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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:55 PM

At the Gate - Wednesday

As I mentioned in yesterday’s column, Tuesday’s early Pick 5 looked pretty chalky and we managed to hit it using just my top two picks in each race. The winners paid $3.90, $2.50, $2.70, $7.70 and $3.40.

The $1 payoff for the Pick 5 came back at $36.00. Yup, that was the shortest priced Pick 5 I have hit in my lifetime.

I also mentioned I thought we had a shot at some prices in the Late Pick 5, and again I was right. Among my top picks was Silver Seeker in the sixth paying $20.20 and Patagonia at $9.50 in the seventh race.

The $1 Pick 5 will-pays with my top two picks in the finale were $2,245.50 for my top pick Da Berg and $1,261.00 for my second choice Hudson Overpass, who was sent off as the 4-5 chalk. Things were looking pretty good.

The gates popped open for the final race and immediately I got that queasy feeling in my gut. Da Berg was off poorly leaving him at the back of the pack.

Hudson Overpass was tracking the early pace from the outside in third and took over the lead heading for home, but I had a feeling somebody would come calling.

Indeed that happened, with first time starter Rightdowngentlmn coming rolling down the middle of the track and getting up to return $23.60 for the win.

That was not a good way to end 2019 but let’s get right back to it this afternoon at Aqueduct and Santa Anita.

My Best Plays Report for Wednesday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Santa Anita.

To purchase my Aqueduct and Best Plays Reports for Saturday click here .

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Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:

AQU Race 1 Md $40,000 (12:50 ET)
#1 Our Ticket / 1a Happy Music 8-1
#5 Gottahaveaholiday 1-1
#4 Shannon's Girl 2-1
#2 Jasminesque 4-1

Analysis: The Terranova entry seems to have more upside than the two favorites who are a combined 0 for 20. Our Ticket was off poorly in her belated debut. The five-year-old was fractious in the starting gate and had to steady early when a foe came in on her. She was beaten 13 3/4 lengths. The blinkers come off for the Terranova barn that is 19% winners (with a +ROI) with second out maidens. This gal is out of a Storm Cat mare that ash dropped four other foals to race, three winners. Entrymate Happy Music was not a threat in her first two starts and dropped in for a tag last out. She prompted the early pace and battled on gamely in a close up third, beaten 3/4 of a length for the top spot. She makes her third start off the bench here and second for a tag.

Gottahaveaholiday set the early fractions and could not match strides late with the winner in a runner up finish at Laurel Park against $40,000 foes. beaten 3/4 of a length while 7 1/4 lengths clear of the rest of the field. She has four seconds in her eight starts and now makes her third start off the bench for the Nevin barn.

WIN: #1 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,4,5
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 6 Alw $70,000N1X (3:25 ET)
#2 Break Curfew 5-1
#5 Reflect 2-1
#6 Champagne Bliss 8-1
#7 Queen Kahen 3-1

Analysis: Break Curfew tracked the early pace and faded to finish a well beaten fifth last out at this level. Three runners have come out of that race to win next out including the winner Alisio, who beat Alw-2 foes on Monday here. This gal was running well at the Spa this summer, second against $100,000 claimers and then beating $75,000 claimers for the Brown barn. He was claimed out of that win by Asmussen and she ran a decent fourth in the Prioress (G2). She then caught the mud and last out just did not fire against a solid group. She is better than she showed last out and looking for her to bounce back here with a better effort in a wide open race.

Reflect ships in from the left coast and lands with the O'Dwyer barn. She was eighth last out on turf at Santa Anita in a key race after just missing by a neck two back at Los AL. This gal ran second in the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland last October. She has been working sharply at Laurel Park and looks like a good fit in this spot and will appreciate the return to dirt.

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

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Santa Anita:

SA Race 8 The Joe Hernandez G2 (3:00 PT)
#8 Legends of War 6-1
#10 Carnivorous 20-1
#6 True Valour 7-2
#1 Tribalist 10-1

Analysis: Legends of War stalked the early pace and tired to finish 12th last out in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1), beaten 8 3/4 lengths. He earned a career top speed fig winning the Franklin Simpson (G3) at Kentucky Downs two back at 6 1/2 furlongs taking the field gate to wire. The runner up in that race was Stubbins who came back to win the Woodford (G2) and the fourth-place finisher Archidust won the OBS Sprint in his next outing. He has run well at five furlongs including a second in the Desert Code here in June and 5 1/2 her seems perfect for him. Her is better than he showed last out and looks capable of bouncing back here at a fair price. He placed in a Group 2 at York back in '18 at six furlongs.

Carnivorous stalked the early pace, found himself in behind foes nearing the eighth pole, found some room and finished up well to get the job done over Alw-1 optional claimers at 5 1/2 furlongs here. He was claimed out of the race by the Knapp barn that is 21% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. His previous five starts came in routes but he has shown he can sprint on turf. He should get a good trip from mid pace and is going to be a generous price in this spot.

True Valour was 10th last out in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) which was his second start of the year. he came back off an eight-month layoff to win the City of Hope Mile (G2) two back at 17-1. His last sprint was a win in the Ballycorus Stakes (G34) at Leopardstown in June of '18. This distance may be too short for him, but his connections have noted they are using this race as a prep for a 6 3/4 length sprint in Saudi Arabia next month. He needs some pace and should be coming late.

WIN: #8 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 8,10 / 1,6,8,10
TRI: 8,10 / 1,6,8,10 / 1,6,8,9,10

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: #1 Our Ticket / 1a Happy Music 8-1
R2: #1 Overheated 10-1
R2: #6 Floss Dancer 8-1
R5: #9 Gaultier 10-1
R6: #6 Champagne Bliss 8-1
R7: #1 Prince of Pharoahs 8-1
R7: #6 Celtic Striker 12-1
R8: #8 Booby Trap 15-1

Good luck today!

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