At the Gate – Monday

Let’s hope that the holiday Monday card at Aqueduct pays a bit better than what we saw on Sunday. The early Pick 5 paid a puny $31.00 for a .50 cent ticket. The winners of the first five races on the card: $3.60, $4.80, $3.00, $4.40 and $5.20.

We finally got a price in the finale, Glenn Likes Gin paying $35.40 but that longshot was just my fourth choice in the race, completing a $2 exacta with my third choice Unrelenting Force that paid $252.50.

Monday’s card holds more promise, with my top pick the morning line favorite in just one of the nine races on the card and it’s in today’s feature.

Saguaro Row looks tough as the 2-1 morning line favorite in the $100,000 Interborough, the eighth race on the nine race card this afternoon at the Big A.

The Michael Stidham trainee was a good second behind Spiced Perfection last out in the Go For Wand Handicap (G3) and will be cutting back from a mile.

I’ll be using her on all of my late Pick 5 tickets, which appears to be a better sequence than the early Pick 5. There are several prices that could be in the mix including 8-1 Outplay in the sixth, Heavy Roller (6-1) in the seventh and Tatterazzi (6-1) in the finale.

The early Pick 5 has a few short fields and short priced runners, but it looks as if we can beat a couple of them, which means we may have a decent shot of hitting the bet on a moderate investment.

My Best Plays Report for Monday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.

To purchase my Aqueduct and Best Plays Reports for Monday 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 Clm $40,000N2L (1:00 ET)
#3 Deputy Flag 5-1
#5 Mandatory Payout 5-2
#6 Who's in Charge 6-5
#1 Seed Money 8-1

Analysis: Deputy Flag
dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish fourth last out against $50,000 starter allowance foes here over a wet track that was splaying to outside stalkers and closers. he was coming back off a three-month break for the Morley barn and dismissed at 40-1. He drops in for a tag for his second start against winners and should move forward of his return effort. The gelding owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and Junior takes the call.

Mandatory Payout cuts back from a mile where last out the gelding stalked the early pace and cold not go with the top pair in a third-place finish at this level in the mud. Two back he made a mild late rally to finish third going six furlongs in his second start off the claim. The cut back should suit this guy and he can win this if he fires his best.

WIN: #3 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 3,5 / 3,5,6
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 8 The Interborough (3:55 ET)
#2 Saguaro Row 2-1
#5 New Year's Wish 7-2
#3 Our Circle of Love 5-2
#6 Honor Way 10-1

Analysis: Saguaro Row
cuts back from a mile here and looks like the legit favorite. The Stidham trainee chased the early pace and could not get by a very sharp Spiced Perfection, who took the field gate to wire over a racing strip that was kind to inside speed that day. Two back at today’s seven-furlong distance the mare made a good late rally to win the Pumpkin Pie here by 4 ¼ lengths and earn a career top speed fig. The third-place finisher in that race was Pink Sands who came back to win the Rampart (G3) in her next outing on Dec. 14 at Gulfstream Park and the fourth-place fisher Last True Love returned to win the Mahoning Distaff on Nov. 25. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and the barn is 23% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from route to sprint. Lezcano picks up the call and is having a strong meeting.

New Year’s Wish was off a beat slow last out in the Garland of Roses. She spotted the field a couple of lengths getting off last and made a mild late run to finish third going six furlongs. She was a sharp winner two back off the bench beating Alw-2 optional claimers (for non-winners of three or a race in 2019). The mare has done her best work over the main track here, winning five of her seven trips over the surface. She picks up Carmouche and owns solid early and mid pace numbers. With a better break she figures to be in the mix early.

Our Circle of Love, making her stakes debut last out in the Garland of Roses she chased the early pace and could not catch the loose on the lead gate to wire winner, settling for the runner up spot and a length ahead of our second choice in here. She beat Alw-1 foes two back in the mud at six furlongs in her fourth try at the condition. She owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers but is 0 for 2 at seven furlongs. Her best shot may be if she is able to shake loose early but that may be tough here.

WIN: #2 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 2,5 / 2,3,5,6
TRI: 2,5 / 2,3,5,6 / 2,3,5,6,7

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:

GP Race 9 Alw $35,000s (4:38 ET)
#5 Slingin Sammy B 6-1
#9 Sky Chaser 4-1
#4 Flat Awesome Jenny 5-2
#3 Shes All Woman 3-1

Analysis: Slingin Sammy B
chased the early pace and could not get to the winner in the stretch in a runner up finish last out against $12,500 claimers here going a mile. The filly was claimed out of the race by the Joseph barn that is 39% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. She has landed in the exacta in five of her seven trips over the main track here. She beat restricted $10,000 foes two back at seven furlongs. Irad picks up the call and this gal figures to move forward with the barn switch and the cut back to a sprint.

Sky Chaser stalked the early pace, gained a brief lead while drifting outward in the stretch and could not match strides late with the winner in a runner up finish. It was her first start off a 5 1/2-month break for the Spatz barn. This gal ran pretty big here beating restricted $16,000 claimers last may in her first start against winners, drawing off to win by 9 1/4 lengths. She should be tighter second off the bench.

WIN: #5 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 5,9 / 3,4,5,9
TRI: 5,9 / 3,4,5,9 / 3,4,5,8,9

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 Seed Money 8-1
R2: #5 Lady Cat 10-1
R3: #6 Bourbon Mission 8-1
R4: #2 Sneaky Surprise 8-1
R4: #1 Holmdel Park 12-1
R6: #6 Outplay 8-1
R7: #5 Blueblood 10-1
R8: #6 Honor Way 10-1

Good luck today!