Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:06 AM

At the Gate - Friday

A total of 360 three-year-olds have been made eligible for the 2018 Triple Crown series as the first phase of nominations were announced yesterday.

Among those is Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champion Good Magic, who is currently at odds of +900 in early Kentucky Derby wagering at [...].

The current betting favorite at [...] is Bolt d’Oro, who also is Triple Crown nominated.

The betting odds could get a shake up after three Road to the Kentucky Derby points races are contested on Saturday— the $350,000 Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park, the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita and the $250,000 Withers (G3) at Aqueduct.

We touched briefly on the Withers yesterday, and I got a chance to handicap the Holy Bull which drew a field of 11 with 10 likely to start. Trainer Dale Romans entered four but either Free Drop Billy or Hollywood Star are likely to scratch to wait for the Sam F. Davis (G3) next Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs.

The one to beat is Enticed, who makes his first start since a head win in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) last fall at Churchill Downs. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee is listed at +3000 at [...] in early Derby wagering.

I am guessing Free Drop Billy will go in the Holy Bull. The colt won the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) last October at Keeneland and then did not fire in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile where he was a well beaten ninth. The colt is +4500 in early Derby betting at [...].

The Robert B. Lewis drew a field of nine led by the highly regarded Peace, who broke his maiden in his last outing for trainer Richard Mandella.

The colt is one of six in the field that are coming out of a maiden special weight race. There are no stakes winners in the field, the best finish a runner up finish in the Eddie Logan on turf by Inscom.

I will have selections and analysis for all three Derby points races in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.

To purchase my Aqueduct Report for Friday click here .

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

AQU Race 1 Clm $16,000N2L (12:50 ET)
#5 Lady Rullah 15-1
#6 Three Eighty Eight 5-2
#2 Stay Fond 4-5
#3 Woundwithhereyes 5-1

Analysis: Lady Rullah stretches out to a mile here after dueling for the early led and tiring to finish fifth at seven panels at this level. The blinkers come off but there is no speed in here and this gal may be able to shake loose early. Three back she ran second at this level behind repeat winner Fair Regis, who beat $16,000 non-winners of three in her next outing on Jan. 11 at Santa Anita. Worth a look here at a decent price.

Three Eighty Eight loves to run second, she has done is eight times in 19 career starts with just her maiden win her lone trip to the winner’s circle. She came with a good late rally in the slop last out at seven furlongs to grab the runner up spot. She can handle a mile and the barn is going really well right now. She will be a better price than the Pletcher dropper who looks like an underlay at her 4-5 morning line.

WIN: #5 to win at 8-1 or better.
EX: 5,6 / 2,5,6
TRI: 5,6 / 2,3,5,6 / 2,3,5,6

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 6 Alw $50,000s (3:26 ET)
#7 Caribbean 3-1
#3 Borsa Vento 5-2
#5 Mr. Dougie Fresh 6-1
#6 California Swing 7-2

Analysis: Caribbean goes turf to dirt here and makes his second start off the claim by the Cox barn. The gelding was outrun early and came with a good late run to finish fourth last out at this level in his first go for the barn. The third, sixth and ninth place finishers in that race have all come back to win next out. His lone o go on a main track was a win in the slop for a $75,000 tag at the Spa in the July of '16. The barn is 27% winners moving runners from turf to dirt.

Borsa Vento tracked the early pace and drew clear in the stretch to beat $25,000 non-winners of two last out by 7 1/2 lengths. He was claimed for the third time in his last four starts, going to the Rice barn that is 31% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. The gelding earned a career top speed fig in his last effort and comes back protested by Rice which is a good sign. The barn has been very live at the meeting, 15 of 24 starters landing in the exacta.

WIN: #7 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,7 / 3,5,6,7
TRI: 3,7 / 3,5,6,7 / 2,3,5,6,7

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.

R1: #5 Lady Rullah 15-1
R5: #4 Bar None 10-1
R7: #5 Securitiz 8-1
R8: #1 Andronikos 10-1

Good luck today!

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