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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:01 PM

At the Gate - Thursday

It is not often I feel completely stumped, but when I looked at the totebaord and saw my top pick Bourbon War sitting at 17-1 off a 6-1 morning line in the third race, I began scratching my head.

The Mark Hennig trainee was making his debut, a $410,000 Keeneland purchase by Tapit out of the stakes winner My Conquestadory ($523,506), her first foal to race.

I was expecting him to get bet, but he was dismissed on the tote. Perhaps a lot of bettors were following Hennig on Twitter, checking out the pictures he posted today of him relaxing in Aruba.

I am guessing he might have had a bourbon or two while sitting on the beach after his colt won by 2 ¼ lengths under jockey Rajiv Maragh who has been riding really well at the meeting. The colt paid a hefty $37.20.

Making things even better was my second choice Moretti, a first timer from the Todd Pletcher barn finished second, completing a $179.50 exacta.

Hennig made the right choice in heading to Aruba, with snow and rain in the forecast for this afternoon. Looks like we will have no problem getting the card in, but we could have a messy track by Friday. And likely a few more days of no turf racing.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package for just $99.95. It gives you a month of Aqueduct daily and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday.

To purchase my Aqueduct Report for Thursday click here.

Here is the opener from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:

AQU Race 1 Md Sp Wt (12:20 ET)

4 Traci's Girl 2-1

2 Mary's Girl 1-1

5 September Gurl 3-1

3 Mats Checkride 6-1

Analysis: Traci's Girl set the early fractions and weakened to fish sixth last out on turf in her second career start and first off a two-month break. Now she tries the main track and pedigree wise seems more suited for dirt. She is by Posse out of a Golden Missile mare that has dropped one other foal to race, no winners to date. The barn is 28% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from turf to dirt.

Mary's Girl caught a sloppy track last out where she stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish. She does not need to move forward much off her last effort to pick up her diploma here facing just four foes. She is out of a stakes placed A.P. Jet that has dropped two other foals to race with one winner. Her price will be short facing our top pick and three foes that are making their debuts for barn's not known to win first time out.

WIN: #4 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 4 / 2,5
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 9 OClm $40,000N2X (4:17 ET)

9 Stoney Bennett 4-1

1 Arthur's Hope 15-1

3 Cerretalto 8-1

4 Benevolence 6-1

Analysis: Stoney Bennett caught a sloppy track last out where the gelding carved out the early fractions, had a clear lead heading for home and got run down, settling for the runner up spot and snapping a two-race winning streak. He beat state bred Alw-1 foes and then $50,000 claimers in his first two starts after landing in the Rice barn. The gelding owns solid early and mid pace numbers and willing to give him another look to wire this group.

Arthur's Hope was off poorly when leaping in the air and hitting the gate, was away last and made up some ground late to check in fourth at this level, He caught a racing strip that as kinder to inside speed that day. He was in over his head two back in the DeFrancis Dash (G3) where he was seventh. Three back he set the early fractions and weakened to finish fourth while beaten 1 3/4 lengths against non-conditioned allowance foes at Laurel Park going a mile. He looks capable of a better effort with a better start and Saez sticks. Worth tossing in the mix here at a generous price.

WIN: #9 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 1,9 / 1,3,4,9
TRI: 1,9 / 1,3,4,9 / 1,3,4,9,10

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.

R2: #11 Four Knights 8-1
R4: #1 Unparalleled 8-1
R7: #7 Mad Munnys 8-1
R9: #3 Cerretalto 8-1
R9: #1 Arthur’s Hope 15-1

Good luck today!

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