Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM

At the Gate - Friday

We have a great card at Aqueduct on Friday if the races stick on the grass. We were off the turf on Thursday, and five races on this afternoon’s card are slated for turf.

There was a high of 28 in New York on Thursday and it gets up to a balmy 32 on Friday, although the sun will make an appearance which gives me hope we will be on the turf.

Two of the stakes are on turf, sandwiched between the feature which is the $200,000 Comey (G3) for three-year -old fillies going 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

Blamed is the 5-2 morning line favorite and coming off a runner up finish to Shamrock Rose in the Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland. The winner came back to upset the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).

The feature at Churchill Downs this afternoon is the $500,000 Clark Handicap (G1) for older runners going 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

Seeking the Soul is the 8-5 morning line favorite and defending champ of the race. The Dallas Stewart trainee paid $17.80 last year but if he repeats it is going to be a much shorter price.

The co-feature is the $200,000 Mrs Revere (G2) which is for three-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on turf. A field of 12 will head to the gate.

The Chad Brown trained Stella di Camelot is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The filly made her U.S. debut in the Pebbles at Belmont Park over soft ground, passing the test by 2 ¾ lengths and returning $19.60.

My Best Plays Report for Friday includes my nine 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 (11:50 ET)
#5 Apello 1-1
#3 Legion Storm 7-2
#2 Local Counsel 9-5
#4 Bad Guy 8-1

Analysis: Apello was off a beat slow and came from better than 15 lengths back to rally for the runner up spot in his debut. He caught a racing strip that was kind to inside speed that day. he should move forward with a better start and should be able to handle the mile. He is out of a Pleasantly Perfect mare that has dropped one winner.

Legion Storm stalked the early pace from the inside and could not make up any ground in the stretch in a fourth-place finish in the same race our top pick exits. His best effort was a third two back behind repeat winner Encryption Key came back to beat state bred Alw-1 foes in his next outing on Oct. 19. He has enough pedigree to handle the added ground. He is out of a Storm Cat mare that has dropped two other foals to race with one winner.

WIN: #5 to win at 6-5 or better.
EX: 5 / 2,3
TRI: no play

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

CD Race 11 The Clark Hcp G1 (5:56 ET)
#3 Seeking the Soul 8-5
#2 Hence 12-1
#5 Leofric 3-1
#6 Bravazo 9-2

Analysis: Seeking the Soul is the defending champ of this race, taking last year's edition at 8-1. He comes into this year's race having won just one of his five starts since but is coming off a solid second in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) here. He came a good late rally and was no match for a very good City of Light. The Stewart trainee is going to get a good pace set up here as if looks like we are going to get a solid pace. The stretch out to two turns suits him as well.

Hence finished behind a couple of these he faces again when making a mild late rally to finish fourth in the Fayette (G2) at Keeneland in the mud. He was a sharp winner two back winning the Governor’s Cup at Remington Park and has won 3 of 7 at the distance. The Asmussen trainee needs to step it up but he should be coming late and if the speed backs up he can be in the mix here at a decent price.

WIN: #3 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,5,6
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,5,6 / 1,2,3,5,6

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 9 The Comely G3 (3:50 ET)
#6 Alberobello 4-1
#4 Blamed 5-2
#8 Remedy 3-1
#7 Indy Union 6-1

Analysis: Alberobello did not fire her best in the Remington Park Oaks (G3) last out and is looking to turn the tables on two foes she finished behind. Four fillies exited that race to win next out including third place finisher Cosmic Burst, who won the Zia Park oaks on Wednesday. She broke her maiden in a smart looking win at seven furlongs at the spring Keeneland meeting and passed her first allowance condition in her second try in the slop at the Spa at nine furlongs. She was a $475,000 Keeneland purchase and has four sibs that are stakes winners, top earner Jojo Warrior ($396,321). The filly has worked sharply since her last outing and looking for her to bounce back with a much better effort. Pletcher’s barn was in a bit of a funk by his standards in August and September and looks back on track.

Blamed won five of her first six starts taking the Sunland Park Oaks back in March but missed timer with an ankle injury. She was switched to the Bill Mott barn and she set the early fractions and could not hold off the winner in a runner up finish in the Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland going seven furlongs. The winner of that race was Shamrock Rose, who returned to pull off the upset in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at 26-1. She stretches back out to a route here and has enough pedigree to handle nine furlongs. She is by Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Blame out of a stakes placed Giant’s Causeway mare. Mott is 17% winners moving runners form sprint to route.

Remedy exits the Remington Park Oaks where she set the early fractions and could not go with the winner while holding on to the runner up spot by a nose. Four of her first five starts came on turf with the other coming in the slop.
This is just her third start over a fast main track and she owns solid early and mid pace numbers in a race without a ton of early zip signed up. She is a half to graded stakes placed Harry’s Holiday ($197,657).

WIN: #6 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 4,6 / 4,6,7,8
TRI: 4,6 / 4,6,7,8 / 1,4,6,7,8

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: #4 Bad Guy 8-1
R2: #3 Hit a Provisional 8-1
R3: #5 Semper Paratus 8-1
R6: #1 Come on City / 1a Pivotal Connection 8-1
R6: #2 Pass It On 15-1
R8: #3 Sassy Agnes 8-1
R10: #10 Lift Up 10-1

Good luck today!

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