Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM

At the Gate - Saturday

We have a pair of Road to the Kentucky Derby points races on tap today—the $100,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields that offers up 10-4-2-1 points and the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds which is the first 50-20-10-5 points race this season.

The El Camino Real is no longer graded and is contested over the fake stuff known as Tapeta. The race has not had much of an impact on the Run for the Roses in recent years.

The best finish in recent memory of a runner exiting the race and going for the Roses was Chocolate Candy, who was fifth in the 2009 edition.

This year’s race did draw an interesting field of nine with just two nominated at this point to the Triple Crown—Choo Choo and Calexman.

Choo Choo is coming off a victory in the California Derby, a race that has produced the past two winners of the El Camino Real. The Jerry Hollendorfer trainee is the 9-5 morning line favorite. Calexman is a 30-1 longshot that broke his maiden by a neck in his last outing.

The Risen Star has produced plenty of Triple Crown runners including Commanding Curve (2014) and Golden Soul (2013) who both ran second in the Kentucky Derby.

This year’s race drew a solid field led by Instilled Regard, who won the LeComte (G3) in his last outing over the Fair Grounds main track. The 8-5 morning line favorite is trained by Hollendofer.

LeComte runner up Principe Guilherme (7-2) has a shot of turning the tables and Todd Pletcher sends out Noble Indy (5-1) who is perfect in two starts and makes his stakes debut.

A longshot worth a look is High North (15-1) who makes his seasonal debut after running fourth in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs last fall in his first start against winners.

My Best Plays Multi Track Report for Saturday includes my strongest plays from Aqueduct and Fair Grounds as well as my analysis of the El Camino Real Derby from Golden Gate Fields.

To purchase my Aqueduct and Best Plays Reports for Saturday click here .

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

AQU Race 1 Md $25,000 (12:50 ET)
#1 Daring Destiny 2-1
#7 Barefoot Angel 3-1
#8 Carthon 5-2
#5 Time Expired 8-1

Analysis: Daring Destiny makes his second start off the bench here for the Rice barn. Last out off the bench he pressed the early pace while under a hold, was still under a firm hold while being out eight wide taking a foe out with him and finished up well when straightened out in the stretch, getting DQ'd and placed third. Junior is still aboard and a straight path makes him tough to beat in this spot. He is out of the stakes winner Ahvee's Destiny ($484,808), her first foal to race.

Barefoot Angel exits the same race as our top pick and he got floated out very wide by our top pick. Two back he dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish fourth. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and should be able to stay out of trouble here breaking from the outside. He is the first foal to race out of a Wildcat Shoes mare.

WIN: #1 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 1,7 / 1,5,7,8
TRI: 1,7 / 1,5,7,8 / 1,2,5,7,8

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 8 Alw $67,000N1X (4:25 ET)
#8 Hammerin Aamer 3-1
#4 Preservationist 9-5
#5 Borso Vento 6-1
#3 Nigel's Destiny 8-1

Analysis: Hammerin Aamer tracked the early pace and finished evenly while unable to get top pair over a racing strip that was kind to inside speed. Two back the colt earned a career top speed fig in a game runner up finish over a wet track. He beat restricted Alw-1 foes three back at Laurel Park. He was the beaten chalk in his last pair and the 3-1 morning line looks fair enough in this spot.

Preservationist was a game maiden winner last out by a nose in his third career start and second off the long layoff. The five-year-old earned the top last out speed fig in the effort for the Jerkens barn. He has the pedigree to handle the extra ground, by Arch out of a Dixieland Band mare. The barn is 12% winners moving runners from sprint to route. he sure has more upside potential than any of these but his price is going to be on the light side.

WIN: #8 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 4,8 / 3,4,5,8
TRI: 4,8 / 3,4,5,8 / 1,3,4,5,8

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Fair Grounds:

FG Race 8 The Fair Grounds Hcp G3 (4:35 CT)
#8 Synchrony 9-2
#12 Catcho En Die 8-1
#6 Mr. Misunderstood 3-1
#3 Galton 5-1

Analysis: Synchrony has just three starts on turf and they have all been solid. He beat Alw2 foes in his turf debut, then came back to rally for a good runner up finish in the Henry Clark at Laurel park over yielding footing. Last out the Stidham trainee was a good second in the Red Bank (G3) at Monmouth Park over good ground. Now he come back off the layoff here for a barn that is 12% winners with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff. He has been working quickly in the mornings for his return and we should catch a fair price.

Catcho En Die makes his second start since coming to the U.S. and landing with the Mott barn. Last out he tracked the early pace, came up the inside and got bottled up in behind foes with nowhere to go, getting clear late to rally for the runner up spot. He was a Group 1 winner in Argentina at 1 1/4 miles on turf in his third career start. Fact Mott ships him here bodes well although he draws a tough post.

WIN: #8 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 8,12 / 3,6,8,12
TRI: 8,12 / 3,6,8,12 / 3,5,6,8,12

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 Time Expired 8-1
R2: #4 Buster Brown Boy 12-1
R4: #3 Thirsty Donnerstag 8-1
R5: #5 Spa Angel 12-1
R8: #3 Nigel’s Destiny 8-1
R9: #1 Dr Luber’s Kiss 12-1

Good luck today!

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