Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM

At the Gate - Sunday

The 36th Breeders’ Cup is now in the books with Bricks and Mortar likely having sewed up Horse of the Year honors with his win in the Breeders’ Cup Turf while Vino Rosso got the job done in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

I am sure by Sunday afternoon there will be more press regarding Mongolian Groom, who was pulled up in the stretch and vanned off the track after the Classic.

The early reports were not good. The injury was being reported as multiple fractures in the bottom of the cannon bone and top of the pastern.

Santa Anita has been in the crosshairs of animal welfare groups after a rash of equine fatalities earlier this year. I was hoping the Breeders’ Cup would shift the event to Churchill Downs and a much more horse friendly state in Kentucky.

Everyone in the industry was holding their collective breath during the two-day event and 21 races went off without a hitch until the Classic. The injury occurred with less than an eighth of a mile until the wire.

It is going to be a rough couple of days for horse racing fans and the next few months will be rough for California racing.

To purchase my Aqueduct and Best Plays Reports for Sunday click here.

My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my eight 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 and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday.

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

AQU Race 1 Md Sp Wt (12:00 ET)

2 Sengekontacket 7-2

6 Sky Tap 4-1

5 Autonomos 5-2

1 Amazing Ride 8-5

Analysis: Sengekontacket debuts for the Cox barn that is 21% winners with fir timers. This filly is by Mineshaft out of a Deputy Minister mare that has dropped 11 foals to race with 10 winners including a couple of stakes winners, top earner Honey Lake ($266,492). This gal put in a near bullet work out of the gate on Oct. 26 over the training track at Belmont Park to cap off a steady string of works.

Sky Tap has solid looking works for the Englehart barn that has done good work with juvies this year. The filly was a $170,000 purchase by Wicked Strong of out of Tapit mare, her first foal to race. She looks ready to go at first asking.

WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,6 / 2,5,6
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 9 The Nashua G3 (3:50 ET)

5 Independence Hall 8-1

8 Meru 5-2

7 Chase Tracker 7-2

6 Lebda 5-1

Analysis: Independence Hall was off a beat slow when making his debut at Philly, stalked the early pace and drew off to win by 4 3/4 lengths in an impressive effort and he was bet. The third and fifth place finishes came out of that race to graduate next out. The Trombetta trainee figures to move forward off that effort and can handle a mile. He is by Constitution who is off to a good start at dire and out of a Cape Town mare that has dropped seven other winners including a pair of stakes winners, top earner Black Onyx ($418,060). He should be fit and ready to go off works at Fair Hill.

Meru earned the top last out speed fig with a gate to wire win in the Smoke Glacken last out at Monmouth Park in his second career start. He broke his maiden in his debut by 6 1/4 lengths. He has enough pedigree to handle more ground, by Sky Mesa out of an Elusive Quality mare. The barn is 24% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers but there are a couple of foes in here that can make things tough on him early.

WIN: #5 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 5,8 / 5,6,7,8
TRI: 5,8 / 5,6,7,8 / 1,5,6,7,8

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

SA Race 8 The Goldikova G2 (3:12 PT)

6 Ms Bad Behavior 3-1

5 Toinette 6-5

3 Richmond Avenue 5-1

4 Simply Breathless 5-1

Analysis: Ms Bad Behavior set the early fractions and faded to finish a well beaten 10th last out at Keeneland in the First Lady (G1), a race won by Uni who came back to win the BC Mile (G1) yesterday. The filly came off a five-month layoff two back to win the ladies Turf (G3) at Kentucky Downs in gate to wire fashion. The Baltas trainee makes her third start off the bench here and looking for her to bounce back with a much better effort against this softer group.

Toinette is the obvious one to beat off a sharp win in the restricted Swingtime last out here at a mile. She has now won six of her nine career starts and is perfect in her three trips over the turf here. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and this is just her fourth start of the year and she may still have some upside. The main knock is going to be her light price.

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

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.

R2: #5 Dashing Dan 8-1
R4: #8 Alan’s Argument 8-1
R5: #2 Bredenbury 8-1
R5: #6 Speaktomeofsummer 12-1
R6: #1 Psychic Energy 8-1
R8: #11 Pamina 12-1
R8: #6 Lady Montdore 10-1
R9: #5 Independence Hall 8-1
R10: #5 Cavaradossi 10-1

Good luck today!

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