At the Gate – Thursday

Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager opens tomorrow, and we are inside three months until the first Saturday of May.

There are 23 separate betting interests in Pool 2 including 10 rumens that were part of the field in Pool 1. The field or “All Others” is the morning line favorite at 5-2.

The contender among the 23 separate runners that figures to take most of the action is Tiz the Law, who is listed at 8-1, the lowest price among the 23 runners. The colt won the Holy Bull (G3) last Saturday at Gulfstream Park and was the most impressive winner of the three Derby preps contested that day.

The Barclay Tagg trainee earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure for the win, his second Grade 1 victory in his four career starts. He won the Champagne at Belmont park last October.

Max Player earned 10 Derby points last Saturday with his victory in the Withers (G3) at Aqueduct. He earned a Beyer of 86 for the win and is listed at 2-1 on the morning line for Pool 2.

The Bob Baffert trained Thousand Words won last Saturday’s Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita with a Beyer of 92. He is listed at 15-1 on the morning line for Pool 2.

We have just one Road to the Kentucky Derby points race coming up this weekend, the $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday.

The likely favorite will be Independence Hall, who is undefeated in his three starts. He won the Jerome at Aqueduct on New Year’s Day to start off his three-year-old campaign.

I will have selections and analysis for the Sam F. Davis in Saturday’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 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 Sp Wt (1:20 ET)
#1 Amos 2-1
#3 Go Zappem 6-1
#5 Alphadora 6-5
#2 Keepmyeyesontheboys 6-1

Analysis: Amos
tracked the early pace while saving ground over a racing strip where the outer paths were best and she weakened to finish fourth. The winner The Great Johanna came back to beat $50,000 starter allowance foes in her next outing on Dec. 5 here and most recently beat state bred Alw-1 company here on Jan. 23. She ran a solid second in the slop last June and likely catches a wet track again here which she is bred for. She is in good hands with Miceli who is showing no signs of slowing down after hitting at a 29% clip overall in '19. The filly was a $180,000 Ocala purchase, out of a El Corredor mare that has dropped two other foals to race, no winners to date.

Go Zappem switches from turf to dirt here after a third last out for a 440,000 tag. She made her debut in the slop where she was outrun back in Sept. of '18. She is bred to handle a wet track, by Ghostzapper out of the stakes winner Go Unbridled ($392.110) who could have a wet track. She steps back into the maiden special weight ranks but looks as if she has enough upside to handle the slightly tougher spot.

WIN: #1 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,5
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 6 Clm $25,000N2L (3:55 ET)
#5 Impunity 2-1
#6 Our Stormin Norman 7-2
#3 Vineyard Sound 12-1
#7 Mandatory Payout 5-1

Analysis: Impunity
came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out at this level in his first start against winners. The racing strip was playing to inside speed that day. The gelding was claimed out of the race by the Handal barn that is 20% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. He graduated two back in his ninth career start going six furlongs over a wet track. He has done some of his best running on off tracks and figures to catch another one today.

Our Stormin Norman dueled for the early lead, took over the lead and could not go with the winner late in a runner up finish at this level last out. He was making his first start off the claim by the Kantarmaci barn that took him for $16,000 two back. He has some up short at this condition a few too many times but he owns solid early and mid pace numbers and has run well in is two trips on wet tracks.

WIN: #5 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 5,6 / 3,5,6,7
TRI: 5,6 / 3,5,6,7 / 3,4,5,6,7

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.

R2: #1 Whyisshesoolucky 12-1
R5: #5 Family Biz 10-1
R6: #3 Vineyard Sound 12-1
R7: #4 Seethisquick 15-1

Good luck today!