Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:59 AM

At the Gate - Saturday

We had some short fields but managed to come up with four winners on top on the eight-race card at Aqueduct on Friday, the winners, paying $9.70, $7.40, $3.20 and $8.40.
We have a much better betting card on tap at the Big A for Saturday. The feature is the $100,000 Broadway for state bred fillies and mares that drew a field of eight at will go six furlongs.
Trainer Linda Rice has two of the likely favorites in Holiday Disguise (5-2) and Startwithsilver (3-1), but both are coming back off layoffs.
The Kiaran McLaughlin trained Pauseforthecause is the 2-1 morning line favorite. The filly was third in the state bred La Verdad in her last outing and looks capable of better.
We have two Road to the Kentucky Derby points races this afternoon—the $400,000 Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds and the $100,000 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields over the fake stuff.
The Risen Star is the first race that offers up 50 Derby points, making it essentially a win and you’re in race for the Run for the Roses.
A field of 14 will go to the gate led by Lecomte (G3) winner War of Will, the 5-2 morning line favorite. He was my top pick in the Lecomte but drew an outside post and his price may end up on the light side.
The El Camino Real Derby offers up just 10-4-2-1 Derby points and the race has not had much of an impact on the Triple Crown races in recent years.
The Bob Baffert trained Kingly is the 2-1 morning line favorite. He will scratch out of the Risen Star to stay home in California because he would have had to break from the 13 post in New Orleans.
He faces an easier group at Golden Gate Fields. This guy is certainly down the depth chart among the strong group of three-year-olds in the Baffert barn. The trainer has mentioned that the Preakness Stakes (G1) may actually be the target for this colt. 
My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 10 strongest plays from Aqueduct and Fair Grounds and the El Camino Real Derby.
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Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Md Sp Wt (12:50 ET)
#4 Joule   8-1
#3 Thread the Needle   4-5
#5 Anne's Song   5-2
#6 Tales of Royalty   10-1
Analysis: Joule made a mild late rally to finish fourth in her debut in the slop and then caught mud last out where she faded to finish a well beaten eighth at 6-1 in a field of nine. She has come back with a couple of decent looking works and willing to give her one more look here as she catches a fast main track for the first time. The filly is out of a Distinctive Pro mare that has dropped six other foals to race with four winners.
Thread the Needle stalked the early pace and finished gamely to just miss by a nose last out at Laurel Park as the beaten favorite, not much separating the top four. She was outrun in her lone trip over the main track here, coming in the slop against open maidens two back off the bench. This is their first start against state breds she was competitive in most of her starts against open maidens including a neck loss at Oaklawn Park last January in her second career start. She is out of a Jump Start mare that has dropped four winners and two are stakes winners, top earner The Lewis Dinner ($260,125). Looks tough but her price is going to be on the short side.
WIN: #4 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 3,4,5
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 The Broadway (4:40 ET)
#2 Pauseforthecause   2-1
#1 Palladian Bridge   10-1
#3 Holiday Disguise   5-2
#7 Startwillsilver   3-1
Analysis: Pauseforthecause pressed the early pace and was no match for a 10 3/4 length winner and lost the place spot by a neck in the state bred La Verdad in the slop last out. The filly was a sharp winner two back against Alw-12 foes where she matched her career top. She first earned that number three back in a third in the state bred Iroquois where she was beaten a length. The McLaughlin trainee owns a solid pace profile throughout and looks primed for a good effort here in her third start of her current form cycle.
Palladian Bridge also exits the La Verdad where she faded to finish a well beaten sixth. Her trainer reported she bled through her la six in that outing. Her last win came three back against open Alw-1 company in the slop here in a race taken off the turf. She is inconsistent but has won 4 of 10 over the main track her and she should bounce back with a much better effort. Decent value if she goes off near her 10-1 morning line.
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,3,7
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,3,7 / 1,2,3,5,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Fair Grounds:
FG Race 12 The Risen Star G2 (6:02 CT)
#3 Mr. Money   12-1
#14 War of Will   5-2
#9 Country House   20-1
#7 Manny Wah   12-1
Analysis: Mr. Money makes his first start since running fourth at 41-1 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). While the runner up in that race Knicks Go has come back with a couple of duds three others came out of that race to win stakes. This colt was pointed toward the Lecomte but was a late scratch after spiking a fever and developing a cough the day before the race. The colt graduated two back in his third career start at Churchill Downs and his first trip around two turns. The colt has worked sharply over the main track here. He should get a good tracking trip behind what could be a lively early. Decent value if he goes off near his 12-1 morning line.
War of Will was my top pick in the Lecomte (G3) and he did not disappoint. The colt tracked the early pace and finished strongly to win by four lengths. He takes on five of the foes he beat last out again here and he did not draw the best of posts. With the scratch of Kingly he draws in one spot. His win last out was his first trip over a fast main track. His first four starts came on turf including a solid second in the Summer (G1) at Woodbine in his stakes debut. He broke his maiden in the slop two back at Churchill Downs. He has a solid pedigree, out of the stakes winner Visions of Clarity ($46,435) who has dropped five other winners and two are stakes winners. The colt still looks as if he may have some upside, but the tough post and the short price make him tough to back for the top spot.
Country House was a smart looking maiden winner in his third career start for the Mott barn. His Beyer dropped from an 85 in his second at Aqueduct two back to a 70 for his maiden score. His BRIS has his last out number at 91, two points higher than his 89 two back at the Big A. The Beyer sure looks off. In his runner up two back the winner was Kentucky Wildcat, who ran a good second in the Sam F. Davis (G3) last Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs. Mott has been on a roll at Gulfstream Park recently and his three-year-olds are firing big. Worth tossing in the mix here at generous odds.
WIN: #3 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 3,14 / 3,7,9,14
TRI: 3,14 / 3,7,9,14 / 3,5,7,9,14
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: #4 Joule   8-1
R1: #6 Tales of Royalty   10-1
R5: #2 Samadi Sky   8-1
R5: #6 Readyheartandsoul   8-1
R6: #10 Loca Edition   10-1
R8: #1 Palladian Brisge   10-1
R9: #8 Chuckles   8-1
Good luck today!

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