Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:55 PM
At the Gate - Sunday
Trainer Bob Baffert saddled the first two finishers in Saturday’s feature at Santa Anita, Authentic and Azul Coast, the duo combining for a $2 exacta that paid a puny $10.60. Baffert will be back for more on Sunday.
The Hall of Fame trainer will send out three of the seven runners in the $$200,000 Santa Ynez (G2) including the even money favorite Bast.
I did not include the race today’s column. At first, I thought we could take a stand against the chalk, but Bast just looks too tough. She won three Grade 1 races in 2019 and was third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).
She took the field gate to wire to win the Starlet (G1) at Los Alamitos in her last outing at 1 11/16 miles and now Baffert cuts her back to seven furlongs.
Hopefully the track will dry out at Aqueduct today after a sloppy surface on Saturday. Today’s card starts off very chalky as Honorable Avenue at even money in the opener and Nisha at 6-5 in the second race could get the early Pick 5 off to a less than exciting start.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Santa Anita.
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Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Md $25,000 (12:30 ET)
#2 Honorable Avenue 1-1
#1 Carnegie Song / 1a Legend of Bam 8-5
#3 Concrete Jungle 8-1
#4 Cray Cray 6-1
Analysis: Honorable Avenue makes his local debut after coming up short five times at Finger Lakes. The gelding did land in the money three times and was fourth in the two other outings and catches a pretty weak field here. Last out he tracked the early pace and could not catch the winner late in a runner up finish going two turns. The one turn mile should suit this gal.
Carnegie Song was bumped coming out of the gate and not a threat in an eighth-place finish in his debut for a $40,000 tag. He adds lasix here and drops into an easier spot. He is out of the stakes winner Broadway Hennessy ($99,870) who has dropped three other foals to race with a pair of winners. Entrymate Legend of Bam was third in his debut but has been beaten double digit lengths in each of his five starts. He drops a notch in class here.
WIN: #2 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,3
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 OClm $80,000N1X (3:55 ET)
#6 Autonomous 2-1
#3 Quality Heat 9-5
#1 Lookin Dynamic 6-1
#5 Truth Hurts 3-1
Analysis: Autonomous was a good looking maiden winner over the main track here in her debut for the Chad Brown barn. She then shipped to Penn National for the Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies where she set a sharp early pace and weakened to finish third as the beaten chalk. She stretches out to a one turn mile and has the pedigree, by Quality Road out of a Discreet Cat mare. The barn is 37% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route. She has worked well since her last outing and looks tough in this spot.
Quality Heat prompted the early pace and weakened to finish third last out in the off the turf Tepin here at a mile which was her first start over conventional dirt. She made her debut on the fake stuff at Woodbine and then was on turf in her next four starts including a couple of thirds in stakes company. She was forwardly placed in her last pair but not sure she is quick enough here although having Carmouche aboard is a plus.
WIN: #6 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 1,3,6
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Santa Anita:
SA Race 6 OClm $62,500N2X (3:07 PT)
#9 Smoovie 12-1
#3 Tonahutu 6-1
#4 Storming Lady 4-1
#7 Holly Hundy 7-2
Analysis: Smoovie makes her third start of her current form cycle and is coming off a good effort last out where she was last early and came with a mild late run to finish fourth in her first start off the claim by the Miyadi barn. She beat Alw-1 optional claimers three back while in the care of O'Neill at 7-1 and was fifth in her first try at this level. She gets an extra half furlong here which will suit her and should see some pace. Worth a look if she goes off near her 12-1 morning line.
Tonahutu is making her first start since January where she checked in fifth at this level in a key race that produced a pair of next out winners. That was at a mile and she has run well sprinting, a runner up finish two back going 6 1/2 on the downhill and a game second at Del Mar going five furlongs. Decent works on the morning tab for the Blacker barn and she should be a decent price here.
WIN: #9 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 3,9 / 3,4,7,9
TRI: 3,9 / 3,4,7,9 / 1,3,4,7,9
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: #3 Concrete Jungle 8-1
R3: #2 Ihadadream 8-1
R5: #5 Imperial Brew 8-1
R5: #7 Inclunation 8-1
R6: #2 Ink Splotz 8-1
Good luck today!