At the Gate - Friday
March 7, 2014
By Mike Dempsey
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We had a chalky day on Thursday at the Big A, with winners that included Prime Time City who started the day returning $2.20 and Dowager paying the same just two races later. The Pick 5 paid just $78.25 on a $1 ticket.
The biggest price on the day belonged to Hundred Acre Wood, who took the field gate to wire to win the eighth race, paying $31.00.
The mare was ridden by the apprentice Emmanuel Esquivel, who was able to nurse the mare through soft early fractions and she went gate to wire. What was frustrating was that there were several other runners in the field that had early zip, but the winner went unchallenged.
It is a scenario we have seen far too many times at the inner track meeting. I have said several times that the jockey colony currently at Aqueduct is the worst I have seen in New York in the 30 years I have been handicapping the track full time.
Track handicapper Andy Serling did not seem amused after the eighth race either. He tweeted out the following shortly after the race:
“The riding in that race was about as bad as it gets. How that race was run in THAT manner, given the speed signed on, is very strange.”
I agree with Andy’s assessment on the race but could not print what I actually said after the race.
Saturday’s $200,000 San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita, a Derby points race, lost a major contender in Bayern. His trainer Bob Baffert announced yesterday that the colt would scratch due to a foot bruise.
The colt is perfect in two career starts, breaking his maiden in his debut and then earning a solid 98 Beyer Speed Figure beating first level allowance foes by 15 lengths.
Baffert will still be well represented with Midnight Hawk, who was third as the beaten favorite in the Robert B. Lewis (G2) in his last outing.
The San Felipe and the $350,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) both offer 50-20-10-5 points to the top four finishers.
I will have selections for both stakes as well as the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap (G1) in Saturday’s Multi-Track Report.
Purchase my Monthly Package and receive an entire month of Aqueduct action and my Best Plays on the weekends for just $99.95.
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Here is today’s opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Clm $25,000N3L (1:20 ET)
3 So Blessed 3-1
2 Daisygonnamakeit 6-5
4 Typhoon Teri 4-1
5 Revealing Moment 15-1
Analysis: So Blessed stalked the early pace, had come with a very wide run and did not have enough punch left late in a sixth place finish, beaten three lengths for the top spot. It was her first go off a two-month layoff and she was sent off at 31-1. She drops into a better spot here tagged for $25,000 and facing non-winners of three. She should move forward with a better trip but her price is going to be much shorter today.
Daisygonnamakeit pressed the early pace toward the outside and finished evenly while unable to get past the winner against $16,000 non-winners of three. She was claimed out of the race by the Jacobson barn that is 26% winners first off the claim. The filly owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and while she steps up in price to $25,000 these are still non-winners of three. She picks up the bug Rice who has been very live for the barn at the meeting winning with 10 of 24 mounts.
WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,4
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 7 Clm $16,000 (4:14 ET)
7 Seeker 7-2
2 The Truth and K G 9-5
6 Alcomatch 4-1
8 Majestic Number 6-1
Analysis: Seeker chased the early pace and tired to finish seventh last out against Alw-1 foes. The third place finisher Start Jumping exited the race to beat Alw-1 foes in his next start with a 98 Beyer. The gelding drops into a much better spot here tagged for $16,000. Three back he beat $20,000 starter optional claimers on the main track and he beat $25,000 non-winners of three at Philly when last in for a tag.
The Truth and K G returns off nearly a two month break here after finishing evenly last out in a fourth place finish for a $35,000 tag in the mud. The colt was claimed out of the race by the RRod barn that is 28% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. Three back when in the Pletcher barn he beat $35,000 non-winners of two or three-year-olds. He figures to bounce back with a better effort here on the barn switch and the low profile jock has won with three of his five mounts for the barn.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,7 / 2,6,7,8
TRI: 2,7 / 2,6,7,8 / 2,3,6,7,8
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 Revealing Moment 15-1
R3: #3 Let’s Discuss 10-1
R4: #2 Mommy’s Dearest 12-1
R5: #2 Get Gorgeous 10-1
R6: #3 Campion Lane 10-1
R8: #4 Agua Regia 8-1
R8: #5 Brown Melissa 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.
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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Jerry "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.
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