Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:59 AM

At the Gate - Sunday

The pace was fast in the Gotham (G3) at the Big A yesterday, but it sure looked as if our top pick Haikal was going to have too much ground to make up.
 
However, after early fractions of 22.36 and 44.42 the hot early pace began to take its toll and our top pick came calling very late to get up and return $10.80 in what looked to be the most impressive winner among the three Derby points races.
 
Tacitus came from off the pace to win the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) in an upset. The Bill Mott trainee returned his backers $19.80. The son of Tapit was making his stakes debut.
 
My top pick Dream Maker was never a real threat in a disappointing 10th place finish.
 
The Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park was run on the polytrack, with the winner earning 20 Derby points. The Gotham and Tampa Bay Derby were each worth 50 points to the winners.
 
Somelikeithotbrown got the job done as the chalk, paying just $3.20. The Mike Maker trainee won the John Battaglia at Turfway in his previous start.
 
My top pick was longshot Dabo, who went off at nice odds of 19-1 but mustered just a mild late rally and finished fifth.
 
My Best Plays for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.
 
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 and Best Plays Reports for Sunday click here.
 
Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
 
AQU Race 1 Md $50,000 (1:30 ET)
#2 Color Chart   6-5
#6 Sterling Beauty   6-1
#5 Delta Gamma   1-1
#3 Caralicious   12-1
 
Analysis: Color Chart was sent off at 10-1 in her debut in a field of nine, making a mild late rally to check in fifth. The racing strip was strongly playing to inside speed. The runner up Kid Is Frosty came back to graduate in her next outing on Feb. 23. She drops in for a tag for Rice who is 33% winners dropping runners from maiden special to maiden claiming.
 
Sterling Beauty tracked the early pace while saving ground and finished evenly in a fourth-place finish last out in her second career start and first for a tag. Her last was an improvement off a dull eighth in her debut for Donk who usually does not have them fully cranked first out. She looks like the best option to break up an all Rice exacta with the two chalks.
 
Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 6-5 or better.
EX: 2,6 / 2,5,6
TRI: no play
 
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
 
AQU Race 8 The Heavenly Prize Inv. (5:12 ET)
#3 Divine Miss Grey   8-5
#4 Road to Victory   4-1
#2 Forever Liesl   3-1
#6 Sara Street   6-1
 
Analysis: Divine Miss Grey makes her first start since a runner up finish in the Fall City 'Cap (G2) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 22. She cuts back from nine furlongs and won the Chilukki (G2) going a one turn mile two back. She has landed in the exacta in all five trips here at the Big A and has done some of her best running on wet tracks with three wins and a second in four trips on the off going. Gargan picked up another win on yesterday's card and has been live all meet, hitting at a 35% clip.
 
Road to Victory goes turf to dirt here for her second start off the bench. last out on yielding turf going 7 1/2 furlongs she dueled for the early lead and tired to finish 12th. She won her first three career starts including the Golden Rod (G2) in her first start dirt. The Casse barn is 20% winners moving runners from turf to dirt. The filly has a stakes win on turf but I think she will appreciate the return to dirt.
 
Wagering
WIN: #3 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 2,3,4,6
TRI: 3,4 / 2,3,4,6 / 2,3,4,5,6
 
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:
 
GP Race 9 Md Sp Wt (4:13 ET)
#1 Largent  7-2
#1 11 Militiaman   9-2
#9 Ready and Rich   3-1
#2 Mass Appeal    15-1
 
Analysis: Largent debut for Pletcher who is 23% winners with first timers. This colt was a $460,000 Keeneland purchase, by Unto Mischief out of an Unbridled mare that has dropped four winners including a pair of turf winners and two are stakes winners, top earner Edgewater ($250,142). Steady works at Palm Beach Downs for his debut.
 
Militiaman was a $400,000 purchase sent out by Brown who is 20% winners with first timers. By Broken Vow, he is out of a Smart Strike mare that has dropped six foals to race, all winners, three being stakes winners and two have won on turf. The top earner is Handsome Mike ($1 million). He looks ready to go off works at Palm Meadows.
 
Wagering
WIN: #1 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,11 / 1,2,9,11
TRI: 1,11 / 1,2,9,11 / 1,2,5,9,11
 
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.
 
Aqueduct
R1: #3 Caralicious   12-1
R2: #4 Princess Mikayah   8-1
R2: #6 Salty Smile   8-1
R6: #5 Final Say   8-1
R6: #8 Rucksack   10-1
 
Good luck today!

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