Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM

At the Gate - Saturday

It is a light day stakes wise on Saturday, with just a pair of graded stakes around the U.S. and no Road to the Kentucky Derby points races, but we have some interesting races at both Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park to wager on.

One of the best is the $100,000 Hal’s Hope (G3) at Gulfstream Park which will preview several returning runners that could have a big say in the handicap division this year.

Irish War Cry, last year’s Holy Bull (G2) and Wood Memorial (G2) winner and Belmont Stakes (G1) runner up will make his first start of 2018.

The Graham Motion trainee was last seen running eighth in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) in September.

Send It In makes his first start since winning the Excelsior (G3) at Aqueduct last April earning a 119 Beyer Speed Figure. His previous best was a 104. His trainer Todd Pletcher excels bringing runners back off the shelf, so it will be interesting to see how this guy runs.

Pletcher also sends out Malagacy, who won last year’s Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park. He makes his second start off the layoff.

Economic Model, Conquest Big E and Tower of Texas can have an impact on the race with their best.

The feature at the Big A comes early on the card, the $100,000 Franklin Square the third race on the nine race card. The race drew a field of six state bred three-year-old fillies.

The Kiaran McLaughlin trained Pauseforthecause is the 2-1 morning line favorite. She finished fourth and was elevated to third against state bred Alw-1 optional claimers in her last outing.

My Best Plays Multi Track Report for Saturday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.

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 Clm $16,000N2L (12:50 ET)

3 Forres Lily 3-1

1 Woundwithhereyes 4-1

6 Jacqueline D 4-5

2 Giant Ending 5-1

Analysis: Forres Lily is coming off a third and a fourth in her last two starts in the slop here at this level. She makes her third start off a 3 1/2 month break here and should be forwardly placed. If she runs back to her effort two back that may be good enough to be at this group. She appears to offer more value than the 4-5 chalk who took 15 tries to break her maiden and faces winners here for the first time.

Woundwihthereyes exits the same race as our top pick where she was not much of a threat in a sixth-place finish. Two back over a fast track she was a game second at this level, beaten a half-length for the top spot. The RRod runner has a solid off track pedigree but has not managed to land in the money in any of her three trips on the off going.

WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,6
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 8 OClm $80,000N1X (4:25 ET)

2 Flash Drive 4-1

8 Analyze the Odds 7-2

9 Nolinski 9-2

10 What a Catch 5-1

Analysis: Flash Drive was the beaten favorite last out over a wet track, pressing the early pace and weakening to finish fourth in his first go against winners. The winner of the race was Nine Route, who came back to win the state bred Gander in his next outing on Feb. 18. The colt owns solid early and mid pace numbers and showed in his maiden score two back he can handle a wet track. Lopez sticks for the Englehart and we should catch a fair price in this spot.

Analyze the Odds returns off a three month break after a sixth-place finish last out in the state bred Notebook. He is one of just two in here that has beaten winners, taking the NY Breeders' Futurity at Finger Lakes last fall. Good works on the morning tab for Pletcher who is 19% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.

WIN: #2 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 2,8 / 2,8,9,10
TRI: 2,8 / 2,8,9,10 / 2,5,8,9,10

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

GP Race 12 The Hal's Hope G3 (5:35 ET)

1 Irish War Cry 5-2

6 Malagacy 4-1

8 Send It In 7-2

2 Economic Model 3-1

Analysis: Irish War Cry makes his first start since a disappointing eighth in the Pennsylvania Derby (G2) last September at Philly. This guy ran big a few times, like his Holy Bull (G2) and Wood (G2) wins, but also tossed in a few mysterious clunkers like his 10th in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and his last start. He has been freshened and should be fit off works at Palm Meadows for the Motion barn that is 13% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.

Malagacy looked like a serious Derby candidate last year after reeling off wins in his first three starts including the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park but faded to finish fifth in the Arkansas Derby (G2) and was placed on the shelf. He came up short in his return against optional claimers last out at six furlongs but should be tighter off that effort and with the extra ground he looks like a player in this spot. Pletcher is 28% winners moving runners from sprint to route. The barn won this race last year with Tommy Macho.

Send It In is also sent out by Pletcher and this gelding makes his first start since popping a 119 Beyer winning the Excelsior (G3) at the Big A going 1 1/4 miles. That number was 15 points higher than his previous career top and seems a bit out of whack. However, three did come out of that race to win next out including runner up Tu Brutus who won the Flat Out by 11 lengths in his last start and earned a Beyer of 108. Pletcher is 33% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.

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

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.

R3: #5 Aunt Babe 8-1
R7: #8 Zecha 8-1
R9: #6 Forever Rising 10-1

Good luck today!

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