Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:05 AM

At the Gate - Friday

We are back in action at the Big A today and have a big Saturday coming up with a pair of key Road to the Kentucky Derby point races on tap.

The $1 million Florida Derby (G1) has been a key prep race for the Run for the Roses. Always Dreaming (2017), Nyquist (2016), Orb (2013), Big Brown (2008) and Barbaro (2006) are recent Kentucky Derby winners who prepped in the Florida Derby.

We have a field of nine heading to the post led by the Todd Pletcher trained Audible, an impressive winner of the Holy Bull (G2) in his last outing on Feb. 3.

Pletcher already has a strong duo heading to Louisville in Rebel (G2) winner Magnum Moon and Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Noble Indy.

Audible is 29th in the Derby point standings as his Holy Bull win was worth just 10 points. The Florida Derby offers up 100-40-20-10 points. The colt is in with a win or a runner up finish and will be squarely on the bubble for a trip to Louisville with a third or fourth place finish.

His main foes will be Promises Fulfilled, the Fountain of Youth (G2) winner who has 52 points, and Catholic Boy, who ran second in the Sam F. Davis (G3) in his last start and has 14 Derby points.

Earlier in the day the $2 million UAE Derby (G2) offers up Derby points and it appears we are going to see several Euro invaders come over for the Kentucky Derby.

Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Mendelssohn is the 5-2 morning line favorite. He faces UAE Oaks (G3) winner Rayya, UAE 2000 Guineas (G3) winner Gold Town and a couple of Japan invaders in Ruggero and Taiki Ferveur.

I will have selections for both Derby preps in Saturday’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 (1:20 ET)

6 Stan the Man 6-5

2 Untraceable 10-1

5 Weather Wiz 9-5

1 Free Kitty 12-1


Analysis: Stan the Man prompted the early pace, came with a four-wide bid and finished up gamely but could not get past the winner late in a runner up finish. Two back the gelding was beaten just a nose by repeat winner Preservationist, who beat Alw-1 foes in his next outing on Feb. 17. Three back our top pick was again second, beaten a neck. The Terranova trainee continues to earn higher numbers and his last three are tops in the field. he catches a field here he should be able to handle. He is out of a stakes placed Harlan's Holiday mare that has dropped two winners.

Untraceable was seventh in his debut last September on turf and last out off a 4 1/2 month break dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish third over a wet track here going a mile. The Brown trainee was a $360,000 purchase, out of a stakes placed Afternoon Deelites mare that has dropped three winners, top earner stakes winner Bear Tough Tiger ($526,546). He may end up a decent price in this spot.

Wagering
WIN: #6 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 2,6 / 2,5,6
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 7 Alw $50,000s (4:25 ET)

2 Go Big Or Go Home 9-2

1 Lucky Town / 1a Son of Mine 2-1

5 Holland Road 5-2

6 Appealing Henry 12-1


Analysis: Go Big Or Go Home wheels back quick after fading to finish sixth last out going a mile at this condition in his second start off the claim by the Diodoro barn. The gelding broke his maiden three back for a $40,000 tag and then rallied to finish a good second two back in his first start against winners at six furlongs. The barn is 22% winners moving runners from route to sprint.

Lucky Town prompted the early pace and finished gamely to miss against $50,000 non-winners of three by just a neck last out over a wet track. The gelding beaten $40,000 non-winners of two here two back in his first start off the claim by the RRod barn. He looks headed in the right direction form wise and while he struggled at the non-winners of two level those outings were for a low % outfit.

Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,5,6
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,5,6 / 1,2,4,5,6

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
R1: #2 Untraceable 10-1
R1: #1 Free Kitty 12-1
R4: #5 Comeoncomeoncat 8-1
R5: #6 The Great Samurai 8-1
R6: #4 Wappinger 12-1
R6: #6 Zecha 10-1
R7: #6 Appealing Henry 12-1
R8: #2 Bavaro 10-1
R9: #4 B Three 8-1

Good luck today!

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