Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM

At the Gate - Friday

Thursday’s card was awful with just 44 runners over eight races, an average of less than six per race, but we managed to have a decent enough day. We had four winners on top—$3.40, $2.80, $8.50 and $3.10.

It was tough to make any cash, the early Pick 5 paying just $115.50 for a .50 cent ticket and the late Pick 4 returning only $28.12.

I did not want to look at Friday’s card at the Big A, but I was pleasantly surprised as we have 55 runners over the eight races, with the late Pick 4 having betting interests of 7-8-8-9.

Things will get better for the weekend, with eight of the nine races on Saturday’s card having eight or more betting interests.

We also will take a look at Fair Grounds which features the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) which is the first 50-point Derby points race this spring.

In addition, Fair Grounds has five supporting stakes including the $200,000 Rachel Alexandra (G2) for three-year-old fillies, the $150,000 Mineshaft Handicap (G3) for older runners on the main track and the $150,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (G3) for older runners on turf.

I will have selections for the graded stakes action in tomorrow’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 Md Sp Wt (12:50 ET)
#4 Stan the Man 6-5
#3 Switzerland 4-5
#2 Texican 12-1
#5 Anchor 6-1

Analysis: Stan the Man has come out on the wrong ends of photos in his last two starts, beaten a tough nose last out going six furlongs here off a two-month break. Two back eh came with a good late rally and came up just a neck short while edging our second choice in here by 1 3/4 lengths. The Terranova trainee is by Brown Vow out of a stakes placed Harlan's Holiday mare and is bred to like a wet track which we may see today with rains overnight. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and gets the slight edge here.

Switzerland was a good second last out and now returns off a two month break for the Brown barn. The colt has landed in the money in five of his seven starts and earned the top last out speed fig. He has been the beaten chalk five times and is going to be a short price again today. He is out of the stakes winner Czechers ($298,349) who has dropped two other foals to race with one winner.

WIN: #4 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 4 / 2,3
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 7 OClm $40,000N2X (3:58 ET)
#8 Silly Sister 7-2
#7 Unrepented 15-1
#1 Palladian Bridge 5-2
#6 Sandy Belle 3-1

Analysis: Silly Sister makes her first start since last August at the Spa where she made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot. The winner was Cozzy Spring, who came back to beat open Alw-1 foes and then run third in the state bred Iroquois in her next two starts. The filly has decent works on the morning tab for the Rice barn that is 19% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.

Unrepented cuts back from a mile where she dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish fourth in her second start off the claim by the Diodoro barn. She was third behind a couple of these foes two back in her first start for the barn. She returns off a two-month freshening and will not mind if the track is still wet, seven exacta finishes in nine trips on off going. She seldom runs a bad one and it looks as if she is going to be a generous price in this spot.

WIN: #8 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 7,8 / 1,6,7,8
TRI: 7,8 / 1,6,7,8 / 1,2,6,7,8

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: #2 Texican 12-1
R2: #1 Blissful Breeze 8-1
R4: #5 Salty Smile 8-1
R6: #6 Halloween Horror 8-1
R7: #7 Unrepented 15-1
R8: #2 Façade 8-1
R8: #6 Celtic Scout 10-1

Good luck today!

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