At the Gate – Friday

We are back in action at Aqueduct on Friday afternoon after a four-day Christmas break and we have plenty of good stakes action to look forward to on Saturday.

We have a pair of stakes at the Big A—The $100,000 Alex M. Robb and the $100,000 East View, both state bed stakes races.

We will venture off to Gulfstream Park which hosts six stakes on Saturday, all on turf including the $75,000 Tropical Park Oaks and Tropical Park Derby.

At Santa Anita we have a pair of graded stakes—the $150,000 Robert J. Frankel (G3) and the $300,000 American Oaks (G1). A field of eight three-year-old fillies will line up in the American Oaks, the final Grade 1 race on the 2018 calendar in the U.S.

The Neil Drysdale trained Californiagoldrush is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The filly has won three of her four starts, taking the Sands Point (G2) at Belmont Park over yielding ground in her last outing.

Trainer Chad Brown ships Competitonofideas form New York. The filly ran third in the Winter Memories last out on the main track at Aqueduct in a race taken off the turf. She broke her maiden and beat first level allowance foes on turf in her two previous outings.

I will have my selections and analysis for the American Oaks in tomorrow’s column.

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 Clm $60,000 (12:50 ET)
#3 Take Your Place 3-1
#2 Fox Red 2-1
#1 Bon Raison / 1a American Rule 4-1
#6 Monteleone 3-1

Analysis: Take Your Place invades from Florida and goes from Saffie to Toscano. Last out at GP West the colt tracked the early pace, came with a five wide bid and weakened to finish fourth against Alw-2 optional claimers or non-winners of a race other than in six months. his summer this guy was back to back photos at Gulfstream Park beating Alw-1 and Alw-2 foes. He is bred to handle a wet track and ran second two back in his lone start on slop.

Fox Red is also sent out by Toscano. The gelding set the early fractions down toward the rail and weakened to finish fifth, beaten four lengths against $50,000 starter allowance foes. That effort was his first against winners and first off the claim. He graduated two back for a $20,000 tag here in his third career start. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and is bred to like a wet track.

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

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 6 Clm $25,000 (3:17 ET)
#2 Summer Bourbon 3-1
#3 T Loves a Fight 7-2
#5 Fleet Irish 6-1
#1 Blue Belt 5-2

Analysis: Summer Bourbon pressed the early pace and battled on with the runner up, missing in a photo in a good effort in his first start off the claim by the RRod barn. The gelding has not won since taking a state bred Alw-1 race last December but looks like a good fit in this spot. He is bred to handle a wet track and while he is 0 for 4 on the off going he has landed in the money in three of those trips. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and looks capable of moving forward in his second start for the barn.

T Loves to Fight caught a wet track last out and came with a good late run while wide to beat $12,500 claimers. He is back with state breds here as he makes his third start of his current form cycle. The Rice trainee has won three of his five trips on wet tracks in his career.

WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 1,2,3,5
TRI: 2,3 / 1,2,3,5 / 1,2,3,5,9

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: #3 Theresa’s Boy 8-1
R8 Congrats Ellen 8-1

Good luck today!