At the Gate - Saturday
April 25, 2014
By Mike Dempsey
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ï»¿After hitting the Pick 5 on Wednesday and Thursday I came into Friday’s Aqueduct card full of confidence and with a sizable bankroll, but it was clearly in the red after we failed to make it a hat trick.
The opener went as planned as Elmra got the job done as the chalk paying $2.50. But I failed to come up with Revealing Moment ($19.80) in the second race. She won despite the jockey Rosario Montanez coming out of the irons after it appeared the jockey hit the side of the gate at the break.
Then in the third race I did not give Flaring much of a shot, and the upset winner returned $45.00 with a good late rally and winning despite getting bumped around in the stretch. My top pick Two Blue Hens was sitting back early and I thought things were setting up nicely for her but jockey Manuel Franco elected to take the filly really wide turning for home and she ran out of gas.
The Pick 5 returned $17,534.00 for $1.
Franco was aboard my top pick Annie Walker in the nightcap and the jockey did his best to strangle her back as she wanted to run early and was a bit rank. When the jockey did finally let her run she ran out of gas in the stretch and finished fifth, ending a rather dismal day for myself as well as the jockey.
I know I have complained about the jockey colony at Aqueduct all winter, and I am hoping by the time Belmont Park rolls around next week that the reinforcements are coming.
It would be great to see Javier Castellano, John Velazquez, Alan Garcia, and Junior Alvarado riding full time in New York. I figure by having a solid group of professional jockeys will be good for reducing my blood pressure by at least 20%.
My Multi Track Report for Saturday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Santa Anita.
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Here is today’s opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 OClm $30,000N2X (1:20 ET)
4 Precious Metal 5-2
6 Isn'tlovejustgrand 7-2
1 Majestic Raffy 3-1
3 Why Not Whiskey 15-1
Analysis: Precious Metal is coming off a sharp win over the grass here on April 12 against straight $25,000 claimers and he now returns to the state bred ranks here. The Barbara barn claimed him for $20,000 three back and after a fourth two back on the main track the switch back to turf suited this guy. The gelding has won five of his 16 starts on turf and CVel sticks He looks capable of winning right back and has shown he can run over ground with some give to it which may be the case again today.
Isn'tlovejustgrand dueled for the early lead and battled on gamely in the stretch to come up 1 3/4 lengths shy of the top spot against state bred $20,000 claimers. He steps into a tougher spot here but has shown he can run on turf, landing in the exacta in 11 of 30 trips. He comes back here off a two month break for the Friedman barn that is 12% winners with runners coming back off a 45-90 day break.
WIN: #4 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 4,6 / 1,3,4,6
TRI: 4,6 / 1,3,4,6 / 1,3,4,6,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 OClm $75,000C (4:57 ET)
6 Spa City Fever 5-2
8 Zivo 2-1
4 Sailmate 5-1
7 Comandante 4-1
Analysis: Spa City Fever took the field gate to wire last out to win at this level going a two turn mile on the inner track in his first go off a 2 1/2 month break. The gelding owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and has a couple of wins on the big A main track. The eight-year-old has won three of his last four starts earning numbers in each of those wins good enough to handle this group. He may have the tactical advantage over our second choice and will have the jump on that foe heading for home.
Zivo made a good late rally to get up late and win the state bred King's Point last out for his fourth win in his last five starts. This guy has made 12 career starts and has landed in the money in each trip. He comes back off a short break here for the Chad Brown barn that is 29% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.
WIN: #6 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 6,8 / 4,6,7,8
TRI: 6,8 / 4,6,7,8 / 2,4,67,8
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Santa Anita:
SA Race 10 The Snow Chief (5:30 PT)
6 Tamarando 2-1
3 Aotearoa 6-1
4 Awesome Return 4-1
2 Alert Bay 3-1
Analysis: Tamarando tries turf for the first time in his career as he tries to bounce back off a dull effort last out on polytrack in the Spiral (G3) at Turfway Park. In that outing he was off a beat slow, was outrun in the early going, came with a wide run and was not a threat in the stretch as the beaten favorite. Two back this guy won the El Camino Real Derby (G3) and looked headed to Louisville on the first Saturday of May. The runner up in that race was Dance With Fate, who came back to win the Toyota Blue Grass (G1). The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee is a Grade 1 winner on dirt, taking the Del mar Futurity last year and a Grade 3 winner on Tapeta. So can he handle grass? He is by Bertrando out of a stakes placed Dehere mare that has dropped three turf winners including stakes winner Luckarack ($534,635). He will appreciate the class drop here and looks imposing as the short priced favorite.
Aotearoa was eased last out in the state bred California Cup Derby which was won by California Chrome. His jockey Gary Stevens indicated he did not like the surface. He is back on turf here and in his last go over the weeds he ran a good second in the Generous (G3) at Hollywood Park last November. The blinkers go on and he has been working as if he is going to bounce back here with a much better effort.
Awesome Return was beaten just a nose last out in a game effort again state bred Alw-1 optional claimers. All three of his trips on turf are decent including a fast closing win in his maiden score last December. The colt looks as if he is going to be able to handle the extra ground and may end up getting overlooked o the tote in this spot.
WIN: #6 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 2,3,4,6
TRI: 3,6 / 2,3,4,6 / 2,3,4,5,6
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 Why Not Whiskey 15-1
R4: #3 School Yard 10-1
R5: #6 Holy Invader 12-1
R6: #6 Jimmy Fillpot 12-1
R7: #5 Dandicat 12-1
R9: #11 Four Directions 8-1
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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