Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM
At the Gate - Monday
It is a holiday Monday and since I don’t need a new mattress we are going to play the ponies, with a good card at Aqueduct and a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race on tap from Oaklawn Park.
The $500,000 Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park offers up 10-4-2-1 points toward entry into the Kentucky Derby and we have 11 entered with 10 heading to the post. Principe Guilherme ran in Saturday’s Risen Star (G2) and will scratch.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert seeks his fifth win in the Southwest with 3-1 morning line favorite Mouinho. The trainer won the race in 2010 with Conveyance and won with Secret Circle and Castaway in 2012 when the race was split into divisions and again in 2013 with Super Ninety Nine.
Mourinho won the local prep, the Smarty Jones in gate to wire fashion by 3 ¼ lengths and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 99. That matched Audible’s number in the Holy Bull (G2) as the highest figures earned in a Derby prep this year to date.
The colt is going to face some serious pace pressure and is going to be a short price, and there are other options.
One is Sporting Chance, who makes his first start since winning the Hopeful (G1) last September at Saratoga. He is trained by D. Wayne Lukas, who pulled off the upset in the Risen Star on Saturday with 21-1 longshot Bravazo.
A contender that may benefit from a fast pace is My Boy Jack (12-1) for the Desormeaux brothers. The colt has shown good late run on turf although he came up short in the Sham (G3) on dirt in his last start.
After today’s action we have a three-day break at the Big A. We will be back on Friday! What the hell am I going to do with all this free time?
My Best Plays Multi Track Report for Monday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Oaklawn Park.
To purchase my Aqueduct and Best Plays Reports for Monday 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)
#3 Free Kitty 6-1
#6 Summer Punch 8-5
#5 Blank Paige 3-1
#2 Presumptuous 5-2
Analysis: Free Kitty dueled for the early lead and could not go with the winner in the final furlong in a runner up finish last out against $20,000 foes. The winner was Special Risk, who came back to beat $40,000 non-winners of two while the third-place finisher Paula's Pistil came back to graduate in her next start for $10,000 at Laurel Park and then runs second against $16,000 non-winners of two here. Our top pick steps up for Rice who is 32% winners first off the claim. This gal ran into repeat winners two and four back as well. She needs to move forward but just may do that for Rice. She is out of a Medaglia d'Oro mare that has dropped one other foal to race, stakes winner Mr. Opportunist ($132,355).
Summer Punch was a good second last out at seven furlongs in her first start since refusing to break in her debut on turf last summer at the Spa. She earned the top last out speed fig and is the logical one to beat here for the Diodoro barn. She is out of a Distorted Humor mare that has dropped three other foals to race with a pair of winners.
WIN: #3 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 3,5,6
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 The Hollie Hughes (4:29 ET)
#7 Celtic Chaos 7-2
#8 My Boy Tate 6-5
#6 Eye Luv Lulu 12-1
#3 Gypsum Johnny 9-2
Analysis: Celtic Chaos was beaten 5 1/2 lengths by the chalk in here last out in the state bred Say Florida Sandy in the mud going seven furlongs. The McLaughlin trainee was pinched back coming out of the gate, was last early, came with a five-wide bid and made up some ground late. He cuts back to six furlongs but he is going to get some pace to run at here which could set things up nicely for him. Last year he won the state bred Affirmed Success and John Morrissey in back to back races at six furlongs.
My Boy Tate has won four in a row, taking the field gate to wire to win the Say Florida Sandy last out by three lengths at 6-5. He cuts back to six furlongs and may be an even lower price here. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers but there are a couple of runners in here that will keep him honest and after three straight career tops he could be worth a play against here for the top spot.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 7,8 / 3,6,7,8
TRI: 7,8 / 3,6,7,8 / 3,5,6,7,8
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Oaklawn Park:
OP Race 8 The Razorback Hcp G3 (4:35 CT)
#4 J Boys Echo 5-1
#1 Untrapped 9-2
#6 Sonneteer 4-1
#10 Futile 6-1
Analysis: J Boys Echo is looking for his first win since taking the Gotham (G3) last year. He looks primed for a top effort in his third start off the bench here for Romans. Last out he was beaten just a nose against a tough group of Alw-2 optional claimers at Gulfstream Park. The winner Jay's Way came back to win the Sunshine Millions Classic while the third-place finisher You're to Blame came back to beat $50,000 optional claimers in his next outing at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 11.
Untrapped stalked the early pace and made a mild late run to finish fourth last out in the Fifth Season behind three of these he faces again today. He was a good second in the Zia Park Derby two back behind Cedartown, who came back to win the Louisiana Stakes at Fair Grounds with a 100 Beyer in his next start on Jan. 13. Blinkers go on this Asmussen trainee who seldom runs a bad one but usually settles for minor shares.
WIN: #4 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 1,4 / 1,4,6,10
TRI: 1,4 / 1,4,6,10 / 1,4,5,6,10
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.
R2: #2 Dr Luber’s Kiss 12-1
R3: #7 Awesome Heart 10-1
R5: #1 Altesino 8-1
R8: #6 Eye Luv Lulu 12-1
Good luck today!