Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM
At the Gate - Friday
Saturday’s Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park has taken some hits and took another couple of punches to the gut on Thursday.
First the Stronach Group announced last month that the purse would be cut from $9 million with entries fees to $3 million without fees. That led to Maximum Security to skip the race and head to the richer $20 million Saudi Cup, losing a marquee name.
Then on Friday morning Spun to Run was declared out of the race with a skin issue and a few hours later the even money favorite Omaha Beach was scratched when his connections discovered a right hind ankle issue.
Omaha Beach also was scratched from the Kentucky Derby last May where he was the morning line favorite, the culprit an entrapped epiglottis.
We are now down to a field of 10, but at least with the favorite out the race becomes more wide open. In addition we have a full field for the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) and there are seven other stakes on the 12-race card.
On Friday afternoon we have a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race on the opening day card at Oaklawn Park. It is a wide open race with four contenders being sent out by trainer Steve Asmussen.
I landed on Gold Street, who is 5-1 on the morning line and likely two other Asmussen trainee will take more action at the betting windows.
Gold Street will be going two turns for the first time. He won the Sugar Bowl in his last start. Last year’s Smarty Jones winner exited that prep and we have seen gate to wire jobs in the last three editions of the Smarty Jones.
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Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Clm $16,000N3L (12:50 ET)
7 Woodbury 8-1
2 Vintage Hollywood 2-5
1 Booby Trap 6-1
3 Purchasing Power 9-2
Analysis: Woodbury finished behind a couple of foes he faces again here when fourth at this level. The gelding tracked the early pace, made a good middle move and weakened inside the final furlong to finish fourth, beaten 7 1/4 lengths. The racing strip was kind to outside stalkers and closers that day. He catches a field here without a ton of speed and he looks capable of moving forward in his second start off nearly a three-month break. He beat $16,000 non-winners of two at Belmont Park two back and that effort was flattered when the runner up and third place finisher came back to win next out. On the downside our top pick was pulled up abruptly and vanned off. There have been enough morning works since then. Worth a look if he goes off near his 8-1 morning line.
Vintage Hollywood checked in sixth last out against state bred Alw-1 foes and drops back in for a tag here. He earned his top two career speed figs two and three back including a game second against $14,000 non-winners of three here at a mile. Gullo claimed him out of that race and tired him twice against tougher. He looks tough but the price is going to be puny.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 2,7 / 1,2,3,7
TRI: 2,7 / 1,2,3,7 / 1,2,3,5,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 7 OClm $40,000C (3:55 ET)
1 Twisted Tom 4-1
7 Carthon 7-2
5 Irish Valor 15-1
3 Blugrascat's Smile 3-1
Analysis: Twisted Tom did not fire last out in the state bred Alex M. Robb and drops back in to face Alw-2 optional claimers. The gelding won at this condition two back in his first start off the claim by the Avila barn that took him for $25,000. He is 4 for 9 in his career at nine furlongs and owns back class. I have a tough time getting a handle on this barn, but this gelding is better than he showed last out and looks eligible to bounce back with a better effort.
Carthon was brushed coming out of the gate, pressed the early pace and weakened to finish fourth last out at this level going a mile in his first start off the claim by the RRod barn. The surface was playing to outside stalkers and closers that day. The blinkers come off as he stretches out to nine furlongs. His lone trip at nine furlongs was a third at this level last February here. He looks capable of moving forward in his second start for the barn, but this is his ninth try at the condition.
WIN: #1 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 1,7 / 1,3,5,7
TRI: 1,7 / 1,3,5,7 / 1,2,3,5,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Oaklawn Park:
OP Race 8 The Smarty Jones (3:52 CT)
6 Gold Street 5-1
7 Shoplifted 3-1
8 Lynn’s Map 6-1
2 Silver Prospector 5-2
Gold Street is one of four runners in the race that are sent out by the Asmussen barn. The colt dueled for the early lead and drew clear to win the Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds last out going six furlongs over a sloppy track. Last year’s Smarty Jones winner Gray Attempt exited the Sugar Bowl and the last three winners of this race have been on the lead. It took him four tries to break his maiden but he did run into a few talented runners including Complexified, who was third in the Buffalo Man in his last start and our top pick finished ahead of Mr. Monomoy at Keeneland and that colt was third in the Lecomte (G3) last Saturday. The Asmussen barn is 21% winners moving runners from sprint to route. Speed does well in this race as the finish line is at the 1/16th pole. Santana is sticking with Silver Prospector, which might be a better choice in the long run, but our top pick has a shot here and is going to be a better price.
Shoplifted was a $800,000 purchase by Into Mischief and is coming off a win in the Springboard Mile at Remington Park. That race has produced three of the last nine winners of this race. The Asmussen trainee showed some ability as a two-year-old, running second in the Hopeful (G1) in the slop at Saratoga last summer, then was fifth in the American Pharoah (G1) and seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). He comes in here having earned a career top speed fig and has shown an ability to go two turns. He is going to need some pace but appears capable of being a bit closer in this spot if the early pace is moderate.
Lynn’s Map was scratched after he drew the 14 post in last Saturday’s Lecomte (G1) at Fair Grounds where he looked as if he fit. He broke his maiden two back in his second career start going a one turn mile at Churchill Downs and then was a game winner versus Alw-1 optional claimers in the slop at Fair Grounds in his two-turn debut. The $285,000 Ocala purchase is by Liam’s Map out of the stakes winner Puxa Saco ($400,575) who was best sprinting and who has dropped six other winners, top earner multiple stakes winner Exclusive Diva ($199,343), who was also best sprinting.
WIN: #6 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 6,7 / 2,6,7,8
TRI: 6,7 / 2,6,7,8 / 2,6,7,8,9
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: #7 Woodbury 8-1
R2: #2 Swiping Dan 12-1
R2: #4 The Sicarii 8-1
R4: #3 Frank’sgunisloaded 10-1
R5: #5 Beg to Differ 8-1
R5: #9 Unbridled John 12-1
R6: #4 Stunning Munnings 12-1
R7: #5 Irish Valor 15-1
R8: #9 Queen Kahen 8-1
R8: #6 Forgotten Hero 8-1
Good luck today!