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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:59 PM

At the Gate - Friday

We have a blockbuster day coming up on Saturday at Gulfstream Park with nine graded stakes among the marathon 14-race card.

The highlight is the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2), a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race which drew a field of 11.

Hidden Scroll is the 9-5 morning line favorite. The Bill Mott trainee broke his maiden in his debut, drawing off easily to win by 14 lengths and earning a 104 Beyer Speed Figure.

The Hall of Fame trainer Mott is not known to fire with first time starters, and the way this colt won instantly made him a major early Derby contender. He now goes two turns and faces a much tougher group in the Fountain of Youth.

Among his foes is Code of Honor (6-1), who tossed in a clunker at 4-5 in the Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Park in his three-year-old debut. The Shug McGaughey trainee ran second in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park last fall.

Vekoma (7-2) makes his three-year-old debut for trainer George Weaver. The colt won the Nashua (G3) last November at Aqueduct in his second career start.

Others in the field that have a shot include Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) winner Signalman (9-2), Holy Bull (G2) runner up Everfast (20-1) and the undefeated Global Campaign (10-1).

The winner likely will head to the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on March 30 as the favorite.

I will have selections analysis for the race in Saturday’s column and I will have my full card report for Gulfstream Park posted as well.

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

AQU Race 1 Clm $35,000 (12:50 ET)
#2 Americano 3-5
#4 Chicken Valley Rd 12-1
#5 Mac's Revolution 6-1
#3 Rouxhere 5-1

Analysis: Americano drops back in for a straight tag here after a fourth last out against $50,000 starter optional claimers in his first start off the claim by the Rice barn. The colt was a good second two back against $40,000 foes. His last pair of speed figs tower over this weak group. He owns a solid pace profile throughout with good early and mid pace numbers. Looks as if this day is going to get off very chalky.

Chicken Valley Rd dueled for the early lead and faded to finish seventh last out in the same race our top pick exits. The gelding graduated three back at Finger Lakes and has now been beaten double digit lengths in his first two starts against winners. He should be on or right in the mix early and there is not a ton of speed or talent lined up here.

WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,4 / 2,4,5
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 6 Md $30,000 (3:33 ET)
#8 Mister Muy Bien 3-1
#2 It's Mo Joke 8-5
#7 Fortune's Boy 10-1
#4 Ravenbro 15-1

Analysis: Mister Muy Bien drops in for a tag for his third career start and first since last October. He was sent off at 21-1 in his debut and was not a threat in a ninth-place finish and then was 13-1 second out in a race taken off the turf and again was not a threat. He has come back with decent recent drills and catches a really weak group. The RRod barn is 18% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff.

It's Mo Joke kept his head in front at the wire in his debut but was DQ'd for bumping a foe in deep stretch and was placed second. The colt was 11-1 in his debut in a nine-horse field and ended up 2 1/2 lengths clear of the rest of the field. He looks tough of he can keep a straight course throughout, but our top pick is likely going to offer a bit more value for the top spot.

WIN: #8 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,8 / 2,4,7,8
TRI: 2,8 / 2,4,7,8 / 2,4,6,7,8

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.

R1: #4 Chicken Valley Rd 12-1
R2: #3 Cotton Candy Cutie 8-1
R4: #2 Celtic Mission 10-1
R6: #7 Fortune’s Boy 10-1
R6: #4 Ravenbro 15-1

Good luck today!

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