At the Gate – Saturday

Saturday’s feature is the $200,000 Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds which is the first Road to the Kentucky Derby race at the New Orleans track.
The race drew a full field and there is some rain in the forecast and the prospect of seeing an off track. There are five supporting stakes on an outstanding betting card.
Plus Que Parfait is the lukewarm 9-2 morning line favorite. However, the Brendan Walsh trainee drew a tough post with the 12. The colt was beaten just a neck in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) in the slop at Churchill Dows in his last outing.
Among the other stakes on the card is the $150,000 Silverbulletday for three-year-old fillies. A field of seven go one mile and 70 yards led by Liora, the 5-2 morning line favorite. The filly won the Golden Rod (G2) at Churchill Downs by a nose in her last start.
The feature at Aqueduct this afternoon is the $100,000 Toboggan (G3), which drew a small field of five, but it is a competitive race. We went against Gold for the King last out in the state bred Say Florida Sandy on Jan. 12 and it worked out for us thanks to a tough trip.
He is the 7-5 morning line favorite and will be tough to beat if he works out a better trip.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Fair Grounds
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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 (12:25 ET)
#3 Up at Dawn   5-1
#4 Enjoyitwhilewecan   3-1
#2 Shanghai Bonnie   8-5
#1 Fangirl   4-1
Analysis: Up at Dawn is a $250,000 Keeneland purchase who has been working sharply for her debut. The Hennig barn is 19% winners (with a +ROI) with first time starters. She is out of a Tabasco Cat mare that has dropped eight foals to race with seven winners and four are stakes winners, top earner Capitano ($576,894).
Enjoyitwhilewecan prompted the early pace in her debut and weakened in the stretch to finish fourth. She was sent off at 5-1 in a field of seven. The $140,000 purchase is out of a Dynaformer mare that has dropped one winner. She came back with a good breeze for the McLaughlin barn that is 26% winners with second out maidens.
WIN: #3 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 1,2,3,4
TRI: 3,4 / 1,2,3,4 / 1,2,3,4,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 7 Clm $25,000 (3:27 ET)
#6 Scarf It Down   4-1
#5 Four Freedoms   9-2
#2 Have Another   2-1
#3 Daddy D T   3-1
Analysis: Scarf It Down caught a muddy track last out where the gelding tracked the early pace and was no match for the top pair in a third-place finish for this tag. The winner Deep Sea came back to beat $32,000 foes in his next outing on Dec. 30. He was claimed out of his last outing by the Barrera barn that is showing a 0 for 13 mark first off the claim and just three wins overall last year. But he comes in here in pretty good form and should end up a fair price.
Four Freedoms set the early fractions and faded to finish sixth last out against $50,000 starter allowance foes. Three back at Philly this guy rolled over $25,000 non-winners of three by eight lengths in his first go off the claim by the Englehart barn. he drops back in for a tag and is better than he showed last out.
WIN: #6 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 5,6 / 2,3,5,6
TRI: 5,6 / 2,3,5,6 / 2,3,5,6,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Fair Grounds:
FG Race 12 The Lecomte G3 (5:49 CT)
#8 War of Will   6-1
#11 Tight Ten   8-1
#12 Plus One Parfait   9-2
#3 Tackett   6-1
Analysis: War of Will broke his maiden last out in the slop at Churchill Downs in his fifth career start. After a third in his debut on turf this guy took on graded stakes company in his next three starts and was in the mix in each. He was second in the Summer (G1), a close up fourth in the Bourbon and fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). The colt has worked sharply in the mornings over the main track here including a bullet drill in the slop. There is rain in the forecast which would suit this guy. He has a solid pedigree, by War Front out of the stakes winner Visions of Clarity ($46,435) who has dropped seven other foals to race with six winners and two stakes winners, top earner Pathfork ($237,871). The colt draws a good post compared to a couple of contenders that are stuck outside and he should get a good tracking trip sitting just off what could be a sharp early pace.
Tight Ten exits the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) where he hit the rail and had to steady and was never a threat in a ninth-place finish. The third, fifth and seventh place finishers came out of the race to win stakes next out. His first three starts were solid, breaking his maiden in his debut and then running second in the Saratoga Special (G2) and Iroquois (G3). He has enough tactical speed to overcome the outside post. Asmussen won this race in 2008 with Z Fortune and 2002 with Easyfromthegitgo. The colt figures to bounce back here with a better trip and the 8-1 morning liner looks fair enough.
Plus Que Parfait graduated at Keeneland by a nose in his third career start and second on dirt. He came back in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs in the slop where he was outrun early and came with a strong late rally to come up just a nose short of catching the winner. The ridgling has moved forward with each outing and he is going to get a good pace set up here and just needs to work out a trip breaking from the 12 post.
WIN: #8 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 8,11 / 3,8,11,12
TRI: 8,11 / 3,8,11,12 / 3,4,8,11,12
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: #4 Sandy Lane   8-1
R5: #5 Solid Wager   8-1
R9: #1 Borsa Vento   12-1
Good luck today!