Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:59 AM

At the Gate - Thursday

Santa Anita was closed for training again on Wednesday although they are supposed to be back racing on Thursday.

The track was closed for training after Monday for inspection after a spate of equine fatalities during the meeting. There have been 19 fatalities at the track since the meeting opened on Dec. 26.

The racing surface has had an unusual amount of rain, nearly a dozen inches, which may be part of the problem. There have been six fatalities in races on dirt, five in races on turf, and eight sustained by horses training in the mornings on dirt.

Mick Peterson, PhD, who serves as Director of the University of Kentucky’s Agricultural Equine Programs, and who evaluates soil samples from Santa Anita on a monthly basis, in on-site to review Santa Anita’s sub-surface and surface data.

Peterson will also be working with a newly formed committee consisting of Hall of Fame retired jockey Alex Solis, who is now a CHRB commissioner, one well-established Southern California trainer, one active jockey and one member of Santa Anita’s management team to fully evaluate all data and monitor feedback from horsemen, including trainers, jockeys and exercise riders.

There is no indication racing is in jeopardy on Thursday. The next Road to the Kentucky Derby race at Santa Anita is on March 9, the $500,000 San Felipe (G2).

We have a big day coming up on Saturday at Gulfstream Park featuring the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2), a key prep for the $1 million Florida Derby (G1).

The Saturday card features eight supporting stakes and I will burn the midnight oil the next 36 hours handicapping the entire card as well as Aqueduct.

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 Thursday click here.

Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:

AQU Race 1 Md $20,000 (12:50 ET)
#4 Our Honor 4-5
#3 Creative Style 7-5
#5 Support Our Cause 10-1
#1 Platinum Nugget 6-1

Analysis: Our Honor leads a pair of Rice runners that are coming back off the bench and catching a really weak group. Our top pick was last seen last August at the Spa going nine furlongs where he finished evenly in a third-place finish. He was beaten just a nose two back at Philly in the slop going a mile after a third in his debut going a mile at Gulfstream Park. He makes his first start for Rice who is 32% winners first off the claim and 13% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. He returns a gelding with good works on the morning tab. The gelding has three sibs that are winners, top earner stakes winner Rich Mommy ($249,815).

Creative Style was sent off at 4-5 in his debut at Laurel Park last June where he ran second and then was a close up fourth in his second career start. He returns a gelding here while dropping in for a tag. He is out of a stakes placed Indian Charlie mare that has dropped two other foals to race, both winners. The works are not jumping off the page but this is a pretty slow group he runs into off the layoff.

WIN: #4 to win at 1-1 or better.
EX: 4 / 3,5
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 8 Md $30,000 (4:40 ET)
#6 Bizness Beauty 4-1
#7 Whyishesoolucky 3-1
#4 Give Me a Hug 2-1
#3 Shanghai Smile 9-2

Analysis: Bizness Beauty stretches out to a mile here for her third start off a four-month break. She was fourth off the bench two back and then Contessa brought her back quick six days later where she checked din fourth again. She made a mild late rally while wide to finish 6 1/2 lengths behind the winner. She has enough pedigree to handle the extra round, by Fed Biz and the first foal to race out of a Malibu Moon mare. The barn is 19% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route. There is not much speed in here and she should get a good tracking trip sitting closer to the pace then in her last outing.

Whyishesoolucky tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth last out against $40,000 foes. She returns with blinkers added here. Her best effort came four back in the slop in a race taken off the turf where she was a good second. A low profile barn and jock but she catches a pretty weak looking group here.

WIN: #6 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 6,7 / 3,4,6,7
TRI: 6,7 / 3,4,6,7 / 3,4,5,6,7

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: #5 Support Our Cause 10-1
R3: #3 Judge Stanton 8-1

Good luck today!

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