Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

At the Gate - Friday

On Saturday we will head out to Tampa Bay Downs and include the stakes action in my Best Plays Report including the lone Road to the Kentucky Derby race this weekend.

There are Derby points up for grabs in the $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3) which drew a field a 10 that will go 1 1/16 miles on the main track. The race serves as a prep to the $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) on March 9, the marquee race of the meeting.

The 5-2 morning line favorite is Knicks Go, who is looking to rebound off a stinker in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs in the slop where he was a well beaten 11th.

The colt won the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland last fall at 70-1 and showed that was no fluke when he ran second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at 40-1.

The colt is listed at 30-1 in Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager which opens today and ends on Sunday.

The Sam F. Davis is one of four stakes on Saturday’s card. The co-features are the $175,000 Endeavour (G3), $150,000 Suncoast and the $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes (G3).

The feature at Aqueduct on Saturday is the $150,000 Jimmy Winkfield for three-year-olds going seven furlongs. Seven go to the gate led by the Steve Asmussen trainee Tikhvin Flew, an impressive maiden winner in his debut.

I will have selections and analysis and selections for the stakes in tomorrow’s column.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package for just $99.95. It gives you a month of Aqueduct daily and 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 $30,000 (12:50 ET)

2 Karabessa 5-2

1 Rockin Emmzy 1-1

4 Stokes 3-1

3 la Bella Chica 12-1

Analysis: Karabessa stalked the early pace and came with a mild late run while six wide to finish in the runner up spot in the slop. The DiPrima runners appears to be heading i the right direction and looks capable of handling the stretch out to a mile. The barn is 18% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route.

Rockin Emmzy exits the same race as our top pick. The filly prompted the early pace and did not have any punch left late in a third-place finish. She was claimed out of the race by the Rice barn that is 26% winners first off the claim. She has the pedigree to handle extra ground, out of a Rock Hard Ten mare. The barn is 29% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route.

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

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 6 Alw $50,000s (3:29 ET)

7 Mo Flash 5-1

1 Science Fiction 9-5

2 Love to Learn 7-2

5 Sweet August Lady 3-1

Analysis: Mo Flash tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fifth last out at this level going a mile. The winner and third place finisher came out of the race to win next out. The filly cuts back to a sprint and she beat $40,000 claimers two back going seven furlongs on the main track here. She has won 3 of 5 over the main track and figures to bounce back here with a better effort with the cut back in distance.

Science Fiction took the field gate to wire to beat $40,000 non-winners of two last out in her first starts since going from Diodoro to his former assistant Atras who has started off the meeting here going 5 for 9. She broke her maiden two back in her 15th career start by 11 3/4 lengths for a $40,000 tag.

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

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.

R1: #3 La Bella Chica 12-1
R7: #1 Orchid Party 8-1
R8: #8 Fortune’s Boy 8-1
R8: #3 Center City 8-1

Good luck today!

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