Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM

At the Gate - Saturday

Saturday’s feature at Aqueduct is the $400,000 Long Island Handicap (G3) for fillies mares going 1 3/8 miles on turf which drew a field of 14 with three of those main track only entrants.

We have not had any rain in New York the past few days but we were off the turf yesterday to the cold weather that froze up the turf course. I am hoping we are back on turf for at least the stakes on turf.

Chad Brown saddles the morning line in the Long Island with Pollara, who was sixth in the E.P. Taylor (G1) in her U.S. debut.

I am going with Brown’s other runner Lady Paname (9-2) who likely is going to offer more value for the top spot. She beat first level allowance foes in her U.S. debut.

The $200,000 Discovery (G3) is on the main track at nine furlongs, with seven entered but three ran yesterday so we are going to be down to a field of four led by Belmont Stakes (G1) runner up Gronkowski.

Also, on the card is the $125,000 Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship which will have a field of eight if it sticks to turf. Disco Partner, third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) is the even money favorite.

We have a really good card at Churchill Downs if you like two-year-old racing. The $200,000 Golden Rod (G2) is for the ladies and the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) for the boys.

The Kentucky Jockey Club is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race and drew a full field of 14 with a couple of also-eligibles.

Knicks Go is the 2-1 morning line favorite and will have to overcome the 13 post. The colt pulled off the upset in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland at 70-1 and then was second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at 40-1.

Signalman is the second choice at 5-2 and he went off at generous odds of 67-1 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile where he rallied for third.

It is going to be tough landing on a short price with those two, so I am looking for an upset as you can see below with Blue Steel from the Dale Romans barn.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday 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 Clm $16,000N2L (11:50 ET)
#5 Call Me 7-2
#3 Double Deep 6-5
#2 Infield Is In 5-2
#1 Confederation 8-1

Analysis: Call Me makes his first start since March where the gelding prompted the early pace and was no match for a seven-length winner in a runner up finish against $35,000 foes. The gelding broke his maiden over the main track here for a $40,000 tag by 9 1/4 lengths. He was fourth going a mile in a race taken off the turf in his first start against winners, running into Audible at the Alw-1 level. The Pletcher barn is 32% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. He finds a soft spot here tagged for $16,000 and facing non-winners of two.

Double Deep stalked the early pace, came with a five wide run and could not get to the winner late in a runner up finish against $32,000 foes in a race taken off the turf. he just missed two back on turf against $40,000 non-winners of two, beaten just a neck. He owns the top last out speed fig ad a repeat of his last looks good enough to win here but he is going to be a short price.

WIN: #5 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 3,5 / 2,3,5
TRI: no play

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

CD Race 11 The Kentucky Jockey Club G2 (5:56 ET)
#6 Blue Steel 15-1
#4 Dunph 6-1
#12 King for a Day 8-1
#13 Knicks Go 2-1

Analysis: Blue Steel stretches out to a route of ground for the first time and certainly has the pedigree to move forward on the stretch out. He was a $270,000 Keeneland purchase by Will take Charge out of a stakes placed Candy Ride mare. The colt took the field gate to wire to break his maiden last out here at seven furlongs. Two runners have come out of the race to run back and they both won. He has come back with a couple of sharp works for the Romans barn that is 20% winners moving runners from sprint to route. he could jump up with a big effort here and should be a generous price.

Dunph is perfect in two starts and has not been tested He graduate din his debut by 8 1/2 lengths at Penn and then won the restricted Spendthrift last out over the main track here at seven furlongs by 7 3/4 lengths. The edging should be able to handle the stretch out to two turns. He is by Temple City out of a Sky Mesa mare. He can be in the mix here at a decent price.

King for a Day ships in from New York for the Pletcher barn. The colt took the field gate to wire to break his maiden in his second career start and first going long. He was third in his debut at the Spa behind the winner Complexity, who came back to win the Champagne (G1) in his next start. The colt owns a solid pace profile throughout with good early and mid pace numbers. He is out of a French Deputy mare that has dropped six other winners including a pair of stakes winners, top earner Let's Parlay ($322,712).

WIN: #6 to win at 8-1 or better.
EX: 4,6 / 4,6,12,13
TRI: 4,6 / 4,6,12,13 / 1,4,6,12,13

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 9 The Long Island G3 (3:50 ET)
#10 Lady Paname 9-2
#2 Lady Montdore 7-2
#8 Pamina 20-1
#1 Pollara 3-1

Analysis: I will hold out hope that perhaps this race will stay on grass unless the rains come early. Lady Paname stalked the early pace and got up late to beat Alw-1 foes in her U.S. debut which was off a year layoff. Two back she was a decent fourth in the Prix Chaudenay (G2) at Chantilly, beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Ice Breeze, who came out of that race to win the Royal Oak (G1) at Saint-Cloud in her next start. Irad sticks with this gal after also riding our fourth choice last out for Brown.

Lady Montdore tracked the early pace and could not go with the top pair in the stretch in a third-place finish in the Flower Bowl (G1) last out over good grounds at 1 1/4 miles. She won the Glen Falls (G2) at the Spa two back at today's 1 3/8-mile distance in her second start after landing in the U.S. She has shown she can handle ground with some give to it and this group is not as tough as she faced last out.

WIN: #10 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 2,10 / 1,2,8,10
TRI: 2,10 / 1,2,8,10 / 1,2,8,10,11

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: #1 Confederation 8-2
R2: #5 Montana Skeptic 15-1
R4: #8 We Should Talk 8-1
R4: #1 Shiraz 12-1
R4: #12 Ethan Hunt 12-1
R6: #5 Bon Raison 10-1
R6: #1 Title Ready 8-1
R7: 31 Hembree 8-1
R9: #8 Pamina 20-1
R10: #3 Jot 8-1

Good luck today!

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