Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:04 AM

At the Gate - Sunday

Three more Road to the Kentucky Derby point races are in the books, and we saw several outstanding performances that add plenty of appeal to the Run for the Roses which is now just four weeks away.
 
Justify lived up to the hype by winning the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in his stakes debut, beating the more accomplished Bolt d’Oro and earning 100 points, stamping his ticket to Louisville.
 
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champ Good Magic rebounded from his disappointing third place finish in the Fountain of Youth (G2) by winning the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and sits atop the Road to the Kentucky Derby point standings with 134. His future Derby odds are sure to drop over the next few days.
 
Todd Pletcher added to his Derby arsenal with Vino Rosso winning the Wood Memorial (G2) and stamping his ticket to the Kentucky Derby.
 
Pletcher also has top contenders Audible, Magnum Moon and Noble Indy.
 
As of now, Solomini is sitting in 19th place in the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings with 34 points. Remember Gronkowski won the European Road to the Derby so there are 19 slots open, not 20 this year.
 
Solomini has a shot of adding to his total as he will make his final Derby prep in next Saturday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park. There are 100-40-20-10 points up for grabs.
 
In addition, the $200,000 Lexington (G3) at Keeneland offers 20-8-4-2 Derby points. There is talk that My Boy Jack might take a shot in the Lexington instead of the Arkansas Derby. The Keith Desormeaux trainee is in 20th place with 32 points.
 
My Best Plays Multi Track Report for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct, Santa Anita and Keeneland including all of the major stakes action.
 
To purchase my Aqueduct and Best Plays Reports for Sunday click here .
 
Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
 
AQU Race 1 Md $40,000 (1:20 ET)
#2 The Chamo   3-1
#1 Strong Side   4-5
#4 Operator   7-2
#6 Latin Love Bug   15-1
 
Analysis: The Chamo set the early fractions and could not go with the winner late in a runner up finish last out for this tag. She cuts back to six furlongs and three back she earned her best fig which was at six furlongs here over a wet track. The Contessa barn is 12% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from route to sprint. She needs to step up her a game to beat the chalk in here but sure has more upside. She is out of the stakes winner Launch a Double ($134,730) who has dropped seven winners.
 
Strong Side prompted the early pace and finished up well for another runner up finish, six times in her 14 career starts. She was fourth two back at a mile behind a repeat winner. Both of her starts for tags were among her best and she catches a slow group here. She will be tough but her price is going to be on the short side.
 
Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,4
TRI: no play
 
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
 
AQU Race 8 The Danger's Hour (5:17 ET)
#11 Projected   5-2
#9 Fire Away   7-2
#1 Mo Town   2-1
#8 Conquest Panthera   8-1
 
Analysis: Projected makes his first start since winning the BWI Turf Cup (G2) at Laurel Park last September. The gelding has now landed din the exacta in 13 of his 18 career starts and 5 of 7 since landing in the U.S. with the Brown barn including three triple digit Beyers last year. He should be fit and ready to go off the bench off works at Palm Meadows. The barn is 26% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.
 
Fire Away earned a career top in a sharp win two back in the Artie Schiller over the turf here at a mile. Last out he checked in third in the Tampa Bay (G3), running into World Approval. He is perfect in three trips on turf here and fits well here for the Shug barn as he returns off a two-month break.
 
Wagering
WIN: #11 t win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 9,11 / 1,8,9,11
TRI: 9,11 / 1,8,9,11 / 1,8,9,10,11
 
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Keeneland:
 
KEE Race 8 The Appalachian G2 (4:57 ET)
#9 Thewayiam   7-2
#2 Rushing Fall   7-5
#11 Goodthingstaketime   15-1
#1 Daddy Is a Legend   7-2
 
Analysis: Thewayiam comes into this race perfect in three starts this year, taking the Herecomesthebride (G3) last out in impressive fashion and earning a career top speed fig. She has done little wrong since landing in the U.S. with the Motion barn and she has the recency edge over the favorite in here. She beat Alw-2L foes over the turf here at the fall meeting in her U.S. debut. She can pull off the mild upset. There was some give to the ground yesterday and she has shown she can handle it.
 
Rushing Fall is undefeated, winning the Jessamine (G3) here over soft ground last fall and then taking the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). The $320,000 Keeneland purchase making her first start off a five-month layoff for the Brown barn that is 29% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff. She worked steadily at Palm Meadows this winter and looks primed and ready to go. Mai knock is going to be the light price.
 
Wagering
WIN: #9 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 2,9 / 1,2,9,11
TRI: 2,9 / 1,2,9,11 / 1,2,5,9,11
 
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: #6 Latin Love Bug   15-1
R8: #8 Conquest Panthera   8-1
R9: #5 Consubstantial   8-1
 
Good luck today!

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