At the Gate – Friday

We are back in action at Aqueduct on Friday afternoon after a four-day break and our three-day holiday weekend has now turned into a two-day affair.

The NYRA already has announced that Monday’s holiday card has been cancelled. The forecast calls for a high of 16 degrees with wind chill factors much lower. Snow and sleet is arriving on Sunday which could put that card in jeopardy as well.

Coming up tomorrow the Road to the Kentucky Derby stops in New Orleans where a full field will go in the $200,000 Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds in a good betting race.

There are 10-4-2-1 Derby points up for grabs. The race serves as a prep for the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) on Feb. 16 and the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) on March 23, both Road to the Kentucky Derby points races.

The Lecomte is one of six stakes on an outstanding betting card. I will include several of the races in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.

The feature tomorrow at Aqueduct is the $100,000 Toboggan (G3), a seven-furlong sprint for four-year-olds and upward that drew a field of five.

Gold for the King wheels back quickly after a third-place finish in the state bred Say Florida Sandy where she was the beaten favorite.

Our top pick in that race was Honor Up who got the job done while Gold for the King did not get a clear trip and caught some traffic or else, he may have gotten the job done.

His biggest threat tomorrow will be from Skyler’s Scramjet, the 8-5 second choice. The gelding just missed in the Gravesand last out by a neck in a game effort.

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 opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:

AQU Race 1 Alw $50,000s (12:50 ET)
#4 Summer Punch 3-1
#1 Love to Learn 9-5
#5 Cool as You Like 5-2
#2 My Victoria Rose 4-1

Analysis: Summer Punch prompted the early pace and drew off to beat $10,000 claimers last out. She was claimed out of the race by the Toscano barn that is 25% winners first off the claim. The mare earned a career top speed fig last out off a two week break after beating restricted $14,000 foes two back in her first start for the Parker barn. She rarely runs a bad one and looks capable of stepping up here into a tougher spot.

Love to Learn invades from Canada where last out the filly checked in fourth against Alw-1 foes on the fake stuff. Two back against Alw-1 foes she ran a game second behind repeat winner Alnilah, who came back to beat Alw-2 optional claimers in her next outing on Nov. 7. She has a couple of thirds in her three trips on fast dirt.

WIN: #4 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,4 / 1,4,5
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 7 OClm $25,000N1X (3:58 ET)
#2 Our Girl Abby 4-1
#5 Big Birthday 1-1
#1 Shimmering Moon 7-2
#7 Gypsy Janie 12-1

Analysis: Our Girl Abby pressed the early pace form the outside and could not get by the winner in the stretch in a runner up finish against restricted $40,000 foes last out in the slop here. The filly won her two previous starts, taking $35,000 non-winners of three followed by beating $50,000 starter allowance types. She steps up into a tougher spot here but looks like the best option to backing the imposing chalk in this spot.

Big Birthday earned the top last out speed fig in a third-place finish at this level last out off a two-month break. She graduated at the Spa three back in a sharp effort and was fifth two back in her first start against winners. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and looks tough in this spot although her price is going to be on the light side.

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

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.

R3: #3 Ridolfo 12-1
R7: #7 Gypsy Janie 12-1
R8: #6 Questeq 8-1

Good luck today!