Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM
At the Gate - Sunday
We had three Road to the Kentucky Derby points races on Saturday, and I’ll go out on a limb and say I doubt we saw the Kentucky Derby winner in action.
We saw a huge upset in the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park with Harvey Wallbanger rallying to get up and return $61.20, which sent me looking for an adult beverage.
Completing the exacta in the race was Everfast, who was sent off at 128-1 and completed a $2 exacta that paid $2,203.40.
Maximus Mischief, the Remsen (G3) winner who was the betting favorite had to settle for third.
In the Withers (G3) at Aqueduct it was Tax who squeezed through along the rail to win by a head as the favorite, paying $6.20. My top pick Not That Brady ran second, the $2 exacta returning $41.60.
At Santa Anita it was cold and wet. The Robert B. Lewis (G3) scratched down to a field of five and was won by my top pick Mucho Gusto, who drew off to win by 4 ¾ lengths and paid $3.20 as the favorite.
Gunmetal Gray, who won the Sham (G3) in his last outing was far back early and made a mild late run to finish second, the $2 exacta paying a chalky $4.80.
The feature at the Big A on Sunday is the $100,000 Busanda which drew a competitive field of 11. Filly Joel is the 2-1 morning line favorite, but I am going to look for a bit more value with Always Shopping, the filly sitting at 6-1 on the morning line.
We have a pair of stakes at Gulfstream Park this afternoon and both are in my Best Plays Report.
Eleven will go in the $100,000 Dania Beach at a mile on turf and the $100,000 Sweet Chant (G3) drew a field of nine three-year-old fillies that will go a mile on turf.
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 Alw $77,000N1X (12:50 ET)
#3 New Year's Wish 7-5
#2 Pecan Pattie 4-5
#4 Norma's Charm 5-1
#5 Kingdom Queen 12-1
Analysis: New Year's Wish took the field gate to wire last out to beat $50,000 starter allowance foes in his first trip at a mile. She earned the top last out Beyer with an 82 with the chalk at 76 while the BRIS numbers are much different, the favorite at 91 while our top pick is an 83. I'll lean to what likely will be a slightly better price and this gal owns solid early and mid pace numbers.
Pecan Pattie tracked the early pace, came with a six wide bid and could not get by the winner late in a runner up finish at this level in the slop in her first start against winners. She was a good looking maiden winner two back here off the bench, drawing away to win by 10 lengths. She makes her third start off the bench and still appears to have some upside. Looks like a chalky exacta to kick off the day.
WIN: #3 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 3 / 2,4
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 The Busanda (4:25 ET)
#1 Always Shopping 6-1
#9 Filly Joel 2-1
#3 Afleet Destiny 9-2
#6 Elegant Zip 6-1
Analysis: Always Shopping is still a maiden but she is getting better with each outing and is bred to handle nine furlongs. Last out she stalked the early pace after stumbling at the start and finished up well for the runner up spot, beaten 3/4 of a length while eight lengths clear of the rest of the field. She is by stakes winner Stopshoppingmaria ($394,631) who has dropped one other foal to race, stakes winner Mo Shopping ($131,250).
Filly Joel set the early fractions and weakened to finish third last out in the Demoiselle (G2) in her first trip at nine furlongs. She broke her maiden two back impressively in her first route try, drawing clear to win by 6 1/4 lengths. She owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and there really is not a ton of early zip in here. If the RRod
runner can set moderate early fractions she could be tough to catch but would like to catch a bit more than her 2-1 morning line.
WIN: #1 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 1,9 / 1,3,6,9
TRI: 1,9 / 1,3,6,9 / 1,3,6,7,9
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:
GP Race 9 The Dania Beach (4:07 ET)
#5 Louder Than Bombs 10-1
#6 A Thread of Blue 4-1
#10 Current 2-1
#3 Casa Creed 7-2
Analysis: Louder Than Bombs stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a fourth-place finish in the Kitten's Joy last out behind a couple of foes he faces again. The colt has shown gradual improvement over his last few starts and Lopez sticks for Fawkes. Another move forward and this guy can be in the mix here at a decent price.
A Thread of Blue took the field gate to wire to beat Alw-1 optional claimers last out. The runner up and seventh place finisher in the race came back to win next out. The colt was a decent third two back in the Awad in his first start against winners. This guy still appears to have some upside. He was a $430,000 purchase and out of a Seeking the Gold mare that has dropped six other turf winners and has a couple of stakes winners, top earner Ea ($596,471).
WIN: #5 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 5,6 / 3,5,6,10
TRI: 5,6 / 3,5,6,10 / 3,5,6,10,11
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.
R1: #5 Kingdom Queen 12-1
R2: #5 El Fenomeno 15-1
R4: #10 Disquiet 8-1
R5: #6 Bustin Scones 12-1
R5: #4 Sartoga Style 8-1
R6: #3 Today Comes Once 8-1
R9: #4 Shamrocked 8-1
Good luck today!