At the Gate - Thursday
April 23, 2014
By Mike Dempsey
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The week got off to a good start on Wednesday as we had five winners on top on the nine race card at Aqueduct along with six recommended exactas.
The winners paid $7.70, $6.30, $7.60, $9.30 and $8.00. The exactas returned $13.40, $17.60, $40.80, $41.40, $32.60 and $50.00.
The early Pick 5 included three winners on top, a second choice, and my third choice started off the sequence. The $1 Pick 5 returned $679.50 and I nearly missed it.
I played six tickets in the Pick 5 and only used my third choice Reserved Quality in the opener on one of the tickets. With the other five tickets dead I ran the table with three top picks and my second choice Sinatra closing out the sequence.
I cashed that ticket after a big sigh of relief, and we closed out the day by hitting the exacta and trifecta in each of the last three races on the card. That was followed by using the “withdrawal” button at my account wagering service.
If only it was that easy every day.
Today’s early pick 5 (with a reduced 15% takeout) might be tougher as I do not have a strong opinion in the opening two races, which both drew weak slow fields. I may go a bit deeper in the first two legs of the sequence so I can be alive for the final three legs.
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Here is today’s opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Md $16,000 (1:20 ET)
2 Marlins Wonder 7-2
3 Hunter Grey 2-1
1 The Iron Furnace 6-5
5 Uragano 8-1
Analysis: Marlins Wonder gets the call and I am not sure which is weaker, this group of horses or jockeys. Our top pick was fourth in his debut at this tag and now comes back with lasix added for the underrated Esler barn. The trainer sticks with Studart who has won just one race this year. The gelding has enough pedigree to handle the extra ground although his three sibs have not made it to the winner's circle to date.
Hunter Grey set the early fractions and weakened to finish third last out going a two turn mile on the inner. The winner Her He Fitz came back to beat $16,000 non-winners of two in his next outing on April 16. The cut back to one turn should suit and this guy owns a good edge in early pace numbers. Not much confidence in the 10 pound bug or the barn. The trainer is 0 for 27 this year.
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 1,2,3
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 OClm $30,000N2X (4:57 ET)
5 Sinistra 6-1
4 Groomedforvictory 5-2
3 The Brothers Rap 6-1
7 Bernardo 3-1
Analysis: Sinistra finished behind a couple of these last out when checking in fourth at this level, beaten 3/4 of a length for the top spot. The gelding stalked the early pace, came with a good four wide bid and could not make up the ground late over a racing strip that was playing to inside speed. Three back this guy was beaten just a head in the state bred King's Point and four back was beaten just a neck and a head at this level, the speed figs in those two trips good enough to win here.
Groomedforvictory pressed the early pace and battled on gamely right to the wire in a tough neck loss against $6,000 starter allowance foes. He was nearly eight lengths clear of the third place finisher in a compact field of four. The gelding was claimed three back by Jacobson and he has kept this nine-year-old ticking in a couple of good efforts for the barn. The old timer has done some of his best work on the Big A main track where he has landed in the exacta in eight of 11 trips.
WIN: #5 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 4,5 / 3,4,5,7
TRI: 4,5 / 3,4,5,7 / 3,4,5,7,8
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 Uragano 8-1
R2: #1 Fly Solo 8-1
R3: #5 Samurai Assault 8-1
R4: #5 Darnley Bay 12-1
R5: #7 Boxford Belle 15-1
R6: 32 Pepe 12-1
R9: #5 Ballerina Bliss 10-1
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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