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At the Gate - Sunday
Bolt d’Oro, Enticed and Quip won the three Road to the Kentucky Derby points race yesterday and each stamped a ticket to Louisville on the first Saturday of May.
 
Bolt d’Oro battled with McKinzie in the stretch in the San Felipe (G2), coming up just short but getting placed first via disqualification.
 
Enticed was a sharp winner of the Gotham (G3), and Quip pulled off the upset in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2).
 
After a rousing stretch duel in the San Felipe, there is no doubt who the best two three-year-olds are to date. Unfortunately, the stewards came into play to change the result.
 
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Bolt d’Oro with Javier Castello aboard bumped with McKinzie and jockey Mike Smith as they turned for home, and after a spirited stretch duel McKinzie appeared to come out a path or two in deep stretch.
 
There was nearly a 20-minute inquiry, with the stewards taking Mckinzie down for interference.
 
Jeremy Balan of Bloodhorse tweeted this about what the stewards said: “They said the first incident @ the 1/4 pole was inconclusive. They felt one angle showed Bolt d'Oro was at fault and the other showed McKinzie was at fault.  Came down to the foul in the stretch, which they said was conclusive.”
 
I thought it was a terrible call as did McKinzie trainer Bob Baffert. When asked if he was looking forward to a rematch in the Santa Anita Derby (G1), the Hall of Fame trainer said he likely will ship his colt elsewhere for his final Derby prep.
 
Good for him. The California stewards, the worst in the sport, robbed him of a Grade 1 victory.
 
My Best Plays Multi Track Report for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.
 
To purchase my Aqueduct and Best Plays Reports for Sunday click here.
 
Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
 
AQU Race 1 Alw $57,000N1X (1:20 ET)
#3 Strawberry Tequila   8-5
#4 Groton St Scout   7-2
#6 Satin Sheets   5-2
#1 Eighth Commandment   4-1
 
Analysis: Strawberry Tequila tracked the early pace, came with a five-wide bid and finished gamely to miss by just a nose and a neck last out in a third-place finish at this level in the mud at 6 1/2 furlongs. Two back the filly earned a career top speed fig in a runner up finish at this condition. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and catches a field here she looks capable of handling.
 
Groton St Scout drew clear late to beat $14,000 non-winners of three on a wet track here in a sharp effort in his first go off a 2 1/2-month break. She earned a career top in that outing and while she could to find the winner circle at Finger Lakes in nine tries she comes in here on the top of her game. She can't regress much off her last effort and still win here.
 
Wagering
WIN: #3 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 3,4,6
TRI: no play
 
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
 
AQU Race 8 OClm $80,000N1X (4:56 ET)
#6 Spectacular Kid   8-1
#1 Violent Delights   3-1
#4 Analyze the Odds   2-1
#5 Danny California   6-5
 
Analysis: Spectacular Kid stretches out to a mile for the first time here for the martin barn that is overdue for some luck after going 1 for 32 at the meeting with 13 others running second or third. This gelding graduated at Finger Lakes and ran a decent third in a NY Stallion Series race. Last out he checked din fifth at this level behind repeat winner Nine Route with two others also exiting that race to win next out. He has the pedigree to handle the extra ground, by Mission Impazible out of a Theatrical mare.
 
Violent Delights stalked the early pace, came up the inside and took over the lead and then could not hold off the winner late in a runner up finish in his first start against winners. He graduated two back over the main track here at a mile. three back he was fifth in a key race in which the top three won next out, the winner Audible wining the Holy Bull (G2) in his most recent start. This colt looks headed in the right direction and another move forward gives him a good shot in this spot.
 
Wagering
WIN: #6 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,4,5,6
TRI: 1,6 / 1,4,5,6 / 1,2,4,5,6
 
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:
 
GP Race 10 Clm $6,250 (4:33 ET)
#6 Ventina   7-2
#2 First Distinction   5-2
#3 Loving Valentina   8-1
#5 Fiore   8-1
 
Analysis: Ventina cuts back to six furlongs after trouncing $6,250 claimers last out going a mile by 7 1/2 lengths. The filly has enough early speed to handle the cut back and she won in her lone go over a wet track. She goes for Vella today getting claimed out of each of her last two starts.
 
First Distinction set the early fractions and weakened to finish sixth last out against state bred Alw-1 optional claimers in her first go off the claim by the Vitali barn. She was taken for this tag two back from Saffie out of a gate to wire score. She fits here on the class drop back in for a tag and she has a couple of wins in four trips over wet tracks in case the rains come.
 
Wagering
WIN: #6 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,5,6
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,5,6 / 2,3,4,5,6
 
Live Longshots:
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.
 
Aqueduct
R2: #6 Motown Sound   8-1
R3: #2 Spinyatta   8-1
R6: #7 Speed Khaleesi   8-1
R6: #5 Tiz Anna Rae   12-1
R8: #6 Spectacular Kid   8-1
R9: #10 Desert Jazz   12-1
 
Good luck today!

  
HEADLINES
· News: 2018 Breeders' Cup Odds
· McKinzie wins $1M Pa Derby
· Trainer Leatherbury wins 6,500th race
· Smith, fixture among media, dies at 99
· Injured Espinoza plans a return to riding
· Gulfstream Meet to set money records
· Pegasus World Cup returning in 2019
· Ortiz Jr. rides 2,000th career winner
MORE HEADLINES
 
HORSE RACING EXPERT
Mike Dempsey 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.
The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes.

Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, 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 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 Sessa 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.
Jerry opened the 2016 Triple Crown season by hitting his Derby Day best bet, Nyquist. He also nailed the Derby exacta for a $30.60 payout. On 4/16/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.

In the 2015 Belmont Stakes Jerry dominated races 8-11 by hitting a $4,400 Pick 4, 3 Daily Doubles, 2 Pick 3's and calling American Pharoah as the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.

Jerry is always looking to repeat his 2012 Triple Crown success, when he selected the winning horses for The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes.

Jerry looks forward to working with everyone and making money for anyone who invests in his picks on a daily basis.

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