Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM

At the Gate - Thursday

The winter meeting at Aqueduct starts this afternoon and racing on the turf is history for the next few months in New York. Field size for today and tomorrow’s cards have held up pretty well and we have plenty of good betting opportunities.

Chad Brown finished atop the trainer’s standings for the fall meeting with 17 winners from his 61 starters, a win rate of 28%. Linda Rice finished second in the trainer standings with a dozen wins, hitting at a 18% clip.

One trainer to watch at this meeting is Gary Contessa. He had a dreadful Belmont Park meeting, going a remarkable 0 for 65 with three seconds and 10 thirds. At the Big A meeting that ended Sunday he hit with 6 of 32 starters for a 19% win clip, getting back on track.

Irad Ortiz Jr was the top jockey with 29 winners from his 119 mounts. Jose Lezcano had a good meeting, finishing second in the jockey standings with 24 winners.

The Ortiz brothers will be heading south to Gulfstream Park so that should open the door for Lezcano and Manny Franco to be the top jocks over the next few months.

The feature on Saturday is the $500,000 Great White Way for two-year-olds going seven furlongs and on Sunday it will be the two-year-old fillies in the $500,000 Fifth Avenue.

To purchase my Aqueduct Report for Thursday click here .

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 $50,000 (12:30 ET)
#2 Kemba 2-1
#4 Twirling Faith 3-1
#6 American Values 7-2
#1 Miss Liana 5-1

Analysis: Kemba drops back in for a tag and cuts back to a sprint here for the Handal barn that is 28% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from route to sprint. Last out the filly prompted the early pace and faded to finish a well beaten fifth. Two back at 5 1/2 furlongs the filly made a mild late rally to finish third, the winner, runner up and fourth place finisher all coming back to win next out. The winner Spanish Point won the House Party on Nov. 30 at Gulfstream Park. She catches a pretty soft spot here dropping back in for a $50,000 tag. She is by Hard Spun out of a Medalist mare, her first foal to race.

Twirling Faith tracked the early pace and faded to finish a well beaten sixth in her debut for a $75,000 tag, sent off at just under 7-1 in a field of seven. She drops into a slightly softer spot her for the Englehart barn that is 20% winners (with a +ROI) with second out maidens. She owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and may prove tough if she is able to shake loose early. She is out of a Teuflesberg mare that has dropped three other foals to race, all winners.

WIN: #2 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 2,4 / 1,2,4,6
TRI: 2,4 / 1,2,4,6 / 1,2,3,4,6

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 6 Alw $64,000N1X (2:58 ET)
#5 Collegeville Girl 4-1
#11 Love and Love 8-1
#3 Alvernia 15-1
#8 Bustin Scones 10-1

Analysis: Collegeville Girl pressed the early pace and tired to finish sixth last out as the beaten favorite at this level. The filly was a sharp winner versus $50,000 starter allowance foes two back and beat open Alw-1 optional claimers at Philly four back but ran for a tag making here eligible for this softer spot against state breds. Willing to give this gal another look here and Castillo is in to ride this gal and rode her in her last two victories.

Love and Love tracked the early pace and finished up well while no match for the winner in the stretch in a runner up finish at this level going a mile in a race washed off the turf. She has beaten winners, taking a $30,000 non-winners of two at the Spa three back. I like the jock switch back to Davis who was aboard three back. Miceli has been on an all-time roll for the barn this year, hitting at a 27% clip. She is quick enough to handle the cut back to seven panels.

WIN: #5 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 5,11 / 3,5,8,11
TRI: 5,11 / 3,5,8,11 / 1,3,5,8,11

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.

R4: #3 Mister Bobby 10-1
R6: #3 Alvernia 15-1
R6: #8 Bustin Scones 10-1
R7: #4 Devamani 8-1

Good luck today!

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