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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:01 PM

At the Gate - Friday

The snow started falling shortly after Aqueduct got started on Thursday, and the last three races on the card were scrapped after the snow started falling hard.

The forecast for Thursday evening was not much better, the snow turning to rain and there will be windy conditions, but by post time on Friday the forecast calls for sunny skies although it is doubtful we will be back on turf.

I would guess the turf may be out on Saturday as well, and that is too bad. The feature is the $200,000 Red Smith (G3) at 1 3/8 miles on turf which drew a full field of 10 along with three also-eligibles and three main track only entrants.

It will be sunny on Saturday morning as well, so there is some hope we could get at least one turf race in on Saturday.

If the Red Smith stays on turf it will be Zulu Alpha who is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The gelding is coming off a sharp win in the Sycamore (G3) at Keeneland over good ground in his last outing at 1 ½ miles.

If the race shifts to the main track Control Group will be the 2-1 morning line favorite. The Rudy Rodriguez trainee was fifth in the state bred Empire Classic in his last start.

Friday’s card starts a bit chalky, as it may eb tough to beat Allured (1-1) in the opener and Domain (2-5) in the third race, but the rest of the card has some potential.

My top pick in four of the nine races on the card are 10-1 or higher on the morning line.

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

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

2 Allured 1-1

4 Replicator 3-1

1 Personal Time / 1a Home It Tiz 2-1

5 Rucksack 6-1


Analysis: Allured stretched out to a mile last out and finished up well for the runner up spot. The colt was three lengths clear of the third-place finisher Business Cycle, who came back to graduate in his next outing on Nov. 8. The Brown trainee is out of a Southern Halo mare that has dropped five other foals to race with four winners. A solid off track pedigree and the surface could still have some moisture in it.

Replicator debuts for Brown who is 20% winners with first timers. He was a $520,000 Keeneland purchase, a big number for a runner by Paynter. The mare Bobbie Use ($104,969) was a stakes winner and has dropped three winners and two are stakes winners, top earner Starship Truffles ($445,035). Snappy works on the morning tab.

Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 6-5 or better.
EX: 2 / 1,4
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 7 Alw $75,000N1X (3:17 ET)

1 Harkness 10-1

6 Dancing All Night 9-2

3 Glossy 5-2

12 Naples Princess 2-1


Analysis: Harkness makes her first start since February where she caught a muddy track last out where she stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a fourth-place finish going a mile. The winner Christmas Sky came back to win her next two starts including a stake and two others exited that race to win next out. She ran second over the main track here three back earning a number good enough to beat this group. The Mott barn is 16% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. Decent works on the morning tab and the cut back to six furlongs suits.

Dancing All Night faded in the stretch to finish eighth last out going long on turf at Keeneland at this level. She graduated on the main track going a route but has run well sprinting including three straight runner up finishers including a neck loss behind repeat winner hay Field at the Spa in July. She fits well here on the cut back in distance.

Wagering
WIN: #1 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,3,6,12
TRI: 1,6 / 1,3,6,12 / 1,2,3,6,12

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
R2: #1 Zinger 15-1
R2: #8 Pashky 15-1
R3: #4 Pragmatist 12-1
R6: #3 Miss Marilyn 12-1
R6: #11 Stafaine On Fleek 8-1
R7: #1 Harkness 10-1
R8: #4 Salty Smile 10-1
R8: #2 Peril 8-1
R9: #9 Votre Coeur 8-1

Good luck today!

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