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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:00 PM

At the Gate - Sunday

We saw a pair of leading Kentucky Derby (G1) contenders come up short on Saturday, and we profited from each of the two subpar efforts.

I thought Code of Honor would be tough to beat in the Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Park, but with the expected short price I went with Mihos, who came with a good late rally to get his neck in front and return $7.80 for the win as my top pick.

Code of Honor, who was making his first start since a runner up finish in the Champagne (G1) had to settle for fourth in a disappointing effort.

The Bob Baffert trained Coliseum was sent off as the chalk in the Sham (G3) at Santa Anita and I decided to go with the Jerry Hollendorfer trained Gunmetal Gray.

The colt trailed throughout and came with a good late run to get up late, returning $9.40 for the win.

Coliseum, who was taking action in the Kentucky Derby futures before he even made his debut was a disappointment. But don’t feel too bad for Baffert, as he has a barn full of talented three-year-olds and he could easily have five or six to saddle on the first Saturday of May.

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 Clm $40,000N3L (12:50 ET)
#1 Regal Quality 8-5
#4 Domain 2-1
#3 Double Deep 5-1
#2 Rogue Nation 5-1

Analysis: Regal Quality tracked the early pace and could not get to the winner in the stretch in a runner up finish at this level, catching a racing strip that was kind to inside speed that day. The gelding was claimed out of the race by the Rice barn that is 28% winners first off the claim. He stretches out to a mile which should suit him. He beat Alw-1 foes three back at Laurel Park going a one turn mile and graduated at Tampa Bay Downs going two turns. Rice is 29% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route.

Domain was a sharp winner versus $50,000 starter allowance foes last out in his first start off the claim by Rice. He was taken two back for a $40,000 tag out of his maiden score in the slop here. He has run consistent numbers throughout his career and owns a solid pace profile throughout. He has shown some tactical speed in a few of his starts and that may come in handy here as there is not much early zip signed up.

Wagering
WIN: #1 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 1,4 / 1,3,4
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 6 Clm $25,000N2L (3:30 ET)
#3 Sweet August Lady 8-5
#2 Tayler's the Boss 8-1
#1 Third Card Down 8-1
#7 Solitary Gem 3-1

Analysis: Sweet August Lady returns off a two-month break and makes her first start on the main track since her debut where she was third in the maiden ranks in the mud. She checked in fourth in her last start against $40,000 non-winners of two and in her previous start at the same level was beaten just a head, both of her last two starts as the beaten chalk. The Brown barn is 26% winners moving runners from turf to dirt. She drops in for $25,000 and catches a pretty weak field here.

Tayler's the Boss stalked the early pace and made a mild late rally to finish third last out against $40,000 non-winners of two in her first start off the claim by the Kantarmaci barn. Two back she prompted the early pace and weakened to finish third for this tag. She looks headed in the right direction form wise and the underrated barn has been sending out live runners at the meeting. Worth tossing in the mix here if she goes off near her 8-1 morning line.

Wagering
WIN: #3 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 1,2,3,7
TRI: 2,3 / 1,2,3,7 / 1,2,3,6,7

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:

GP Race 10 OClm $62,500N2X (4:41 ET)
#9 Shakhimat 5-1
#6 Siding Spring 15-1
#7 Dr. Edgar 7-2
#4 Attribute 3-1

Analysis: Shakhimat is back on turf after a couple of trips on the fake stuff at Woodbine, a fifth last out in the Autumn (G2). His last turf try came in the King Edward (G2) three back at a mile where he set the early fractions and could not hold off the winner in a runner up finish. He won the Tropical Park Turf (G3) over the grass here in Dec. of '17. He comes back off a two-month freshening and will appreciate the return to turf.

Siding Spring returns off a three-month break after tailing off form versus tougher in his last two starts. This guy won at this condition over the grass here in Feb. of '17. Solid looking works on the morning tab for Casse who is 19% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff. This guy should be a generous price in this spot.

Wagering
WIN: #9 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 6,9 / 4,6,7,9
TRI: 6,9 / 4,6,7,9 / 3,4,6,7,9

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.

Aqueduct
R6: #2 Tayler’s the Boss 8-1
R6: #1 Third Card Down 8-1
R7: #2 Mary’s Girl 8-1
R9: #9 Fiery Opal 8-1

Good luck today!

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