Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM

At the Gate - Saturday

We managed to hit both recommended exactas in our feature races on Friday despite the fact my top pick came up short in each race.

In the Comely (G3) at Aqueduct my second choice Bellera ($11.80) got the best of my top pick Arrifina with the exacta coming back a solid $39.00.

In the Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs my top pick Snapper Sinclair was disappointing but my second choice Tom’s d’Etat got the job done as the chalk paying $3.80 with the recommended exacta coming in at $19.80.

We have three stakes on tap at Aqueduct today and a couple of stakes at Churchill Downs including the $300,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) which is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race.

A field of nine will line up in what likely is going to be an off tack. Rain fell over night and is forecast to continue throughout the afternoon in Louisville.

Tiz the Lawn is the 7-5 morning line favorite and is coming off a victory in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont Park. His connections elected to skip the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and a victory in the Jockey Club will garner him some Eclipse votes for the top juvenile.

The Stanley Hough trained South Bend is the second choice on the morning line at 9-5. The colt won the Street Sense last out over the main track at Churchill Downs going a one turn mile. He now will go two turns and he is bred to handle a wet track.

The co-feature under the twin spires is the $300,000 Golden Rod (G2) which drew a field of eight juvenile fillies. The race is a Road to the Kentucky Oaks points race.

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My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 10 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)
#3 Henni Penny 3-1
#5 Splasherstown 6-1
#9 Fairy Diva 5-2
#4 Pink Peppermint 4-1

Analysis: Henni Penny stalked the early pace and made a mild late rally to finish third last out in her debut at 11-1 at six furlongs here. The Donk barn does not win first out often and hits at a 12% clip with second out maidens This filly is out of a Sharp Humor mare that has dropped one other foal to race, no winners to date. She figures to move forward off her debut effort and this is not a very tough looking spot.

Splasherstown pressed the early pace and could not get to the winner in the stretch in a runner up finish at Laurel Park. The filly has a solid turf pedigree, by Speightstown out of a stakes placed Oasis Dream mare, her first foal to race. She is in a capable barn based at Fair Hill and is in light with the bug Carroll. Decent value if she goes off near her 6-1 morning line.

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

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 9 The Long Island G3 (3:44 ET)
#1 Si Que Es Buena 3-1
#9 Lift Up 10-1
#10 Homeland Security 6-1
#11 Empressof the Nile 7-2

Analysis: Si Que Es Buena was fourth in this race last year at 60-1 which was her U.S. debut and then she won a couple of stakes at Gulfstream Park before hitting the sidelines. She came back last out at Woodbine in a tough spot in the E.P. Taylor (G1) where she stumbled coming out of the gate and finished evenly in a sixth-place finish. For Motion to ship her to Canada off the bench he must have thought she was ready to go. She should be here second off the bench and with a better start. The extra furlong her will suit her.

Lift Up raced last early, came around the far turn and encountered some traffic and split rivals late to get up and won the Maple Leaf (G3) on Tapeta at Woodbine. Six of her eight career wins have come on turf although she is untested at today's distance. She is in good hands with the Mad Genius and has the pedigree to handle more ground, out of the stakes winner Dynamic Cat ($134,490) who has dropped five other turf winners and four other stakes winners. She deserves a look here if she goes off near her 10-1 morning line.

Homeland Security she comes back off a 2 1/2-month break and made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot in the Zagora here at 1 1/2 miles over good ground. She won the Zagora last year when it was run at Belmont Park and has won 5 of 13 in her career on turf. The Clement trainee comes in here off a career top speed fig and should be closer to the pace in this spot.

WIN: #1 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,9 / 1,9,10,11
TRI: 1,9 / 1,9,10,11 / 1,2,9,10,11

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

CD Race 9 The Golden Rod G2 (4:57 ET)
#1 Finite 7-5
#2 Turtle Trax 6-1
#6 His Glory 7-2
#3 She Can't Sing 8-1

Analysis: Finite pressed the early pace, took command and drew off in the stretch to win the Rags to Riches by six lengths over the main track here at a mile. She graduated on turf two back going 6 1/2 furlongs at Kentucky Downs. Now it looks as if she will get to try an off track which she is bred to handle. She is by Munnings out of the stakes winner Remit ($257,556) who won over an off track and who has dropped two other winners including stakes winner Reride ($461,010). The price is going to be on the light side but this filly is going to be tough to beat in this spot.

Turtle Tax stretches out to two turns for the first time here for the Wilkes barn. The filly as a smart looking maiden winner at Keeneland in her second career start and then she beat Alw-1 optional claimers here at 6 1/2 furlongs last out. The barn is 16% winners moving runners from sprint to route. She is by Cairo Prince out of a Harlan's Holiday mare that has dropped four other winners and two are stakes winners, top earner Pin and Win ($138,027).

WIN: #1 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,3,6
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,3,6 / 1,2,3,6,8

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.

R6: #3 Where’s Rudy 8-1
R6: #6 Wiling to Speed 8-1
R9: #9 Lift Up 10-1
R10: #11 Johnny Wishbone 8-1
R10: #8 Quest for Fire 10-1

Good luck today!

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