At the Gate – Saturday

I just could not get past the favorite in the feature at Aqueduct on Saturday, the $500,000 Stallion Series Great White Way. The race drew a full field of 14 juveniles who will travel seven furlongs.
I don’t like picking the favorite in a large field of two-year-olds, but Dream Bigger looks pretty tough coming off a 10 ¾ length win in the New York Breeders’ Futurity at Finger Lakes and a victory in the state bred Notebook in his most recent outing on Nov. 17.
The Rudy Rodriguez trainee is 5-2 on the morning line and I am hoping we do not have to settle for much less than that. A have a couple of longshots second and third, so we might still be able to snag a decent exacta.
We had rain fall overnight and more is in the forecast for this afternoon.
Gulfstream Park has a really good card today that features four graded stakes races. Things kick off in the sixth race with the $100,000 Sugar Swirl (G3) with a field of nine fillies and mares going six furlongs on the main track. Lady’s Island will be tough as the 5-2 morning line favorite.
The $100,000 Rampart (G3) drew a field of 11 with Baccarat Fashion the 5-2 morning line favorite. She is coming off a victory against allowance foes but there are several in the field at better prices that are going to offer more value.
We head to the turf for the $200,000 Ft. Lauderdale (G2) which drew a solid field of nine. The Chad Brown trained Channel Cat, who was seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) in his last outing is the 3-1 morning line favorite.
The $100,000 Harlan’s Holliday (G3) closes out the graded stakes and this race could produce a few starters for the $9 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) which is coming up on Jan. 25.
Prince Lucky is the 2-1 morning line favorite and was fourth behind Maximum Security in the Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) in his last start. The Todd Pletcher trainee is perfect in his two starts over the Gulfstream Park main track.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.
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Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Md $20,000 (12:30 ET)
#4 Tony Small   3-1
#2 Informed Consent   7-2
#6 Cavaradossi   5-2
#5 Mine the Coin   4-1
Analysis: Tony Small checked in sixth last out for a $40,000 tag in his first start off the claim by the Englehart barn that took this guy for $65,000. The winner of his last outing was Flip was one of three to exit the race to win next out, taking a $25,000 starter optional claimers at Laurel Park on Nov. 24. The gelding was beaten double digit lengths in his three previous starts but he did run into repeat winners in two of those starts and they are against much tougher than this group. A strong off track pedigree and he looks well spotted dropping in for a $20,000 tag.
Informed Consent makes his debut for the Chad Brown barn that is 20% winners with first timers. The gelding was a $400,000 purchase and shows up tagged for his debut for just $20,000, not exactly a good sign. Solid looking work tab on this guy, who is by Into Mischief out of a Dixie Union mare that has dropped two foals to race, both winners. He is bred to like a wet track and he faces a pretty weak looking group here.
WIN: #4 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,4 / 2,4,5,6
TRI: 2,4 / 2,4,5,6 / 2,3,4,5,6
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 The New York Stallion Series (3:46 ET)
#13 Dream Bigger   5-2
#10 Bank On Shea   8-1
#9 Chowda   12-1
#8 Captain Bombastic   7-2
Analysis: Dream Bigger is going to be sent off as the betting favorite but this guy looks capable of winning right back. The colt ran second in his first two career starts, running into Tiz the Law in his debut, that foe coming back to win the Champagne (G1) and run third in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2). Our top pick graduated in his third career start, winning the state bred New York Breeders' Futurity at Finger Lakes by 10 3/4 lengths. He came back in the state bred Notebook here where he pressed the early pace, opened up a clear lead heading for home and held on to win by 1 1/4 lengths and earned the top last out speed fig. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and the outside draw should keep him out of trouble. By Mission Impazible out of a Sky Mesa mare, he has a decent enough off track pedigree and should be able to handle more ground.
Bank On Shea tracked the early pace and was no match for our top pick in the Notebook where he checked in third beaten six lengths. The colt was making his first start since his debut four months earlier at Saratoga. The Servis barn is 35% winners with runners making their second start off a 45-180 day layoff. The colt is out of an Uncle Mo mare and is bred to handle a wet track. He figures to be able to close in on the margin he was beaten last out second off the bench and the 8-1 morning line looks fair enough to toss him in the mix here.
Chowda was beaten double digit lengths in his first two starts and was a game maiden winner late out by a neck in his third career start. The runner up Bourbon Bay came back to graduate in his next start here on Dec. 5. The Sciacca trainee appears headed in the right direction and should be forwardly placed in here. A solid off track pedigree, by Emcee out of a Chief Seattle mare. Decent value if he goes off near his 12-1 morning line.
WIN: #13 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 10,13 / 8,9,10,13
TRI: 10,13 / 8,9,10,13 / 8,9,10,12,13
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:
GP Race 10 The Harlan's Holiday G3 (4:30 ET)
#1 Prince Lucky   2-1
#8 Realm   12-1
#3 Red Crescent   6-1
#6 Bodexpress   4-1
Analysis: Prince Lucky stretches back out to a route after checking in fourth last out in the Bold Ruler 'Cap (G3) at seven furlongs. The winner Maximum Security came back to win the Cigar Mile (G1) last Saturday. Two back the Pletcher trainee was a game second in the Kelso Handicap (G2) going a one turn mile. Two of his best career efforts were over this surface her last year, winning the Hal's Hope (G3) and Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) in back to back scores. The barn is 23% winners moving runners from sprint to route. He looks primed for a top effort in his third start of his current form cycle.
Realm chased the loose on the lead gate to wire winner Bon Raison against $100,000 optional claimers, the winner taking full advantage of a racing strip that was kind to inside speed that day, back in march this guy was a good third in the Skip Away here and he was only beaten a half-length in a close up third in the Brooklyn (G2). He does not win often and is 0 for 6 with five in the money finishes over the main track here, but he is going to be a decent price in this spot and can be in the mix with his best.
WIN: #1 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 1,8 / 1,3,6,8
TRI: 1,8 / 1,3,6,8 / 1,3,5,6,8
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.
R2: #2 Cruise and Danze   8-1
R3: #5 Moneymeister   8-1
R4: #4 Floyd Unger   12-1
R5: #2 Dooley   8-1
R8: #10 Bank On Shea   8-1
R8: #9 Chowda   12-1
R9: #8 Kilmarknock   10-1
Good luck today!