Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM

At the Gate - Friday

Aqueduct opens today with a solid 10 race card and it is Future Stars Friday at the Breeders’ Cup and we have an outstanding 10 race card at Santa Anita that features five Breeders’ Cup races for two-year-olds.

The marquee event is the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) which will produce the early betting favorite for next spring’s Kentucky Derby (G1).

It is an interesting showdown between two very highly regarded juveniles in Dennis’ Moment and Eight Rings. Both have started three times and crossed the wire with a jockey aboard in just two of those starts.

Dennis’ Moment clipped heels and dropped his jockey in his debut and has done little wrong since. He won the Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs in his last outing and trainer Dale Romans said he is the most talented runner that has ever been in his barn at this stage of the colt’s career.

The colt has to break from the rail and is the 8-5 morning line favorite with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard.

His main foe appears to be the Bob Baffert trained Eight Rings, who also had an episode where the jock fell off. After a smart looking maiden win in his debut he veered in and dropped his jockey Drayden Van Dyke in the Del Mar Futurity (G1).

The colt came back to win the American Pharoah (G1) in his last outing and is the second choice on the morning line at 2-1. Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez has the return call on the colt.

The winner likely will win the Eclipse Award for the top juvenile and with just 183 days until the Run for the Roses, we might as well start looking forward to the first Saturday of May.

My Breeders’ Cup Report is now available and over the 14 championship races we have plenty of opportunities to pad our bankroll. My Best Plays Report for Friday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Santa Anita.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Aqueduct Reports daily, my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday and my two-day Breeders’ Cup Report.

To purchase my Aqueduct, Best Plays and Breeders’ Cup Reports for Friday click here .

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

AQU Race 1 Clm $16,000N2L (12:00 ET)
#3 Shanghai Bonnie 5-1
#5 Cheatham Hill 4-5
#4 Eight Oaks 8-1
#6 Chillinwithfriends 7-2

Analysis: Shanghai Bonnie exits a $30,000 non winners of two where she prompted the early pace and faded to finish a well beaten ninth on turf. She ran well two back where she set the early fractions in the slop before weakening to finish the. She has not been on a fast main track since back in February at Penn where she ran second. Rain fell yesterday but I am hoping by post time today we have a fast track and this gal will be up front early with Carmouche in the irons. She has the best shot of beating the chalk in here.

Cheatham Hill stalked the early pace and made a mild late rally to finish third last out against state bred Alw-1 foes at Belmont Park Servis drops him in for a $16,000 tag here. Two back at the Spa this gal rallied to finish a good second going six furlongs against straight three-year-old fillies for a $32,000 tag. She catches a soft spot here but her price is going to be very much on the light side.

Wagering
WIN: #3 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 3,5 / 3,4,5,6
TRI: 3,5 / 3,4,5,6 / 2,3,4,5,6

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 9 The Tootsie (4:24 ET)
#4 Sweet Kisses 3-1
#5 Maedean 2-1
#3 Power Move 8-5
#1 Vast 6-1

Analysis: Sweet Kisses ran second in her debut at Belmont Park and then was a good looking maiden winner at the Spa in July in her second career start going six furlongs. She prompted the early pace and drew clear late to win by 2 1/4 lengths. The runner up Finite graduated at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 12 and then won the rags to Riches in her most recent outing on Oct. 27 at Churchill Downs. The third-place finisher in our top pics maiden race was Mrs. Danvers, who graduated in her next outing on Aug. 18 at the Spa. She has enough pedigree to go a mile, by Carpe Diem out of the stakes winner True Kiss ($115,418) who has dropped six other winners, top earner stakes winner Shancealot who goes in the BC Sprint (G1) tomorrow. The Englehart barn is 26% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route.

Maedean was fourth in her debut and last out made a good late rally from last to five to break her maiden in her second career start. The Hennig trainee earned the top last out speed fig and looks as if she still has some upside. She was a $450,000 Keeneland purchase out of a stakes placed Arch mare. Looks as if she is going to get an honest pace to run at here.

Wagering
WIN: #4 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 4,5 / 3,4,5
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Santa Anita:

SA Race 9 The Breeders' Cup Juvenile G1 (4:03 PT)
#1 Dennis' Moment 8-5
#5 Scabbard 8-1
#2 Wrecking Crew 20-1
#6 Eight Rings 2-1

Analysis: Dennis' Moment is perfect in two starts after clipping heels and dumping the jockey in his debut. Her broke his maiden at Ellis Park by 19/1 lengths earning a 97 Beyer Speed Figure, the top number by a juvenile so far this year. He stretched out to two turns for the Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs and passed the test, tracking the early pace and taking command heading for home, wining for fun by 1 3/4 lengths and the margin could have been much larger The colt is making a very good impression here this week. The fifth-place finisher in the Iroquois was Rowdy Yates, who came back to win the Oklahoma Classics Juvenile in his next start at Remington Park. The $400,000 purchase is by Tiznow out of an Elusive Quality mare, her first foal to race. Romans is 0 for 8 in the Juvenile, the best finish a second in with Not This Time in 2016. The Iroquois has not been a key race for the Juvenile but we will overlook that small fact. H draws the rail so Irad is going to need to get him out and clear early and this guy is fast enough he could wire this field or sit off of it. With Maxfield out and Eight Rings not making nearly as good an impression this week, this guy is going to get hammered in the betting.

Scabbard was second in the Iroquois and while he was only beaten 1 3/4 lengths that was a misleading margin. The colt stalked the early pace while saving ground, had to steady at the half mile pole and was making up ground late while no real threat to the winner. He was better than five lengths clear of the rest of the field. He ran second in the Saratoga Special (G2) two back in his first start against winners, racing under the name Noose. He looks capable of moving forward in his second route. Her is by More Than Ready out of a stakes placed Gone West mare. He is in good hands with Kenneally who is 0 for 5 with his Breeders' Cup starters. He picks up Smith which is a plus and should be a decent price.

Wrecking Crew stretches out to a route for the first time here. Three Juvenile winners have gone sprint to route—Brocco (’93), Johannesburg (’01) and Stevie Wonderboy (’05). The colt made a good late rally to finish second in the Best Pal (G2) two back in his second career start and then was a good second last out in the Del Mar Futurity (G1). This colt was a $875,000 purchase, a big number for a Sky Kingdom runner who stands for just $5,000. The Yes It's True mare has dropped just one other runner, not yet a winner. The Miller barn is 20% winners moving runners from sprint to route. He will be forwardly placed and can be in the mix if he avoids mixing it up early with our fourth choice.

Eight Rings was a much the best winner of the American Pharoah (G1) last out, a race that has produced three of the last five winners of this race (was previously the Frontrunner). The $520,000 purchase is by Empire Maker out of the stakes winner Purely Hot ($426,925). He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and figures to be in the mix early. The colt is not getting the best reviews this week for his morning work and I was not crazy about his last work where it looked like he was getting tired late although it was over a deep track. Baffert has won this race four times including last year with Game Winner, but this guy has the look of an underlay here and we will try and beat him for the top spot.

Wagering
WIN: #1 to win at 6-5 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,2,5,6
TRI: 1,5 / 1,2,5,6 / 1,2,3,5,6

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: #4 Eight Oaks 8-1
R2: #4 Felony Melanie 12-1
R2: #8 Empress Luciana 12-1
R4: #3 Snow Lion 8-1
R6: #9 Silky Blue 8-1
R8: #9 Ideational 10-1
R10: #6 Happy Music 8-1
R10: #2 Clever Tale 8-1

Good luck today!

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