Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:54 AM

At the Gate - Friday

We are going to head out to Tampa Bay Dows tomorrow, which hosts the lone Road to the Kentucky Derby points race this weekend, the $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3).

The race serves as a prep for the marquee event of the meeting, the $400,000 Tampa Bay Debry (G2) on March 7.

Independence Hall is the 6-5 morning line favorite for the Sam F. Davis and comes into the race perfect in his three career starts. The Michael Trombetta trainee won the Jerome at Aqueduct in his most recent start on New Year’s Day.

He did it over a racing strip that was playing to inside speed, so I am going to attempt to beat him for the top spot tomorrow. I’ll post my selections and analysis in Saturday’s column.

The Sam F. Davis is one of four stakes on the Saturday card. The others are the $175,000 Endeavour S (G3), $150,000 Suncoast and the $175,000 Tampa Bay Stakes (G3). I will include the stakes action in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.

We had an off track at Aqueduct yesterday and it looks likely we will have more of the same this afternoon. The good news is things will clear up and weather will not be a factor this weekend.

To purchase my Aqueduct Report for Friday 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)

2 Scuttlebuzz 2-1

3 Dangerous Edge 9-2

6 More Graytful 7-5

1 Justintimeforwine / 1a The italianamerican 8-1

Analysis: Scuttlebuzz
was outrun early in his debut and came with a good late rally to finish third, beaten 3/4 of a length for the spot and missing the place spot by a head at 35-1. The Thomas barn has much better numbers with second timers than with his debut runners, hitting at a 32% clip. The $160,000 Ocala purchase is by The Factor out of an Elusive Quality mare that has dropped one winner. He should move forward with a race under his belt and gets an extra half furlong. He is bred to like a wet track which we likely see again today.

Dangerous Edge tracked the early pace, angled out five wide and did not have enough punch left late in a fourth-place finish last out over a wet track here at six furlongs. The runner up First Deputy came back to graduate in his next outing while the winner Bourbon Bay came back to run second in the Jerome behind Independence Hall, the favorite for tomorrow's Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. He ran into repeat winners in each of his first two starts and this group does not look nearly as tough as he has been facing.

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

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 7 OClm $40,000N2X (4:25 ET)

7 Am Impazible 4-1

2 Makin' Out 15-1

3 The Great Johanna 7-2

8 Lucky Move 2-1

Analysis: Am Impazible
stretched out to a mile last out for her first start against winners and she was an impressive winner versus state bred Alw-1 foes. The runner up came back to run second in her next start while the third-place finisher The Great Johanna came back to beat state bred Alw-1 foes by 6 1/2 lengths and is in here as well. Our top pick graduate two back in her second career outing going 6 1/2 furlongs. She has a decent enough off-track pedigree and looks as if she still has some upside for the Breen barn.

Makin' Out stalked the early pace from the outside and could not make up much ground in the stretch in a fifth-place finish last out at this level going six furlongs in a race taken off the turf. The winner Cash Offer was one of three to exit the race to win next out, taking the state bred La Verdad on Jan. 4. The mare stretches back out to a mile and she passed her first start bred condition at today' distance. She is bred to like a wet track and is going to be a generous price in this spot.

WIN: #7 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 2,7 / 2,3,7,8
TRI: 2,7 / 2,3,7,8 / 2,3,4,7,8

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: Justintimeforwine / 1a The Italianamerican 8-1
R2: #7 Lake Chicot 8-1
R4: #1 Judgement Free 15-1
R5: #3 Chuckles 8-1
R7: #2 Makin’ Out 15-1
R8: #4 Blessed Halo 10-1

Good luck today!

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