Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM

At the Gate - Sunday

My top pick in yesterday’s featured race at Churchill Downs in the River City (G3) at Churchill Downs was a late scratch and the feature at the Big A of course was taken off the turf.

My second choice in the River City was Mr. Misunderstood, who got the job done but returned just $3.40 and the exacta was a whopping $6.40.

The Red Smith (G3) at Aqueduct was moved to the main track and three of my top four picks were scratched.

It was a tough day to make money at Aqueduct, with the early Pick 5 returning $25.00 on a .50 cent ticket. That was not a typo, it was really $25.00.

Now, today’s Pick 5 at the Big A offers some promise. There are three races where I think we can find a price and in the other two races I think we can at least beat the morning line favorite.

I am being optimistic we might finally be back on turf today. The weather is on the improve and there are three races on the eight race card that are scheduled for the turf.

Today’s feature is a New York Stallion Series race at seven furlongs on the main track. A field of eight head to the gate led by 7-5 morning line favorite Gold for the King.

The Charlton Baker trainee came off a break to run a game second in the state bred Hudson in his last outing. As you can see below, I am going with My Boy Tate, who was off poorly in the Hudson and is capable of better.

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My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Churchill Downs.

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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 (12:50 ET
#2 Dream Friend 5-2
#5 Master Distiller 7-5
#4 Miracle Hill 9-5
#3 Count Flanker 5-1

Analysis: Dream Friend makes his first start since his debut at Gulfstream Park back in February where he was sent off at even money in a field of 11 for Pletcher. The colt flashed early speed and then faded to finish a well beaten seventh. He comes back here off the bench with Terranova who is 25% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. This guy was a $400,000 Ocala purchase, out of the stakes winner Volcat ($204,950), her first foal to race. Decent looking works on the morning tab and these do not look as tough as the group he ran into in his debut.

Master Distiller caught mud in his debut at Laurel park where he prompted the early pace and could not get by the winner in a runner up finish at 7-2 in a field of six. The gelding was 6 1/4 lengths clear of the rest of the field in the effort. He is in good hands with former Pletcher assistant DePaz and her does not need to move forward much off his debut to get the job done here. He is the first foal to race out of a Eurosilver mare.

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

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:

CD Race 6 Md Sp Wt (3:36 ET)
#6 Philosophy 5-1
#3 Zeroed In 3-1
#5 Trip Candy 6-1
#9 Uncapped 5-1

Analysis: Philosophy made a mild late rally to finish third last out over soft ground at Keeneland in his debut. The Casse trainee has a nice pedigree, by Speightstown out of a French Deputy mare that has dropped eight winners and three have won on turf and four are stakes winners, top earner Tara's Tango ($806,804). The colt figures to move forward with a race under his belt and showed he could handle ground with some give to it.

Zeroed In was bet down to the chalk in his debut and just missed by a neck after dueling for the early lead going five furlongs on turf at Indiana Grand. He returns with blinkers added here for the Cox barn that is 21% winners with second out maidens. The colt has a pair of sibs that are winners including stakes winner Picara ($117,755).

WIN: #6 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 3,5,6,9
TRI: 3,6 / 3,5,6,9 / 2,3,5,6,9

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 7 The NY Stallion Series (3:47 ET)
#3 My Boy Tate 3-1
#7 Gold for the King 7-5
#2 Winston's Chance 6-1
#4 Loki's Vengeance 9-2

Analysis: My Boy Tate stalked the early pace and came up empty in the stretch in an eighth-place finish last out in the state bred Hudson. Two back he tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth against $80,000 optional claimers. His three starts before that earned solid numbers including a win in the state bred Hollie Hughes. He could just be going in the wrong direction form wise, but he returns to the Big A where he has won four of five starts with a third. Looking for him to bounce back with a better effort.

Gold for the King also exits the Hudson where he was the beaten favorite. The gelding stalked the early pace while wide and finished gamely, beaten just 3/4 of a length for the top spot. The gelding ran big three back earning a 103 Beyer beating Alw-2 optional claimers by 5 3/4 lengths. He has won three of his four over the main track here. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and should move forward in his second start off nearly a three-month break.

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

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.

R3: #4 Theaterintheround 10-1
R4: #7 Midnight Crossing 15-1
R5: #1 I’m Guilty 10-1
R6: #9 Another 8-1
R8: #1 Overnegotiate 8-1

Good luck today!

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