At the Gate – Friday

We started off the week at Belmont Park on Thursday in fine fashion with six winners on top on the nine race card. The winners paid $10.80, $19.80, $6.00, $13.20, $7.50, and $3.60.

The early Pick 5 paid well although to have it you needed my fourth choice in the second race along with three top picks and a second choice. The $0.50 Pick 5 payoff was $2,766.00.

On the late Pick 5 I had the top winner in four of the five races, but my lone whiff of the day was in the eighth race where I failed to come up with Saratoga Treasure who won by a nose and paid $6.50. The late Pick 5 paid $267.25.

Today’s early Pick 5 could come out chalky as Rapido Gatta looks tough as the 1-2 morning line favorite in the opener and 4-5 London House is my second choice in the second race. Always a Queen is the 6-5 morning line favorite in the third, so it would help if we can beat one or two of those chalks.

We have a good card coming up on Saturday featuring three stakes. The $100,000 Pumpkin Pie was rescheduled after getting canceled last Sunday. A field of seven will go seven furlongs on the main track.

We then have a couple of really good betting races. The $150,000 Artie Schiller drew 13 but three are main track only entrants. There is a ton of early speed signed up and the race set sup for a closer.

The $100,000 Atlantic Beach drew 14 runners with a limit of 12 getting to the starting gate. The runner up, third and fourth place finishers from the Futurity at Belmont Park square off again. That race was won by Four Wheel Drive, who came back to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) in his next outing.

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Here is the second race (the opener is chalky and a five horse field) from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:

AQU Race 2 Clm $14,000N3L (12:49 ET)
#9 Horoscope 3-1
#4 London House 4-5
#5 Liam Lets Go 12-1
#2 Ari's Naughty Luca 6-1

Analysis: Horoscope caught a muddy track last out in his first start off an eight-month layoff. The gelding prompted the early pace and weakened to finish fourth for a $12,500 tag. The winner Mo Diddley came out of the race to beat $25,000 state breds in his next start on Oct. 12 at Belmont Park. Our top pick was claimed out of the race by the Gyarmati barn that is 25% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. This guy should be tighter second off the bench here and has been better on fast tracks than the off going where he is 0 for 8 in his career.

London House tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth last out against state bred Alw-2 optional claimers in his first start off an eight-month layoff. He broke his maiden in the slop over the main track here back in January by 15 1/4 lengths and then beat state bred Alw-1 optional claimers in his next start by 5 1/2 lengths. The jam in here for a $14,000 tag is not exactly encouraging and neither is the light price.

WIN: #9 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 4,9 / 2,4,5,9
TRI: 4,9 / 2,4,5,9 / 2,4,5,7,9

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 7 OClm $40,000N2X (3:17 ET)
#5 Doups Point 5-2
#7 Durkin's Call 8-1
#10 Shamrock Kid 8-1
#4 Danebury 4-1

Analysis: Doups Point was last early while wide and came with a good late run to finish third last out going a mile over a surface at Belmont Park that was playing to inside speed that day. The colt passed his first state bred condition two back in a game effort and was a good third in the state bred Albany three back at the Spa going nine furlongs. There is enough early speed signed up to go here this race sets up nicely for him. The colt always fires, landing in the money in 10 of his 11 career starts.

Durkin's Call tracked the early pace and did not have enough punch left late in a fourth-place finish at this level, beaten two lengths for the top spot. He bounced back after failing to fire two back going 5 1/2 furlongs on turf in what was a curious placing as he did not run ell in his first two trips on turf. Two of his three wins have come over the main track here. Castellano takes the call and the 8-1 morning line looks fair enough.

WIN: #5 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 5,7 / 4,5,7,10
TRI: 5,7 / 4,5,7,10 / 4,5,6,7,10

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: #2 Hickey Made 10-1
R2: #5 Liam Lets Go 12-1
R4: #2 Kazmania 8-1
R5: #10 Zoysia 8-1
R6: #3 Lucky Ramsey 8-1
R7: #7 Durkin’s Call 8-1
R7: #10 Shamrock Kid 8-1
R8: #5 Kitten’s Cat 8-1
R8: #7 Vici 8-1
R9: #4 Maliceinthepalace 10-1

Good luck today!