Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

At the Gate - Friday

The winds came and Aqueduct canceled after the fifth race on Thursday, not the best way to start off the week.

Horseplayers were left getting refunds and going into the day there was a carryover in the Pick 6 and the late Pick 5. According to New York State Gaming Commission rules, full refunds will be issued on new money wagered on Thursday into the Pick 6 and NYRA Bets Late Pick 5 pools.

The Pick 6 starts this afternoon with a carryover of $26,214 and starts with race three on an eight-race card.

In better news, Churchill Downs announced a purse hike for the Kentucky Derby (G1), with a $1 million increase up to $3 million.

For the winner it means $1.86 million payday. Also, $600,000 will be awarded to the runner-up, $300,000 to third, $150,000 to fourth and $90,000 to fifth. Previously, the Kentucky Derby purse had been worth $2 million since 2005 and was $1 million from 1996-2004.

The winds will be lighter today and we should have no problem getting in today’s card.

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 (12:50 ET)

2 Kingdom's Queen 4-1

6 Lady Hester 6-5

5 War of the States 7-2

4 Taking Aim 4-1


Analysis: Kingdom's Queen has caught off tracks in three of her last four starts. Last out in the mud she tracked the early pace and could not go with the top pair late in a third-place finish. Two back in the mud she was third behind repeat winner Face It, who came back to beat Alw-1 foes in her next outing on Nov. 30. She likely will appreciate catching a fast track. She is out of the stakes winner Ruff ($215,220) who has dropped four winners, top earner Mr Gruff ($351,510).

Lady Hester dueled for the early lead and could not match strides with the winner in the stretch in the mud in a runner up finish in her last effort. Two back she ran fourth behind a trio of next out winners. She is 0 for 3since coming state side but she looks capable of picking up her diploma here but 6-5 is light. She is out of the stakes winner Questing ($876,876).

Wagering
WIN: #2 to win 3-1 or better.
EX: 2,6 / 2,5,6
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 7 Alw $64,000N1X (3:58 ET)

1 Charlie McCoy 6-1

4 Quest for Fire 9-2

2 Ready to Escape 5-2

11 Dark Ops 7-2


Analysis: Charlie McCoy returns off a four month break here for the Nevin barn that is 17% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff. He was off poorly last out stumbling out of the gate in a fifth-place finish at the Spa. He caught slop two back and three back in his first go against winners he was a game second, beaten just a head for the top spot. Decent looking works for his return here and he figures to get sent early breaking from the rail.

Quest for Fire was a good-looking maiden winner in his debut last march where he drew off to win by seven lengths. His return here on Dec. 1 was ugly, sent off at 6-5 and he packed it in to finish a well beaten ninth. Now he lands with the Handal barn that is 12% winners (with a +ROI) with newcomers to the barn. Just one breeze since his last start which is a concern but the 9-2 looks fair enough.

Wagering
WIN: #1 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 1,4 / 1,2,4,11
TRI: 1,4 / 1,2,4,11 / 1,2,3,4,11

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.

Aqueduct
R5: #6 Sender’s Empire 15-1
R6: #9 H Man 8-1

Good luck today!

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