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Feb 16, 2020

At the Gate - Monday

We have Monday racing and a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race on tap this afternoon—the $750,000 Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park.

Despite the big purse the race is worth just 10-4-2-1 Derby points. After today the stakes get higher with the following five preps worth 50-20-10-5 and then the final round of Derby preps will be worth 100-40-20-10 points.

The Southwest drew an evenly matched group with no clear standout. Gold Street won the prep, the $150,000 Smarty Jones as our top pick, returning a hefty $22.80. He took the field gate to wire, but I have doubts he can do it again.




The Smarty Jones was at a mile using the first finish line and today’s Southwest is 1 1/16 miles and uses the second finish line. On the plus side Gold Street has won three in a row on wet tracks and might catch another one today.

I landed on Chase Tracker for the Todd Pletcher barn. He was third in the Remsen (G2) in his last outing and I think he can move forward off that effort.

The feature at Aqueduct today is the $100,000 Hollie Hughes for four--year-olds and upward going six furlongs. The race drew eight including Arthur’s Hope, who won the Say Florida Sandy as our top pick paying $12.20 but I am going to jump off his bandwagon too.

The six-year-old took advantage of a speed friendly racing strip and My Boy Tate was off poorly in that same race and could not make up any ground late. I’m looking for My Boy Tate to turn the tables.

My Best Plays Report for Monday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Oaklawn Park.

To purchase my Aqueduct and Best Plays Reports for Monday 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 (1:00 ET)
#4 Ms. Malevolence 8-5
#2 Masons Friend 7-2
#1 Giveitsomewellie / 1a Smart Set 7-5
#5 Dare to Try 9-2

Analysis: Ms. Malevolence makes her fifth career start and catches a field she should be able to beat. Last out she came with a good late rally to finish third against Florida bred maiden special weight foes at Gulfstream Park going six furlongs. She was closer to the pace two back where she checked in third beaten two lengths. She lands with Gullo who is 26% winners (with a +ROI) with newcomers to the barn. Expecting to see her closer to the pace here. She is out of a Dixieland Band mare that has dropped three other foals to race, all winners.

Masons Friend is also sent out by Gullo. She debuts here and has decent looking works on the morning tab for a barn that is 15% winners (with a +ROI) with first timers. The barn is having a strong meet, hitting at a 26% clip overall. She is by Mineshaft out of a Giant's Causeway mare, her first foal to race. The barn goes to the capable bug Cardenas.

Wagering
WIN: #4 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 4 / 1,2
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 8 The Hollie Hughes (4:25 ET)
#1 My Boy Tate 3-1
#7 Eye Luv Lulu 3-1
#8 Arthur's Hope 5-2
#6 Cerretalto 9-2

Analysis: My Boy Tate was off a beat slow when brushed and pinched back coming out of the gate in the state bred Say Florida Sandy. The gelding stalked the early pace and had no punch left late as Arthur's Hope took the field gate to wire over a speed friendly racing strip as our top pick at 5-1. Two back off the bench our top pick earned a solid number winning a NY Stallion Series race. He has won 5 of his 7 starts over the Big A main track and cam bounce back here with a better break. He won this race in '18 in the mud at six furlongs so the cut back should not pose a problem.

Eye Luv Lulu tracked the early pace, came with a four wide bid and took the lead and battle don gamely in a runner up finish against state bred non-conditioned allowance company. The winner Sicilia Mike came back to beat Alw-1 foes in his next start while the third-place finisher Tribecca came back to beat Alw-2 optional claimers in his next outing. The Bond trainee has won 5 of his 6 trips over the main track here and owns a solid pace profile throughout. The Servis trainee as third din this race last year and is overdue to pick up a win.

Wagering
WIN: #1 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 1,7 / 1,6,7,8
TRI: 1,7 / 1,6,7,8 / 1,4,6,7,8

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Oaklawn Park:

OP Race 9 The Southwest G3 (4:43 CT)
#6 Chase Tracker 7-2
#2 Silver Prospector 9-2
#4 Gold Street 6-1
#3 Shoplifted 8-1

Analysis: Chase Tracker makes his three-year-old debut here after coming up short in his two starts against stakes company at Aqueduct as a juvenile. He was a good looking maiden winner in his debut at Philly going seven furlongs. In the Nashua (G3) on the stretch out to a one turn mile he raced near the back of the pack and made a mild five wide run to finish third. The winner Independence Hall came back to win the Jerome and run second in the Sam F. Davis (G3). In the Remsen (G3) last out our top pick was closer to the pace while saving ground, battled in the stretch and came up 4 ¼ length short in a third-place finish. The winner Shotski ran second in the Withers (G3) in his next outing and the runner up Ajaaweed was third in the Sam F. Davis. Johnny V. makes the trip to Hot Springs to ride this guy and he should get a good tracking trip sitting just off the pace. Looks like he may still have some upside.

Silver Prospector is one of three in here sent out by the Asmussen barn. This colt could not make up much ground in the stretch in a fourth-place finish in the Smarty Jones in the mud at a mile here. That race was won by his stablemate Gold Street who took the field gate to wire setting moderate fractions. He gets more ground here and a longer stretch using the second finish line, which gives him a good shot of turning the tables. He won the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) two back at Churchill Downs in the slop. There is a 40% chance of some rain, so we could see a wet track which suits him.

Gold Street was our top pick in the Smarty Jones, and we were rewarded with a $22.80 payoff. He earned the top last out speed fig and he again catches a field without a ton of early speed. He has won three in a row, all on off tracks which he could see again today. He picks up three pounds and has to take this group longer. He would be tempting if he goes off at the 6-1 morning line but seems likely to go off a bit shorter, particularly if the track comes up wet. The second finish line could be the difference here for this guy.

Wagering
WIN: #6 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 2,6 / 2,3,4,6
TRI: 2,6 / 2,3,4,6 / 2,3,4,6,8

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.

Aqueduct
R5: #5 Laura’s Posse 8-1
R7: #2 Party in the Raine 8-1
R7: #8 Awesome Debate 12-1
R9: #13 Dangerous Edge 8-1

Good luck today!

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