the Bold Ruler (G3) in his next outing and the fourth place finisher Zeewat came back to win the Damascus on BC Saturday. The colt now makes his first start for the Ward barn that is 20% winners (with a +ROI) with newcomers to the barn. The colt owns solid early and mid pace numbers and drops into a great spot here for his first go for the new barn.
Ravalo steps up a notch here off a win versus Alw-2 optional claimers in his first go off the claim by the Jacobson barn. This nine year old won his first start since '11 on the barn switch and looks sharp enough for the class hike. Entrymate Praetereo exits decent efforts in stakes company and owns back speed figs that are good enough to win at this level.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,7 / 1,4,7,9
TRI: 1,7 / 1,4,7,9 / 1,3,4,7,9
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: #6 Score Boyera 10-1
R4: #4 My Surfer Girl 12-1
R5: #6 Lead Singer 8-1
R6: #10 Midnight Music 10-1
R9: #7 Broadway Music Girl 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.
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.
Mike has 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.
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