Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM

At the Gate - Friday

We have a great weekend of betting action coming up including the $750,000 Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct and the $300,000 Hollywood Derby (G1) at Del Mar.

There are four graded stakes at Aqueduct on Saturday and the best news is all four are carded for the main track.

We were off the turf yet again on Thursday, and I can’t remember the last time I saw a race contested on the turf in the Big Apple.

The Cigar Mile drew a field of eight led by the Aiden O’Brien trained Mendelssohn, who makes his first start since running fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

Among his foes are Kelso Handicap (G2) winner Patternrecognition, Empire Classic winner Pat On the Back and Copper Town, who has dusted his competition in his last three starts and makes his stakes debut for trainer Todd Pletcher.

The co-features on the card are the $250,000 Remsen (G2), $250,000 Go for Wand Handicap (G3) and the and the $250,000 Demoiselle (G2).

There is a 70% chance of showers in the afternoon.

The Hollywood Derby drew a full field of 14 three-year-olds that will travel 1 1/8 miles on the turf which got some rain on Thursday.

I will probably also venture out to Gulfstream Park for opening day. It is the Claiming Crown with plenty of large fields and good betting races.

The track’s post time drag, which often seems to last an eternity and their willingness to run right on top of other major tracks grated on my nerves on a daily basis at last year’s meeting.

Expect more of the same starting tomorrow.

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 Friday click here.

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

AQU Race 1 Alw $50,000s (12:00 ET)

5 McErin 9-5

4 Wegotoldyougotsold 4-1

6 Missile Bomb 3-1

1 Pocket Personality / 1a Strong Side 7-2

Analysis: McErin set the early fractions and could not match strides late with the winner in a runner up finish at this level over yielding turf. The winner Outrageous Bet came back to beat state bred Alw-1 foes in his next start on Oct. 25. The gelding has a win and a third in his two starts on dirt. The Servis barn is 36% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from turf to dirt.

Wegotoldyougotsold wire the field last out beating $50,000 claimers in the slop. He was claimed out of the race by the Levine barn that is 12% winners first off the claim. He trounced $40,000 claimers two back at Keeneland going seven furlongs over a fast surface. He maiden score came over the main track here at today's distance in his second career start. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and looks like a good fit in this spot.

WIN: #5 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 4,5 / 4,5,6
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

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

1 Best Performance 5-2

5 Aikenetta 4-1

2 Out of Trouble 4-1

3 Harkness 9-2

Analysis: Best Performance makes her first start since June where she checked din fifth beaten three lengths against Alw-1 optional claimers on turf. This gal was the beaten chalk in each of her last three starts. She had an outstanding juvenile career which included runner up finishes in four stakes including the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Del Mar. She has worked sharply on the main track here for her return for the Clement barn that is 13% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff. She broke her maiden on dirt in her debut and this looks like a soft spot for her return off the bench.

Aikenetta set the early fractions over good turf and weakened to finish fourth at this level. Two back in her first start off the claim by the RRod barn she beat $50,000 starter allowance foes on the main track at Belmont Park in a race washed off the turf. She can handle the surface switch for a barn that is 21% winners moving runners from turf to dirt.

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

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: #7 B Three 8-1
R3: #12 Tip At Tapit 12-1
R3: #4 Tenacious Jewel 10-1
R4: #3 Coilean Bawn 8-1
R5: #8 Nutzforboltz 8-1
R6: #5 Crack Shot 10-1
R8: #13 Rappel 10-1

Good luck today!

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