Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:06 AM

At the Gate - Sunday

Gun Runner went out in style, winning the $16 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, picking up a cool $7 million and now is off to the breeding shed.

Under a flawless ride from Florent Geroux, the 2017 Horse of the year broke sharply, tracked the early pace set by Collected, put that foe away and held off a late charge by West Coast, disposing of that foe inside the final furlong and winning by 2 ½ lengths as the 6-5 favorite.

The Steve Asmussen trainee returned $4.20 as my second choice, while my top pick West Coast completed a $2 exacta that paid $17.20.  

Gunnevera rallied for third to complete a $1 trifecta that paid $55.50.

The best news for horseplayers after the race is there was no single ticket in the Rainbow 6 and there is a carryover of $3,991,012 with the entire pool getting paid out on Sunday. Some estimate the pool could grow to $15 million or more. 

I am an outspoken critic of these gimmick jackpot bets, as the takeout is just too high, but I will be dipping into the pool since all of the money will be paid out.   It is a tough sequence with fields of nine and 10 to start it off on turf.  

The ninth race is a bottom level maiden claimer for $12,500 that drew a field of 10, then a $6,250 claimer that drew eight.  A field of nine go in the 11th race which is a $50,000 starter optional claimer.  

The finale is one of the tougher races in the sequence with a field of 14 $6,250 claimers going 6 ½ furlongs on the main track.  

I have included all of the races in the Rainbow 6 in today’s Best Plays Report.  

My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my 10 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 Md Sp Wt (12:20 ET)

#1 Platoon Leader   7-2
#3 Midnight Mission   8-5
#2 Zonic   2-1
#5 Givetheman a Cigar   4-1

Analysis: Platoon Leader debuts for the Servis barn that is 27% winners (with a +ROI) with first time starters. This guy was a $320,000 Keeneland purchase, by Harlan's Holiday out of a Unbridled's Song mare that has dropped three foals to race, all winners, top earner stakes placed Tensas Cold Front ($134,247). Decent looking works for a barn that gets them ready to go early.   Midnight Mission is sent out by Pletcher who is 27% winners with first time starters. This gelding was a $130,000 Spa purchase, by Mission Impazible out of the stakes winner Jehan ($320,683) who has dropped one foal to race, stakes winner Pure Silver ($286,367). He spent the winter at Palm Meadows and has a quick local drill since his return.  

Wagering

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

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:  

AQU Race 9 Md $40,000 (4:20 ET)

#3 Noble Behavior   12-1
#4 Just Bustin   3-1
#6 Niko Strong   5-2
#10 Lake Party   12-1

Analysis: Noble Behavior drops in for a tag for his third career start here and should be a decent price. The colt was sent off at 7-1 in an eight horse field in his debut despite the low profile connections and tired to finish sixth after tracking the early pace. Second out he faded to finish a well beaten ninth in a key race which produced three next out winners, two taking stakes—the winner Empire Line won the state bred Damon Runyon and the fourth place finisher Aqua Bel Sar won a NY Stallion Series race on Dec. 17. Our top pick gets a jock upgrade to Junior and this is not a real tough group of state breds he catches here.   Just Bustin drops in for a tag and tries dirt for the first time. Last out going six furlongs on turf he set the early fractions and weakened to finish fourth. He was not much of a threat in his first two starts. He faces easier here and pedigree wise seems better suited for dirt. He is by the speedy Bustin Stones out of an Aristotle mare, her first foal to race.  

Wagering

WIN: #3 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 3,4,6,10
TRI: 3,4 / 3,4,6,10 / 3,4,6,7,10  

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:  

GP Race 11 OClm $50,000SAL (5:08 ET)

#3 Lady Freedom   8-1
#2 Stormymeister   7-2
#7 Miz Mayhem   9-2
#4 Dance Rhythms   5-2

Analysis: Lady Freedom overcame having to steady at the break to get up at the wire to beat Alw-1 optional claimers two back. Last out in the Tempted (G3) he was not a threat fading to finish a well beaten sixth. Former Brown assistant Abreu also tried her in stakes company in her first start against winners as well after a game maiden score. She finds a good spot here facing starter optional claimers. Fact barn thought enough of her to take stabs in a couple of stakes, I'll lean toward this gal is capable of more than she has shown, and we should catch a decent price.   Stormymeister earned a solid number in her maiden breaker in her debut, drawing off to win by six lengths. Last out at GP West she caught a wet track, chasing the early pace and weakening to finish third. The winner and fifth place finisher came back to win next out, the winner Toni Ann's Miracle beating $35,000 starter optional claimers and then running second in the Sandpiper. She figures to bounce back with a better effort but likely ends up lighter than her 7-2 morning line.  

Wagering
WIN: #3 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,4,7
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,4,7 / 2,3,4,6,7  

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.  

Aqueduct

R2: #1 Forres Lily   8-1
R3: #6 Springtime Wind   8-1
R4: #4 Loyal Heart   8-1
R7: #6 Fleet Irish   8-1
R7: #1 Nobody Move   10-1
R8: #4 Dream Fever   8-1
R9: #3 Noble Behavior   12-1
R9: #10 Lake Party   12-1  

Good luck today!

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