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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:54 PM

At the Gate - Saturday

I did not see it coming, but racing was canceled at Aqueduct on Friday due to high winds, but the weekend gets off to a great start with good cards at both Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs this afternoon.

Aqueduct has been plagued by some short fields the past couple of weeks, but we have an outstanding card today that features the $100,000 Jimmy Winkfield.

The race drew a competitive field of seven three-year-olds that will travel seven furlongs on the main track. Recent maiden winner Quixotic is the 2-1 morning line favorite.

The Jonathan Thomas trainee took the field gate to wire to break his maiden in his second career start but traveled over a speed friendly racing strip that makes him look like an underlay this afternoon.

We have four stakes at Tampa Bay Downs today including the only Road to the Kentucky Derby points race this weekend.

Independence Hall looks imposing as the 6-5 morning line favorite, but we have been on a roll in these Road to the Kentucky Derby points races the past three weeks with prices and I’ll look for another one.

Got Stormy is the 4-5 favorite for the $175,000 Endeavour (G3) that kicks off the stakes action and she will be very tough to beat.

However, both the $150,000 Suncoast and the $175,000 Tampa Bay (G3) look like good betting races. I included all of the stakes action from Tampa in today’s Best Plays Report.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 11 strongest plays from Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs.

To purchase my Aqueduct and Best Plays Reports for Saturday 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 Clm $25,000N3L (1:00 ET)

4 Chillinwithfriends 5-2

5 Sister Alexa 4-1

7 Solitary Gem 8-5

1 Tequila Sunday 8-1

Analysis: Chillinwithfriends
drops back in for a tag after pressed the early pace and weakening to finish fourth against $50,000 starter allowance foes last out over a wet track that was favoring outside stalkers and closers. Two back this filly took the field gate to wire to beat $16,000 non-winners of two by six lengths and earning a career top speed fig. She looks well spotted here tagged for $25,000 and facing non-winners of three. There is plenty of speed signed up and she looks capable of sitting just off of it if a brisk speed duel develops.

Sister Alexa came off a 2 1/2-month break with a sharp score versus $16,000 non-winners of two. She stalked the early pace, came up the inside and drew away to win by 7 1/2 lengths under the bug Cardenas. Cancel takes over as she steps up a condition here to face non-winners if three. Her previous five starts came at Finger Lakes against Alw-2L foes and she landed in the money in four of those trips. She looks headed in the right direction and is capable of moving forward off her last effort.

WIN: #4 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 4,5 / 1,4,5,7
TRI: 4,5 / 1,4,5,7 / 1,2,4,5,7

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 8 The Jimmy Winkfield (4:25 ET)

4 Old Chestnut 8-1

3 Montauk Traffic 5-2

2 Secret Rules 7-2

1 Newstome 7-2

Analysis: Old Chestnut
makes his first career start on dirt here for the Casse barn. This guy broke his maiden sprinting on turf at Woodbine and then won the Ontario Racing on turf. His form tailed off and he did not care for two turns or yielding turf last out in the Central Park here. He has worked fast on dirt and is bred to like it. He is by Speightstown out of the stakes winner Pool Land who won the Ruffian (G1) on dirt and won three of her four starts at the Big A. Casse has been sending out live runners at the meeting, hitting at a 29% clip and looking for this colt to take to the new surface at a decent price.

Montauk Traffic stalked the early pace while saving ground, had to wait for some running room nearing the quarterpole, got it and shot through the inside to break his maiden in his second career start. Most of the winners that day were traveling from the outer paths. The Rice trainee still appears to have some upside and is proven at the distance. By Cross Traffic he is out of the stakes winner Taittenger Rose ($382,503).

WIN: #4 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 1,2,3,4
TRI: 3,4 / 1,2,3,4 / 1,2,3,4,6

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Tampa Bay Downs

TAM Race 11 The Sam F. Davis G3 (5:29 ET)

1 Ajaaweed 4-1

2 Sole Volante 8-1

4 Independence Hall 6-5

8 Chapula 8-1

Analysis: Ajaaweed
makes his three-year-old debut here while cutting back from the nine-furlong Remsen (G2) at Aqueduct. In that outing the colt made a good late rally after racing near the back of the pack to finish in the runner up spot behind gate to wire winner Shotski. The racing strip was playing to inside speed that day. Shotski came back to run second in the Withers (G3) in his next start at Aqueduct on Feb. 1 behind Max Player. The colt showed ability as a juvenile, breaking his maiden in his second career start going a one-turn mile at Belmont Park. He made his stakes debut in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland where he made a mild late run to finish a non-threatening fourth. He has been working well at Palm Meadows and he needs some pace which it seems likely he gets in front of him here.

Sole Volante made his dirt debut last out in the Mucho Macho Man at Gulfstream Park where he came with a mild five wide run to finish third in a decent effort. He graduated on turf at GP West in his debut and then made a last to first run to win the Pulpit on turf at a mile at Gulfstream Park in his first start against winners. He is a half to graded stakes placed Explode ($255,863) who lost photos in the Canadian Derby (G3) and British Columbia Derby (G3) on dirt. The colt owns the top last out speed fig and the 8-1 morning line looks generous.

Independence Hall, an undefeated Trombetta trainee has won his three career starts by a combined 21 lengths. After breaking his maiden his debut, he won the Nashua (G3) by 12 ¼ lengths with his Beyer going from 82 to 101. He acted up in the paddock last out in the Jerome, lunged at the break and was a bit green shying away from the whip but still won by four lengths. His Beyer dropped back to an 82. This will be the colt’s first test going two turns and he has been working sharply over the main track here with four local drills. He has seven sibs that are winners including a pair of stakes winners led by Black Onyx ($418,860). He seems likely to move forward off his last effort but is going to be a very short price here.

WIN: #1 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,4,8
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,4,8 / 1,2,4,6,8

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: #1 Tequila Sunday 8-1
R3: #6 Deep Sea 8-1
R4: #8 Talent Scout 8-1
R5: #2 Sixteen Tons 12-1
R6: #1 H Man 8-1
R8: #4 Old Chestnut 8-1
R9: #9 Chiricahua 20-1
R9: #2 Carnegie Song 10-1

Good luck today!

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