Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:59 AM
At the Gate - Sunday
I was right about Hidden Scroll being an underlay in yesterday’s Fountain of Youth (G2), but it was my fourth choice Code of Honor that got the job done while my top pick Vekoma ran a good third.
The highly touted Hidden Scroll, who was sent off at 6-5 in the field of 11 had to settle for fourth after setting a pressured early pace.
Code of Honor was a disappointing fourth in the Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 5 in his three-year-old debut at 4-5. The colt was a smart looking maiden winner in his debut at Saratoga last summer and ran well in a runner up finish in the Champagne (G1).
I thought he would get bet down a few points off his 6-1 morning line and instead his price drifted up, the Shug McGaughey trainee returning his backers $21.00.
It was a very impressive performance, the colt winning by three-quarters of a length and he has the look of a runner that will only get better with more ground.
Bourbon War made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot at 9-2 and completed a $2 exacta that paid $90.20. The son of Tapit also deserves to be on your Derby radar.
Vekoma really looked good on the track and he ran well considering it was his first start since winning the Nashua (G3) at Aqueduct on Nov. 4.
Hidden Scroll did much of the dirty work and ran out of gas in the stretch, regressing off his huge 104 Beyer in his 14-length maiden win in his debut.
The next step for most of this group is the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) on March 30 and it should be a very interesting betting race if the top four come back and face off again.
My Best Plays for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.
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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)
#1 Sanable 4-5
#4 Gracetown 7-5
#2 Jasminesque 5-1
#3 G.T. Sonia 20-1
Analysis: Sanable ships in from Florida where last out the filly made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot in her debut, sent off at 19-1 in a field of 10. One has come out of the race to win while three others came back to run second next out including the winner Lady Kate who was the runner up in the Suncoast at Tampa Bay Downs on Feb. 9. McLaughlin is light with firsters and hits at a solid 27% clip with second out maidens. This filly is the first foal tor ace out of a Tiznow mare. She may end up doing her best work going long but should be able to handle this small group.
Gracetown tracked the early pace and finished gamely to miss by just a nose last out in her third career start. She has moved forward in each of her starts and her last out speed fig matches our top pick's number. She completes a very chalky exacta to kick off the day.
WIN: #1 to win at 3-5 or better.
EX: 1 / 2,4
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 7 Alw $25,000s (3:57 ET)
#8 Deep Sea 8-1
#1 Win With Pride 2-1
#7 Reed Kan 4-1
#4 I'm an Ocala Dude 8-1
Analysis: Deep Sea stalked the early pace and made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot against $45,000 claimers, beaten 3/4 of a length for the top spot. The gelding caught a racing strip that was playing to inside speed that day. Toscano claimed this guy two back for $32,000 where he was a sharp winner over a wet track. He has won 3 of 5 over the main track here and the 8-1 morning line looks fair enough.
Win With Pride tracked the early pace and finished gamely to beat Alw-2 optional claimers last out off a two-month break. he caught a racing strip that was kind to speed that day. He looks well spotted here in against $25,000 starter allowance foes. A repeat of his last makes him tough although his price may end up on the light side.
WIN: #8 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 1,8 / 1,4,7,8
TRI: 1,8 / 1,4,7,8 / 1,2,4,7,8
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:
GP Race 6 Md Sp Wt (2:28 ET)
#5 Trinity 3-1
#7 Cardinal Kitten 4-1
#2 Personal Time 2-1
#6 Solar Warming 6-1
Analysis: Trinity stalked the early pace and made a mild late rally to finish third beaten 1 3/4 lengths for the top spot. The runner up Battle of Memphis came back to graduate in his next start on Feb. 22 here. The Motion trainee makes her second start off the bench and since landing in the U.S. Two back at Pornichet in France he was beaten just a nose on the all-weather. A solid turf pedigree and he should move forward second off the layoff.
Cardinal Kitten was the beaten chalk last out on soft ground at Woodbine in his second career start. He prompted the early pace and weakened in the stretch to finish third. He returns off a four month break here for the Maker barn that is 20% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff. This guy is out of a Capote mare that ash dropped a pair of winners including stakes winner Banned ($599,476) a five-time winner in turf routes.
WIN: #5 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 5,7 / 2,5,6,7
TRI: 5,7 / 2,5,6,7 / 2,5,6,7,8
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 G.T. Sonia 20-1
R5: #3 Queendom 10-1
R7: #8 Deep Sea 8-1
R7: #4 I’m an Ocala Dude 8-1
Good luck today!