At the Gate – Sunday

We saw a couple of impressive performances in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points races on Saturday as well as cashing a few tickets along the way.
Max Player made a good late rally to win the Withers (G3) at Aqueduct by 3 ¼ lengths as my top pick, returning $12.80. The favorite, my second choice Shotski completed an exacta that paid a generous $44.60.
Tiz the Law did not have a clean trip but was much the best in the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park. The Barclay Tagg trainee was my second choice and returned $4.60. We had the recommended exacta that paid $19.00.
At Santa Anita Thousand Words got the job done in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) as the heavy favorite, paying $3.20 for the win as my top pick. I whiffed on the exacta, 18-1 Royal Act rallying to complete a $2 exacta that paid a decent $30.00.
I am not sure we saw the Kentucky Derby winner yesterday, but Tiz the Law is certainly one to watch. He still looks as if he has a ton of upside.
There is plenty of horse racing action this afternoon before the big game.  My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.
To purchase my Aqueduct and Best Plays Reports for Sunday 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 Md $50,000 (1:20 ET)
#4 David's Gem   4-1
#3 First Degree   6-5
#5 Cause I Said So   9-5
#1 Fulfill    6-1
Analysis: David's Gem may end up the third choice in this five-horse field which will offer some value despite the compact group. The colt showed some ability with a game runner up finish in his debut for a $40,000 tag. He stepped up last out where he set the early fractions and faded to finish fifth, catching a racing strip that was playing to outside stalkers and closers. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and cuts back to 6 1/2 furlongs. He has a shot of taking this group gate to wire at a fair price.
First Degree checked in third in his debut for the Thomas barn and then regressed last out on the stretch out to a mile, tiring to finish well beaten seventh. The barn has strong numbers with second out maidens and has bred to go long, but now he is gelded, the blinkers come off and he cuts back to a sprint. Four runners came out of his last outing to graduate next out, so it was a much tougher group than he faces here.
WIN: #4 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 3,4,5
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:
GP Race 6 Md Sp Wt (3:04 ET)
#7 Champagne Lady   10-1
#9 Genealogist   6-1
#8 Gibberish   4-1
#5 Eve of War   8-1
Analysis: Champagne Lady ships down from New York where in her debut she was sent off as the heavy favorite in a field of seven but had to settle for fifth. She stalked the early pace, was in behind foes on the turn and weakened in the stretch to finish 11 1/2 lengths behind the winner. The racing strip that day at the Big A was playing to inside speed. This gal was a $875,000 Keeneland purchase, out of a Bernardini mare that has dropped one other foal to race, G1 stakes winner Mo Town ($519,600).
Genealogist is a $180,000 purchase making her debut for the McPeek barn that is 5% winners with firsters. This gal is by Street Boss out of a stakes placed Kris S. mare that has dropped six runners with four winners. She has worked quickly over the main track here including a bullet breeze on last month. She looks as if she may be ready to go at first asking and likely is going to be a decent price in this spot.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 7,9 / 5,7,8,9
TRI: 7,9 / 5,7,8,9 / 2,5,7,8,9
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 7 The Busanda (4:25 ET)
#1 Water White   5-2
#6 Harvey's Lil Goil   2-1
#2 Ankle Monitor   12-1
#3 Quality Heat   12-1
Analysis: Water White makes her second try at nine furlongs her after a fifth-place finish last out in the Demoiselle (G2) which was her first start against winners. She raced near the back of the pack and could not make up much ground in the stretch, beaten 6 1/2 lengths while catching a racing strip that was kind to inside speed. She graduated two back at a mile after running a good second behind repeat winner Maedean three back. That filly won the tempted in her next outing on Nov. 1 and then was second in the Demoiselle. It appears she is going to get a more honest early pace to track in this spot. She is by Conveyance out of an Unbridled's Song mare and has the pedigree to handle nine furlongs.
Harvey's Lil Goil checked in fourth in her debut going long on turf and then graduated here last out going a mile over a wet track. She tracked the early pace and drew off with plenty left in the tank to win by six lengths. The runner up Persisto came back to graduate in her next outing here on Jan. 10. She ships back from Florida for the Mott barn and this gal looks as if she still has a ton of upside. She is by triple Crown winner American Pharoah out of a Tapit mare that has dropped two other foals to race, both winners.
Ankle Monitor graduated for $16,000 in her third career start and has been on the improve since. She was placed third in the Tempted and ran second in the Gin Talking two back at Laurel Park going seven furlongs. Last out she beat $16,000 starter optional claimers going a mile in the mud. The distance is a question mark as this will be her first trip going two turns and nine furlongs. She is in good hands with Gonzalez and should end up a generous price.
WIN: #1 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,2,3,6
TRI: 1,6 / 1,2,3,6 / 1,2,3,4,6
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.
R2: #2 La Rubia   10-1
R3: #3 Glenn Likes Gin   8-1
R6: #5 Play Me a Memory   10-1
R7: #2 Ankle Monitor   12-1
R7: #3 Quality Heat   12-1
R8: #4 Kid d’Oro   8-1
Good luck today!