Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM

At the Gate - Saturday

We have a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race this afternoon in the $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3) which drew a field of 10 but we could also garner a Derby contender or two out of today’s feature at Aqueduct.
The $150,000 Jimmy Winkfield is ungraded and offers up no points toward entry into the Run for the Roses, but it did draw a pretty good group of three-year-olds that will go seven furlongs on the main track.
The 9-5 morning line favorite is the Kiaran McLaughlin trained Haikal, who showed good late foot rallying to break his maiden in his second career start over a wet track at Aqueduct.
The colt should get better as he gets more ground, and strong performance in this race could send him to one of the key Derby preps in New York, the Gotham (G3) or the Wood (G2).
For the Jimmy Winkfield he could end up a light price so as you can see below I landed with the Philly invader Jump for Alex, who is going to be a decent price coming off a win at Parx against Alw-1 optional claimers.
The Sam F. Davis is an interesting race and I am going to land on recent maiden winner Kentucky Wildcat, who still appears to have a ton of upside.
The Todd Pletcher trained So Alive is worth a look as well. Pletcher has won the Sam F. Davis in six of the last 13 editions.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs
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Here is the second race (the opener is chalky) from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 2 Clm $10,000 (1:24 ET)
#3 Elizabeth Nicole   5-1
#6 Driven by Speed   7-5
#4 Not About the Nail   2-1
#1 Satin Sheets   4-1
Analysis: Elizabeth Nicole cuts back from a mile where last out the filly dueled for the early lead while down along a deep inside and weakened to finish fifth. Her last win came at 6 1/2 furlongs at Belmont Park where she beat $14,000 non-winners of three. The filly owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and could prove tough to catch if she shakes loose early. Contessa barn is 16% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from route to sprint.
Driven by Speed also cuts back form a mile. The mare tracked the early pace, made a good middle move and battle don gamely in a runner up finish, beaten a length. The mare makes her third start of her current form cycle and looks headed in the right direction. Only knock is the likely light price.
WIN: #3 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 3,4,6
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 The Jimmy Winkfield (4:34 ET)
#1 Jump for Alex   8-1
#3 Haikal   9-5
#4 Tikhvin Flew   5-2
#5 Direct Order   6-1
Analysis: Jump for Alex came with a good late rally to get up and beat Alw-1 optional claimers last out at Philly going 6 1/2 furlongs. Two back in the PA Nursery the colt ran second, catching a wall of horses on the turn and rallied for the runner up spot while lugging in. The winner of that race was Call Paul, who came back to win the Swale (G3) on Feb. 2 at Gulfstream Park. The 'Lupe trainee popped a bullet work and gets an extra half furlong here. Not sure he is going to get a fast pace up front but breaking from the rail Maragh may have him a bit closer here.
Haikal just missed by a neck in a solid debut behind Family Biz and then came back with a game maiden breaker last out here going six furlongs over a wet track that was kind to outside stalkers and closers that day. This colt still appears to have some upside and the trainer is quite high on him. He has been working sharply in the mornings for his first go off nearly a two-month break.
WIN: #1 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,4,5
TRI: 1,3 / 1,3,4,5 / 1,3,4,5,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Tampa Bay Downs:
TAM Race 11 The Sam F. Davis G3 (5:25 ET)
#6 Kentucky Wildcat   9-2
#8 So Alive   5-1
#3 Knicks Go   5-2
#4 Cave Run   6-1
Analysis: Kentucky Wildcat faces winners for the first time here after a game maiden win last out in his third career start going a one turn mile at Aqueduct. The colt tracked the early pace toward the outside, took over after six furlongs and dug in gamely in the stretch to win by a half-length. The runner up, fourth and ninth place finishers all exited the race to graduate next out. The colt gets better with each outing and can handle his first trip around two turns. He is by Tapit out of the stakes winner Better Lucky ($1.27 million), her first foal to race.
So Alive beat Alw-1 optional claimers over the main track here in his last outing, his first around two turns. He was bumped coming out of the gate, prompted the early pace and finished strongly as the 6-5 favorite. The colt is sent out by the Pletcher barn that has won this race in six of the last 13 editions. The $160,000 Keeneland purchase is by Super Saver out of a Street Cry mare that has dropped one other foal to race, stakes winner Vino Rosso ($842,500). He gets a jock upgrade to Castellano and the 6-1 morning line looks fair enough.
Knicks Go prompted the early pace and faded to finish a well beaten 11th in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) over a sloppy track. He won the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland at 70-1 and ran second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at 40-1. Was the slop to blame for his last effort? He likely bounces back here but is going to be a short price. He has worked sharply including three good drills over the main track here. He owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers but there are a couple of runners in here capable of making things tough up front.
WIN: #6 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 6,8 / 3,4,6,8
TRI: 6,8 / 3,4,6,8 / 3,4,6,7,8
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.
R6: #9 Sweet Blindness   8-1
R8: #1 Jump for Alex  8-1
R9: #7 Devil’s Flair   15-1
Good luck today!

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