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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:55 PM

At the Gate - Friday

The holiday did not get off to a rousing start on Thursday with the cancelations of Aqueduct due to high winds and Del Mar because of rain, but things will perk up the reminder of the weekend.

We have plenty of stakes action on Friday including three stakes at Aqueduct and two at Churchill Downs including the $600,000 Clark (G1) for older runners going nine furlongs on the main track.

Tom’s d’Etat is the 8-5 morning line favorite in the Clark. The Al Stall trainee was a good looking winner of the Fayette (G2) at Keeneland in his last outing. I landed on Snapper Sinclair (6-1) who had a lousy trip in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) in his last outing.

The co-feature at Churchill Downs is the $300,000 Mrs. Revere (G2) for three-year-old fillies with a full field of 14 lining up in a wide open affair. I think both Mackem Bullet (4-1) and New and Improved (3-1) look tough but both drew poorly.

The stakes action at Aqueduct starts with the $150,000 Forever Together for fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on turf. Eleven were entered but three are main track only runners so it looks like we will have a field of nine.

Sweet Bye and Bye is the 6-5 morning line favorite off a game runner up finish in the Athenia (G3) at Belmont Park. We may have a shot of beating the chalk with Theodora B. (9-2) who is coming off a third-place finish in the Maple Leaf (G3) on Tapeta in her last start.

The $200,000 Comely (G3) drew a field of eight and the 9-5 morning line favorite Arrifana looks tough. She is perfect in four career starts and makes her first start in stakes company.

The stakes action at the Big A on Saturday closes with the $150,000 Gio Ponti. After scratches nine will go to the post for the 1 1/16-mile test on the outer turf.

The Todd Pletcher trained Halladay is the 8-5 morning line favorite but I think we can beat him for the top spot with Forty Under (10-1) who is going to be a much higher price.

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My Best Plays Report for Friday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Churchill Downs.

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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 (11:50 ET)

4 Sea Story 8-1

5 Doll 1-1

2 Anydayisherday 7-2

6 Am Impazible 4-1


Analysis: Sea Story invades from Laurel Park for the Houghton barn. The filly has made three of her four starts on turf, her lone go on dirt an eighth pale finish two back where she was not away cleanly. She ran pretty well on turf in her first two career starts with a third and a fourth and was third last out going 5 1/2 on turf at Laurel Park. Now she takes on state breds for the first time. Pedigree wise she seems better suited to dirt and willing to give her another chance here. The 8-1 morning line looks fair and Irad takes the call.

Doll dueled for the early lead and weakened to fish third last out as the beaten chalk in her first start off a 3 1/2-month break. He best effort was a runner up finish three back in her second career start. In that outing she set the early fractions, had a clear lead heading for home but could not match strides late with the winner. She is in good hands with Servis but has already burned a ton of money as the beaten chalk in three of her four starts and is going to be a light price again here.

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

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 8 The Comely G3 (3:15 ET)

4 Arrifana 9-5

3 Bellera 4-1

2 Gold Standard 2-1

1 Stand for the Flag 6-1


Analysis: Arrifana is perfect in four starts and makes her stakes debut here and first try at nine furlongs. She made one trip to New York, beating Alw-1 foes at Saratoga three back at seven furlongs. She then rolled over Alw-2 foes at Laurel Park going a one turn mile, then was a game winner versus non-conditioned allowance company in her first start around two turns. She is bred to handle nine furlongs, by Curlin out of the stakes winner Vaulcluse ($95,400) who was undefeated in three career starts and is by A.P. Indy. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and has a couple of recent works at Fair Hill that should have her tight and ready to go in this spot.

Bellera got squeezed back coming out of the gate, bobbled over a fallen foe and lost the jock last out in the Turnback the Alarm Handicap (G3) in her stakes debut. She wired the field three back to beat Alw-1 foes in the slop at nine furlongs and then missed by just a neck two back at Keeneland versus Alw-2 optional claimers. She sports a pair of works since her last outing and picks up Johnny V. She is the lone runner in the field proven at nine furlongs. The $90,000 purchase is out of a stakes placed Unbridled’s Song mare that has dropped five other winners, top earner Transparent ($416,809).

Gold Standard had a three race winning streak snapped last out in the Remington Park Oaks (G3) in her stakes debut. The filly prompted the early pace while in between foes in the four horse field, grabbed a short lead heading down the backstretch and battled on in the stretch, coming up a half-length short as the beaten chalk. She was 7 ¾ lengths clear of third place finisher Classic Fit. She broke her maiden in the slop in a race taken off the turf and then passed her first two allowance conditions, winning those three races by a combined 19 lengths. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and she may actually end up going off as the favorite.

Wagering
WIN: #4 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 1,2,3,4
TRI: 3,4 / 1,2,3,4 / 1,2,3,4,8

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:

CD Race 11 The Clark G1 (7:18 ET)

5 Snapper Sinclair 8-1

2 Tom's d'Etat 8-5

11 Seeking the Soul 12-1

8 Owendale 15-1


Analysis: Snapper Sinclair had a rough trip in his last outing in the Breeders’ Cup dirt Mile (G1) at 40-1. The colt saved ground early, got bottled up in behind foes nearing the quarterpole, had to steady when a foe came in him at the 3/16’s and then regained is momentum and finished up with some interest. The colt earned a career top speed figure two back winning the Tourist Mile on turf at Kentucky Downs going a mile. Three back in his first start in graded stakes company he finished evenly in a third-place finish in the West Virginia Governor’s, beaten 1 ¼ lengths in a decent effort. The colt is going to need a near career top effort to beat this group, but it looks as if he is going to be a decent price int his spot. He should be able to work out a good trip from mid pack and has shown enough late run that he should be able to handle nine furlongs.

Tom’s d’Etat gets better with age. He was perfect in his two starts last year at the age of five and he matched his career top speed figure last out in a sharp win the Fayette (G2) at Keeneland in the slop at nine furlongs. He won the restricted Alydar three back at the Spa at nine furlongs and is now 4 for 7 at today’s distance. The Stall trainee has run well over the main track here and he is perfect in his three trips with Rosario aboard. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and has earned triple digit Beyers in his last five starts.

Seeking the Soul, the 2017 Clark winner was third last year and returns this year for trainer Dallas Stewart. This six-year-old has done some of his best work under the twin spires, landing in the money in 10 of his dozen trips with earnings of over $1 million. He did not have the best of trips in a sixth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) last out. His last win came in June where he won the Stephen Foster (G2) over the main track here. The barn has developed a habit of winning or coming close with runners at generous odds over the years and his 12-1 morning line here make shim tempting. He is capable of better than we saw out of him in his last three starts in Southern California.

Wagering
WIN: #5 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 2,5 / 2,5,8,11
TRI: 2,5 / 2,5,8,11 / 2,5,7,8,11

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: #4 Sea Story 8-1
R2: #3 Coral Legacy 10-1
R5: #2 My Sistersledge 15-1
R6: #7 Tide Storm 12-1
R7: #5 Morgantown 8-1
R9: #1 Forty Under 10-1
R9: #4 Proiferate 8-1

Good luck today!

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