Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

At the Gate - Friday

Our five-day break is over, and Aqueduct is back in action on Friday afternoon. We lost last Sunday due to fog and the Big A is running just three days this week and then will go to a four-day week.

Sunday’s card, the final day of the fall meeting, was canceled with two minutes to post due to fog, ending what was a ridiculous meeting with an amazing number of races washed off the turf.

There were 84 races scheduled to go on grass and 53, or 63% were moved to the main track.

Coming up on Saturday the feature at Aqueduct is the $100,000 Garland of Roses which drew a field of five fillies and mares led by Vertical Oak, the even money favorite on the morning line.

The Steve Asmussen trainee is coming off a sharp win in the Dream Supreme at Churchill Downs in her last outing.

In addition, we will head off to Los Alamitos where we have a pair of Grade 1 races for juveniles—the $300,000 Los Alamitos Futurity and the $300,000 Starlet.

The Los Alamitos Futurity has a history of producing solid runners, with previous winners including Real Quiet, A.P. Indy, Point Given, Lookin At Lucky and Shared Belief.

Six will line up to go 1 1/16 miles led by the Bob Baffert trained Improbable, the 6-5 morning line favorite.

The colt rolled to a 7 ¼ length win in the Street Sense on the Breeders’ Cup undercard at Churchill Downs.

The Starlet is for juvenile fillies drew a field of six go this year led by a pair of Baffert runners, Chasing Yesterday (9-5) and Mother Mother (2-1).

Chasing Yesterday was a sharp winner of the Desi Arnaz over the main track at Del Mar while his stablemate won the Rags to Riches at Churchill Downs in her most recent outing.

I will have selections and analysis in tomorrow’s Best Plays Multi Track Report.

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 Md Sp Wt (12:20 ET)
#6 Alrahaal 9-5
#5 Smart Step 5-1
#2 House Limit 4-5
#1 Azzedine 30-1

Analysis: Alrahaal was not off cleanly, prompted the early pace and finished gamely in a runner up finish in his debut, sent off at 9-2 in a field of six. He was nearly six lengths clear of the rest of the field in the effort. He comes back here at the same distance for the McLaughlin barn that is much better with second out maidens, hitting at a 23% clip. The gelding is by Street Cry and the first foal to race out of a Haafhd mare. He should move forward with a start under his belt.

Smart Step tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fifth last out going long at Laurel Park. He now has four thirds in his seven career starts. Among the top three this guy will be a decent price. He is out of a Quiet American mare that has dropped four other foals to race with three winners.

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

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 7 Alw $70,000N1X (3:17 ET)
#1 Pivotal Connection 9-2
#5 Filfila 8-1
#6 Mitchell Road 7-2
#10 Goodbye Brockley 9-2

Analysis: Pivotal Connection is back on turf after tracking the early pace and weakening to finish fourth last out at this level going nine furlongs in a race washed off the grass. Two back on turf second off the bench she stalked the early pace and made a mild late rally to finish fourth. The winner of that race was Lady Paname, who came back to win the Long Island (G3) in her next outing here on Nov. 24. The Mott trainee figures to bounce back with the surface switch and the cut back distance from her try at 1 1/4 miles two back should suit her as well.

Filfila came back off nearly a year on the bench with a fifth at this level for the Brown barn. Interesting move here Shadwell going to Pino, a very capable barn. This filly showed some ability as a juvenile, breaking her maiden here in her second career start and then was fourth beaten less than two lengths in the Wait a While over good ground at Gulfstream Park. Worth tossing in the mix here if she goes off near her 8-1 morning line.

WIN: #1 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,5,6,10
TRI: 1,5 / 1,5,6,10 / 1,5,6,10,11

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 Azzedine 30-1
R3 #1 Blushing Justine 8-1
R4: #5 Itsakeyper 8-1
R7: #5 Filfila 8-1
R8: #3 Jump Ruler 12-1
R9: #2 Holycowits Patrick 12-1
R9: #9 Friendship Seven 20-1

Good luck today!

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