At the Gate – Thursday

Well, now we know who the huge underlay on Kentucky Derby Day will be.

Gronkowski won his spot in the starting gate for the Run for the Roses via the European Road to the Kentucky Derby. He won a race called the Road to the Kentucky Derby Condition Stakes at Kempton going a mile on the all-weather and then won the 32Red Burradon Stakes ay Newcastle.

The colt has about a zero chance of winning the Kentucky Derby and is currently at +5500 for the race at [...].

However, it was announced today that New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has purchased a “substantial stake” in the colt.

“This horse is a winner and I love a winner,” Gronk (the person) said. “When I heard about the racehorse being named after me, I started watching and got really stoked when he started winning. He’s won his last three races and is now headed to the Derby. I’m all in: Welcome to the Gronk Family, Gronkowski the Horse!"

This is good news for horseplayers, as the colt is likely going to garner more betting action than he deserves, with Patriots fans everywhere dropping a few bucks on the longshot.

It reminds me of last year when Patch, the one-eyed horse was the feel good story of the Kentucky Derby. Major news outlets including CNN and NBC featured stories on the colt. He was second in the Louisiana Derby (G2) and I thought probably should have been around 30-1 in the Run for the Roses.

Instead he was sent off as a major underlay at 14-1 and came home 14th. He did come back to run a decent third in the Belmont Stakes (G1).

If you have any friends that are Gronk or Pats fans, give them a call.

To purchase my Aqueduct Report for Thursday 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)
#4 Echoes of Laughter 5-2
#1 Social Fan / 1a Kitchen Soup 9-5
#6 What the Luck 5-1
#7 Candys Delight 15-1

Analysis: Echoes of Laughter makes his debut for the Ward barn that is 30% winners (with a +ROI) with first timers overall and has hit with 4 of 7 (with a +ROI) with juvie firsters over the past three months. He does not exactly have a win early type pedigree, by Iqbaal out of an Include mare that has dropped four foals to race with three winners. He worked quickly over the fake stuff at Turfway Park and then had one drill at Keeneland before shipping to New York.

Social Fan was a $50,000 Keeneland purchase making his debut for the Pletcher barn. The colt is out of a Pure Prize mare that has dropped two foals to race, both winners. Solid looking works at Palm Beach Downs. Entrymate Kitchen Soup is by Bodemeister out of a Forestry mare that has dropped one winner. Has a matching work with his stablemate.

WIN: #4 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 1,4 / 1,4,6,7
TRI: 1,4 / 1,4,6,7 / 1,2,4,6,7

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 8 OClm $40,000N2X (5:17 ET)
#7 Banana Thief 5-1
#2 Dr. Shane 8-1
#6 Psychic Energy 7-2
#1 Heavy Meddle 8-1

Analysis: Banana Thief is back in with state breds after four losses against open Alw-1 foes where he was in the mix in each outing. Last out he came with a five-wide bid and had to sit in behind foes, getting clear late and rallying for the runner up spot. He won at this condition back in '16and comes in here in good form from Fair Grounds. He will appreciate the return to the state bred ranks and picking up Castellano.

Dr. Shane makes his first start since last November where he tracked the early pace and weakened late to finish fourth at this level. He has lost at this level seven straight times, his best finish two back where he was a game second. He now lands with the Gargan barn that is 22% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff. Blinkers go on and solid looking works on the morning tab.

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

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.

R1: #7 Candys Delight 15-1
R3: #4 Way Over Budget 8-1
R5: #8 Angel Food 15-1
R5: #3 Transaction Tax 8-1
R8: #9 raging Fire 12-1
R6: #10 Holycowits Patrick 20-1
R8: #2 Dr. Shane 8-1

Good luck today!