Dec 09, 2018
At the Gate - Sunday
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert went into yesterday’s two Grade 1’s at Los Alamitos having won with 29 of his 52 two-year-old starters going back six months.
That is a 55.76% win percentage. Pretty crazy, right?
What is crazier is he won both the Cash Call Futurity (G1) and the Starlet (G1) and his win percentage actually went down.
Yes, he started two runners in each race, so of his last 56 starters he has now won with 31, and his win percentage dipped to 55.35%.
The Futurity was a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race and he ran one-two with Improbable and Mucho Gusto. He now has enough Derby contenders where I think he could probably fill up the entire 20 posts on the first Saturday of May.
Two races later he won the Starlet, which is a Road to the Kentucky Oaks points race. He won it with Chasing Yesterday, who is a half-sister to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
His other runner Mother Mother got edged out by 30-1 longshot Enaya Alrabb for the runner up spot. Poor Bob must have been devastated.
No stakes today and actually lots of maiden races between the Big A and Gulfstream Park where it appears we can catch some prices.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.
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Here is the opener from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Md $50,000 (12:50 ET)
#3 I'm Guilty 7-2
#2 Mom I Forgive You 2-1
#1 Excess Capacity 7-5
#7 Regal Retort 6-1
Analysis: I'm Guilty was sent off at 10-1 when making her debut and she was not much of a threat in a fifth-place finish. She comes back here with a class drop in for $50,000 for the RRod barn that is 27% winners with runners dropping from maiden special to maiden claiming. She was a $260,000 Ocala purchase, out of a Pine Bluff mare that has dropped seven winners including a pair of stakes winners, top earner Ready to Please ($342,458).
Mom I Forgive You tracked the early pace and flattened out late in a promising runner up finish at Churchill Downs in his debut. Cox hits at a 23% clip with second out maidens. She was a $37,000 purchase, out of an Orientate mare that has dropped three other foals to race, all winners, top earner stakes winner Honey's Ryan ($149,405).
WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 1,2,3,7
TRI: 2,3 / 1,2,3,7 / 1,2,3,4,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 7 Alw $16,000s (3:47 ET)
#2 Sanavi 8-5
#3 Langdarma 4-1
#4 Sparty Boy 3-1
#5 Bon Raison 9-2
Analysis: Sanavi has won three of his last four starts, last out beating Alw-1 foes at Belmont Park going 1 1/16 miles. He has a win and a second in his two trips at nine furlongs and comes in here sharp for Englehart, who took over from Rice two back. He put in a quick work on Nov. 24 and the extra ground will come in handy with the main question whether he is going to get some pace in front of him here. This is a good spot dropping back into a starter allowance heat.
Langdarma stalked the early pace, took over a short lead heading for home and battled on, getting caught late beaten a head for the top spot while seven lengths clear of the rest of the field. He was making his first start for the Gullo barn that does good work with recent claims. He was taken for $40,000 and showed improvement in his first go for the barn. He beat Alw-2 optional claimers four back at Indiana Grand with a number good enough to handle this group. He has a second in his lone trip at the distance and has the pedigree, by Candy Ride out of a Giant's Causeway mare.
WIN: #2 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,4,5
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,4,5 / 2,3,4,5,6
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:
GP Race 8 Md Sp Wt (4:05 ET)
#8 Mr. Edgar 20-1
#6 Final Jeopardy 5-1
#5 Tapizars Secret 1-1
#2 Sea Shark 4-1
Analysis: Mr. Edgar makes his third career start and switches back to dirt after a fourth last out on turf at GP West going five furlongs. Three runners have come out of that race to win next out including the winner Gladiator King, who beat Alw-1 optional claimers in his next start, then was outrun in the Remsen (G2) in a sixth-place finish. Most that came out of that key race produced higher numbers and this guy will need to as well, but at least we are going to see a generous price. He is the first foal tor ace out of a Smart Strike mare.
Final Jeopardy debuts for the Servis barn that is 29% winners (with a +ROI) with first time starters. He was a $110,000 Keeneland purchase, by Street Sense out of a stakes placed Unbridled's Song mare, her first foal to race. Decent looking works and with Pletcher and Ward having runners in here we should catch a fair price on this guy.
WIN: #8 to win at 8-1 or better.
EX: 6,8 / 2,5,6,8
TRI: 6,8 / 2,5,6,8 / 2,4,5,6,8
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 Theresa’s Boy 8-1
R4: #2 Center City 15-1
R5: #2 She’s a Black Belt 12-1
R6: #4 Durkin’s Call 8-1
Good luck today!