Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:54 AM
At the Gate - Thursday
There was quite the shocker coming out of New York yesterday as track announcer Larry Collmus did not have his contract renewed by the New York Racing Association and he has been replaced by John Imbriale.
Collmus has been the track announcer at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga for the past five years, and called the last two Triple Crowns as part of the team at NBC Sports.
Apparently Collmus and the NYRA could not reach an agreement on a new contract and have parted ways.
"I'd like to thank the New York Racing Association for five great years calling memorable races at these wonderful venues," said Collmus said in a press release issued by the NYRA. "I will certainly miss the people and places that make NYRA so special, especially the passionate racing fans at Saratoga, but it's the right time for me to move on to the next challenge while continuing my work with NBC Sports."
Imbriale has worked for the NYRA for four decades and is a familiar voice to horseplayers that play the New York circuit. He was Tom Durkin’s backup and got plenty of work during the winter months and when Collmus was away on assignment for NBC.
Imbriale is taking over the announcing duties as of today and it will be interesting to see where Collmus ends up. He started his career in my backyard in Maryland, calling races at Bowie back in 1985.
Among the tracks Collmus has called the races include Gulfstream Park, Golden Gate Fields, Suffolk Park and Monmouth Park.
We have a big Saturday coming up with three Road to the Kentucky Derby points races. We will take an early look at those races tomorrow.
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 which will include all of the major Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races.
Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Md $25,000 (12:50 ET)
#2 Da Berg 4-1
#3 Try'n Smart'n Up 6-5
#4 Plebe 5-2
#6 Ridolfo 8-1
Analysis: Da Berg stretches out to a mile after catching a sloppy track last out at six furlongs. The gelding as brushed a coming out of the gate and away last and finished evenly in a fifth-place finish. The runner up Hudson Overpass came back to graduate in his next outing on Jan. 26 here for a $25,000 tag. Two back our top pick tracked the early pace while closer to the pace and with the stretch out to a mile should be a forward factor. There is not much early speed or talent signed up in this spot. The Kimmel barn is 19% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route. He is out of a Summer Squall mare that has dropped four winners.
Try'n Smart'n Up dueled for the early lead and could not match strides with the winner late in a runner up finish at 6-5 last out at Finger Lakes against open maiden special weight company. He makes his local debut here and the cut back to a one turn mile should suit him. He is out of a stakes placed Regal Classic mare that has dropped three other foals to race, all winners. Lezcano picks up the call and he looks like a good fit here but the 6-5 morning line sure seems light.
WIN: #2 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,4
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 6 Clm $20,000 (3:25 ET)
#1 Orchid Party 8-1
#2 Miss Mi Mi 5-2
#3 Radiatrithym 7-2
#8 Friend of Liberty 4-1
Analysis: Orchid Party trailed the field and was not a threat last out in a fifth-place finish against state bred Alw-2 optional claimers and drops in for a straight tag here for the Toscano barn. The mare beat state bred Alw-1 foes two back and state bred $25,000 claimers three back. While her Beyers are on the light side in those two wins the BRIS numbers fit nicely against his group. The mare has won 5 of her 16 trips over the Big A main track. The barn sticks with the icy Worrie who is just 1 for 47 at the meeting, that win coming aboard this gal two back. Decent value if she goes off near her 8-1 morning line.
Miss Mi Mi prompted the early pace and got clear in the stretch to beat $16,000 claimers in the mud here. She was claimed out of the race by the RRod barn that is 17% winners first off the claim. She steps up a notch here to the $20,000 level and looks capable of winning right back. She is 2 for 2 over the main track here.
WIN: #1 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,3,8
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,3,8 / 1,2,3,5,8
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: #6 Ridolfo 8-1
R3: #7 Aleph 8-1
R6: #1 Orchid Party 8-1
R8: #7 Inspector Henning 15-1
Good luck today!