Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM

At the Gate - Friday

My four day “vacation” is over and Aqueduct is back in action on Friday with an eight-race card that kicks off at 1:20 ET.

Things heat up on Saturday with a nine-race card at the Big A and we have a 14-race card at Gulfstream Park that includes nine stakes and features the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2).

The Fountain of Youth is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race and features the return of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champion Good Magic, who will be the short priced favorite in the field of 10 that will go to the post in the 14th and final race on the card.

The Chad Brown trainee pulled off the upset in the Juvenile at 11-1, coming into the race off a pair of runner up finishes. One of those was a second in the Champagne (G1).

The colt is the current co-second choice in early Kentucky Derby wagering at [...] at +750 along with McKinzie. Bolt d’Oro is the favorite at odds of +650.

The $1 million Keeneland purchase will break out of the six post with Jose Ortiz in the irons and the colt has been getting glowing reports from clockers as he makes his first start off a four-month break.

The Fountain of Youth serves as a prep for the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on March 31, but Brown has indicated Good Magic likely would make his final Derby prep in either the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct or Toyota Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland.

The race came up pretty tough and Good Magic is going to need to have his running shoes on. With 24 Derby points, he does not need a win to lock in a starting spot for the Run for the Roses, so there is no pressure to have him fully cranked, although he does appear to be coming into the race ready to fire a big one.

Among his foes is the undefeated Strike Power for the Mark Hennig barn. The colt won the seven-furlong Swale (G3) in his last start and will be going two turns for the frit time in his career.

Free Drop Billy won the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) last fall at Keeneland and was a good second in the Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park in his 2018 debut.

Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out Marconi, who ran a decent third in the Withers (G3) at Aqueduct in his last start and he sure seems as if he still has some upside.

I will have my full card report for Gulfstream Park along with Aqueduct for Saturday.

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 $10,000 (1:20 ET)
#6 No Hiding Place 9-5
#4 Risk Management 6-1
#2 Final Chapter 2-1
#3 Bear Clause 4-1

Analysis: No Hiding Place dueled for the early lead and could not match strides late with the winner in a runner up finish last out against $12,500 foes in the mud. The gelding was beaten by double digit lengths in his previous five starts but does appear to be heading in the right direction form wise for the Contessa barn. He is bred to handle a wet track and does have a win and a second in seven trips on off going. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and there is not a ton of early zip signed up to go here.

Risk Management faded to finish a well beaten seventh last out over a wet track going seven furlongs over a wet track. He catches a softer spot here dropping in for $10,000 and does have back numbers good enough to be in the mix in this spot. He is bred to like a wet track and has three exacta finishes in seven trips on off going. Goes from the bug to No Go getting the call to ride. Worth tossing in the mix here if he goes of fear his 6-1 morning line.

Wagering
WIN: #6 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 4,6 / 2,3,4,6
TRI: 4,6 / 2,3,4,6 / 2,3,4,6,7

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 7 OClm $40,000N2X (4:29 ET)
#1 Mission Command 4-1
#3 Heavy Meddle 3-1
#8 Brimstone 8-1
#6 For Pops 8-1

Analysis: Mission Command was a sharp winner over state bred Alw-1 foes last out over a wet track in a race washed off the turf. The runner up Benevolence came back to beat state bred Alw-1 foes in his next outing. He returns off nearly a three month break here stepping up a notch for the RRod barn that is 16% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.

Heavy Meddle beat state bred Alw-1 foes two back and in his last outing he was checked in sixth beaten four lengths in his first start at this level. He is bred to love a wet tack and was beaten just a head while a maiden in his lone go over a wet track. He seldom runs a bad one, landing outside of the money just last out and in one of his turf starts. Solid works on the morning tab for his first go off a 3 1/2 month break for Mott.

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

Aqueduct
R4: #5 Anne’s Song 8-1
R5: #4 Unbridledadventure 10-1
R7: #8 Brimstone 8-1
R7: #6 For Pops 8-1

Good luck today!

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