Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:54 AM

Horse Racing Best Bets At the Gate - Thursday

We have a huge weekend coming up that features a major Road to the Kentucky Derby points race and the inaugural running of the $20 million Saudi Cup.

The $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) offers up 50-20-10-5 Derby points and is one of nine graded stakes on the card at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.

The winner is virtually assured a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby (G1) which is now just over two months away. Time flies when we are having fun.

The race lost a major player with Green Light Go spiking a fever and will miss the race. Bu there is still a solid group that will include Dennis’ Moment, Shotski, Chance It, Ete Indien and As Seen on Tv.

We also have the $20 million Saudi Cup, which will be the richest horse race in the universe. There are five U.S. based runners making the journey including Maximum Security, Mucho Gusto, Tacitus and McKinzie.

The most intriguing will be Midnight Bisou as she takes on the boys. She will be making her first start since running second in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) last November at Santa Anita.

I hope to make a few wagers on the race, and I will have analysis and selections in Saturday’s column. I would like to catch the action on Friday and see how the track plays.

The racing surface reportedly is playing slow and looks like it has a lot of clay in it. The assumption is it might play to stalkers and closers and against speed, but we may be able to pick up some clues tomorrow.

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 $50,000 (1:20 ET)

4 Aamaal 8-5

3 Free 7-2

6 Mama Kin 4-5

2 Lookbackandlaugh 12-1

Analysis: Aamaal
stalked the early pace and came with a mild late run to finish third in her debut at 3-1 in a field of seven at Philly for a $40,000 tag. The runner up Second Bite came back to graduate in her next outing on Feb. 18 at Philly against maiden special weight company. She is in good hands with Pino who ships this gal in. The barn is 4 for his last 9 (with a +ROI) with second out maidens. She is by Hard Spun out of a Jazil mare that has dropped two other foals to race with one winner. Carmouche gets the call and look for this gal to be in the mix early here.

Free debuts for the Kobiskie barn that is 10% winners with first timers. She was a $100,000 Keeneland purchase by Shackleford out of a Double Honor mare that ash dropped five foals to race, four winners including minor stakes winner Butterscotch Blend ($29,425). She spent the winter at Payson and then shipped to Kentucky where she has a couple of works at Trackside. It's not a real tough looking spot for a debut runner here.

WIN: #4 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 3,4,6
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:

AQU Race 6 Md Sp Wt (3:55 ET)

5 Makingcents 2-1

4 Beautiful Karen 8-5

6 Mystic Moves 4-1

1 Rosey's Invasion 12-1

Analysis: Makingcents
makes her third career start and stretches out to a mile here. She was third in her debut at 14-1 and then took some action last out sent off as the favorite where she made a mild late rally while wide to finish third. She caught a racing strip that was kind to inside speed that day. The runner up Stonezapper came back to graduate in her next outing on Feb. 15 here. She is out of the stakes winner Mischief Maker ($267,671) who won going long and has dropped one other foal to race, Makin Out ($95,053) who beat state bred Alw1 foes here last fall at a mile. The Englehart barn has been frigid at the meeting and we have been fading most of his runners as he is 1 for 43 but maybe he is overdue to get one today.

Beautiful Karen was squeezed back coming out of the gate, rushed up to take over the lead and could not hold of the winner late in a runner up finish at 7-2 in a field of seven. Rice does much better second out, winning at a 26% clip. Lezcano sticks and this gal figures to move forward with a better break. She is out of a Malibu Moon mare that ash dropped four other foals to race with three winners.

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

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.

R1: #2 Lookbackandlaugh 12-1
R2: #4 Barbara P 12-1
R4: #4 Mazmania 10-1
R6: #1 Rosey’s Invasion 12-1

Good luck today!

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