Dec 22, 2018
At the Gate - Saturday
We have a couple of good betting races today in the stakes at Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park, the $125,000 Queen’s County in the Big Apple and the $100,000 Mr. Prospector (G3) in Florida.
The Queen’s County drew a field of 10 led by the 3-1 morning line favorite Name Changer for the Alan Goldberg barn. The five-year-old drew the rail and is coming off a third behind a repeat winner in a stake at Philly in his last outing.
After heavy rains and fog on Friday, it looks as if the weather will be much better on Saturday, with cloudy skies and a high of 50 degrees.
The Mr. Prospector drew a field of 11 and Coal Front is going to be the likely favorite. The Todd Pletcher trainee tossed in a clunker off the bench in a fifth-place finish in the Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) which was off a year layoff.
The four-year-old ran a couple of big races last year, winning the Gallant Bob (G3) and Amsterdam (G2) and I have feeling his 7-2 morning line is going to be much lighter.
As you can see below, I am going to try and beat him for the top spot.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday 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 Sp Wt (12:20 ET)
#6 Lady Hester 5-2
#3 Cottonwoods Falls 8-5
#1 Cadeau de Paix 4-1
#5 Kingdom's Queen 6-1
Analysis: Lady Hester returns off a three month break here for the Duggan barn. The filly has made two starts since landing in the U.S., a good third off the layoff two back and last out she as fourth behind a trio of next out winners. The winner Golden Award came back to beat Alw-1 foe sin her next start on Nov. 7 at Churchill Downs. A couple of decent works on the morning tab and this group does not look nearly as tough as she faced last out. She is out of the stakes winner Questing ($876,876) who has dropped one other foal to race, no winners to date.
Cottonwoods Falls checked in fourth in her debut for the Brown barn, a bit chilly at 5.5-1 in a field of seven. She earned the top last out speed fig in her effort. The barn is 27% winners with second out maidens. She fits although she is going to be a light price and Brown is off to a slow start at the meeting at 0 for 10 while most of his better stock went south for the winter. This gal is out of the stakes winner Alpha Kitten ($227,010) who ash dropped two other foals to race, both winners.
WIN: #6 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 1,3,5,6
TRI:3,6 / 1,3,5,6 / 1,2,3,5,6
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 The Queen's County (3:47 ET)
#1 Name Changer 3-1
#10 Exulting 4-1
#3 Bonus Points 5-1
#8 Small Bear 5-1
Analysis: Name Changer stalked the early pace and did not have enough punch left late in a third-place finish in the Pennsylvania Derby Champion at Philly last out. The winner Aztec Sense came back to win the Claiming Crown Jewel in his next start at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 1. The Goldberg trainee earned a career top two back winning the Monmouth Cup (G3). He returns here off a three-month break for a barn that is 19% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff. The five-year-old has run well fresh in the past.
Exulting set the early fractions and weakened to finish fourth last out in the Red Smith in a race taken off the turf. He won the Artie Schiller two back over a wet track going a mile in another race washed off the grass. He returns here with blinkers added. he beat Alw-2 optional claimers at the Spa this summer at nine furlongs and catches a field void of much early zip.
WIN: #1 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,10 / 1,3,8,10
TRI: 1,10 / 1,3,8,10 / 1,2,3,8,10
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:
GP Race 10 The Mr. Prospector G3 (4:36 ET)
#6 Heartwood 9-2
#11 Coal Front 7-2
#8 Uno Mas Modelo 2-1
#2 Kroy 6-1
Analysis: Heartwood dueled for the early lead and finished gamely in a runner up finish in the Fall Highweight 'Cap (G3) at the Big A. This guy has faced some tough company in his last four outings since winning a stake at Mountaineer Park. He owns solid early and mid pace number sand comes in here off one of his best efforts of his career. Irad picks up the call and the 9-2 morning line looks fair enough.
Coal Front returned off a long layoff after surgery for repairing a condylar fracture to his right foreleg in the Bold Ruler 'Cap (G3). After setting the early fractions he packed it in readily. No doubt he needed that and the 7-2 morning line looks fair but this guy likely is going to be much shorter. He ran really well last year including taking the Amsterdam (G2) and Gallant Bob (G3). A tough read what we are going to see out of this guy.
WIN: #6 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 6,11 / 2,6,8,11
TRI: 6,11 / 2,6,8,11 / 2,6,8,9,11
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: #3 King Kranz 8-1
R4: #5 Miss Flambe 8-1
R6: #9 Funny Guy 10-1
R6: #11 Centennial Banker 8-1
R7: #2 Charlie McCoy 12-1
R9: #4 Wanna Be Regal 15-1
Good luck today!