Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:06 AM

At the Gate - Thursday

The field has been drawn for the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) on Saturday at Gulfstream Park and Gun Runner was installed as the 4-5 morning line favorite, but the post draw did not help his chances.

Last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner and likely Horse of the Year (the Eclipse Awards are tonight) drew the 10 post in the field of 12 and there is a very short run to the first turn at Gulfstream Park for 1 1/8-mile races.

His trainer Steve Asmussen was optimistic after the post position draw.

“We’re good. You know, he drew better than he did in last year’s Pegasus, so we’ll see what we can get done this year,” Asmussen said. “I’ve always said, you don’t know to complain about the post position until after a race is run. It might work out perfectly for him.”

In last year’s Pegasus Gun Runner probably would have been third choice in the betting behind Arrogate and California Chrome, but he was stuck in quarantine at Fair Grounds and could not participate.

A month after the Pegasus he rolled to victory in the Razorback Handicap (G2) at Oaklawn Park and after getting run down by Arrogate in the Dubai World Cup (G1) he reeled off four Grade 1 wins in a row and is going to be very tough to beat on Saturday.

Among the foes he faces are Travers (G1) winner West Coast (8-1), Cigar Mile (G1) winner Sharp Azteca (6-1), Pacific Classic (G1) winner Collected (8-1) and the brilliant mare Stellar Wind (30-1).

Stellar Wind was sold for $6 million in November and is taking a detour from the breeding shed into the world’s richest race while taking on the boys.

She faded to finish a disappointing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) in her last outing., She won 10 of her first 15 career starts and has earned $2.2 million in her career.

There is blockbuster 12-race card on tap at Gulfstream Park on Saturday with seven supporting stakes. I will have my full card report up on Friday afternoon for the big day.

Post Horse Morning Line Odds
1 Singing Bullet 30-1
2 West Coast 8-1
3 Stellar Wind 30-1
4 Sharp Azteca 6-1
5 Collected 8-1
6 Gunnevera 15-1
7 Fear The Cowboy 30-1
8 War Story 25-1
9 Toast of New York 20-1
10 Gun Runner 4-5
11 Seeking The Soul 25-1
12 Giant Expectations 30-1
AE Giuseppe The Great
AE Game Over

To purchase my Aqueduct Report for Thursday click here .

Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:

AQU Race 1 Clm $50,000B (12:20 ET)
#6 Curtis 5-2
#5 Bobby On Fleek 2-1
#3 Hembree 3-1
#4 Blue Belt 9-2

Analysis: Curtis set the early fractions and weakened inside the final furlong in a third-place finish against $25,000 starter allowance foes at Philly. The winner Giant Trick came back to beat Alw-1 foes and then run second against Alw-2 company in his next two starts. He draws the outside post which should give him some options as there is some other early zip in here. He has run really well in his three starts since Gullo claimed him for $25,000.

Bobby On Fleek was a sharp winner versus $25,000 non-winners of three or three-year-olds. It was his first go off a six-month layoff and his first go for the RRod barn. Under Chad Brown care he showed some promise early in his career with a runner up finish in the state bred Funny Cide. He owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers but is going to catch some heat early in this spot. His price may end up on the light side.

WIN: #6 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 5,6 / 3,5,6
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 8 OClm $40,000N2X (3:50 ET)
#5 Startwithsilver 7-2
#7 Andesine 5-2
#1 Lady Bergen 2-1
#4 Vicki's Dancer 12-1

Analysis: Starwithsilver goes turf to dirt here after beating $35,000 non-winners of three last out going six furlongs on turf. The runner up Bigkat and Camille came back to beat Alw-1 foes here on turf in her next outing on Dec. 1. This gal is 0 for 9 at this condition but she did run second three times including a good effort three back behind repeat winner Fire Key. Rice is off to a good start at the meeting and is 17% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.

Andesine was a much the best winner last out versus $35,000 non-winners of three here going a mile and now cuts back to six furlongs. Three back at this level at six furlongs she ran a decent third in a race taken off the turf. She makes her first start here for the Englehart barn that is 17% winners first off the claim. She should get a good trip sitting off what could be a lively early pace.

WIN: #5 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 5,7 / 1,4,5,7
TRI: 5,7 / 1,4,5,7 / 1,4,5,6,7

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.

R4: #2 Buy for Less 10-1
R7: #2 Full Salute 8-1
R8: #4 Vicki’s Dancer 12-1

Good luck today!

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