Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM

At the Gate - Thursday

Entries were drawn yesterday for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1), which will be contested at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.

Omaha Beach was installed as the 7-5 morning line favorite for the Pegasus World Cup. Trained by Richard Mandella, the colt was the runner up in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and then won the Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita in his last outing.

There are nine stakes on the card, and I plan on having a full report of the action.

Oaklawn park opens Friday with the first of four Road to the Kentucky Derby points races. The $150,000 Smarty Jones drew a field of nine three-year-olds, four of which are trained by Steve Asmussen.

Asmussen sends out the 5-2 morning line favorite Silver Prospector, who won the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) in the slop in his last outing. The trainer will also saddle the 3-1 second choice on the morning line in Shoplifted, who won the Springboard Mile at Remington Park in his last outing on Dec. 15.

The trainer will also saddle Sugar Bowl winner Gold Street (5-1) and longshot Jungle Runner (20-1), who was fourth in the Springboard.

Which Asmussen trainee gets the call? I’ll have my analysis and selections in tomorrow’s column.

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 $30,000 (12:50 ET)

3 Bay Burner 8-1

1 Ihadadream 4-1

6 Lightning Rob 5-2

5 Little Mazzy 3-1

Analysis: Bay Burner
caught a muddy track in his debut where he was sent off at 8-1 in a field of seven. He ducked out coming out of the gate, raced greenly and not persevered with in the stretch. He comes back with a stretch out to a mile for the Terranova barn that is 20% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners form sprint to route. This guy is bred to go nine furlongs, by Tiznow out of an Indian Charlie mare that has dropped two other foals to race, both winners. Worth a another look here and the 8-1 morning line looks fair enough. Ihadadream stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a fourth-place finish in his debut, sent off at 19-01 in a field of seven. He is in good hands with the Mott barn that is 17% winners with second out maidens. The gelding should be able to handle more ground. has by Congrats out of a Giant's Causeway mare, her first foal to race.

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

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 7 Alw $64,000N1X (3:55 ET)

5 Summer Fantasy 6-1

7 Gilda Marie 4-1

1 The Great Johanna 9-5

6 A Bridge too Far 7-2

Analysis: Summer Fantasy
set the early fractions and faded to finish a well beaten seventh last out against $50,000starter allowance foes. The filly was down along a deep rail much of the trip in that outing. She was a good second two back at this level in her first start against winners. The winner of that race was Mrs. Orb, who came back to win her next three starts, most recently winning the state bred Bay Ridge on Dec. 29. The Englehart trainee does not look quick enough to lead here but she sat off the pace in her maiden win prompting the early pace with the runner up a next out grad. The barn has been on the chilly side at the meeting but this gal figures to be a fair price in this spot as she returns to the state bred ranks.

Gilda Marie pressed the early lead, fell ab ck and came back in the stretch to miss by just a half-length last out in a good effort. The mare caught a racing strip that was kind to outside stalkers and closers that day. Two back off a four-month break and facing winners for the first time she was a game third, beaten just a neck and a head. Third off the bench here and our top pick's father is also cold at the meet, winning with just 2 of 35 starters.

WIN: #5 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 5,7 / 1,5,6,7
TRI: 5,7 / 1,5,6,7 / 1,2,5,6,7

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: #3 Bay Burner 8-1
R3: #3 Dovey Lovey 8-1
R4: #6 Toastnjam 8-1
R8: #1 Saratoga Style 8-1

Good luck today!

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