Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:54 AM
Horse Racing Best Bets At the Gate - Saturday
We have an outstanding 14-race card at Gulfstream Park on Saturday featuring 10 stakes races including the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2).
The race serves as a Road to the Kentucky Derby points races. There are 50-20-10-5 points up for grabs toward entry into this year’s Kentucky Derby. A win and 50 points virtually assures the winner a starting spot in the gate on the first Saturday of May.
Dennis’ Moment is the 2-1 morning line favorite and has spent much of the winter as the early betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby. He tossed in a clunker in his last race, an eighth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last November at Santa Anita.
He needs to pick up some Derby points to make it into the field, but at a short price he may be worth taking a stand against. I think recent maiden winner Country Grammar from the Chad Brown barn has a shot. He is 15-1 on the morning line but may end up shorter as he is getting a little buzz this week.
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We have the first running of the $20 million Saudi Cup today, which has a post time of 12:40 ET. The race drew a strong field including U.S. based Maximum Security and McKinzie along with the brilliant mare Midnight Bisou taking on some of the world’s best including Benbati and Magic Wand.
The feature at Aqueduct today is the $100,000 Bernardini which drew a field of nine that will go 1 5/16 miles on the main track. Leitone is the 3-1 morning line favorite for trainer Jason Servis.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 10 strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.
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Here is a look at the Saudi Cup:
Race 8 The Saudi Cup (12:40 ET)
#8 McKinzie 3-1
#10 Mucho Gusto 6-1
#7 Maximum Security 5-2
#12 Tacitus 15-1
Analysis: I have been looking forward to this race for months, but my enthusiasm was tempered when it was announced there is a 20% takeout on win, place and show and 27% take on exotics. Even with generous rebates I doubt I will invest much on this race, and the U.S. based runners likely will get too much attention in the betting pools. McKinzie gets the call as he makes his first start since a runner up finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1). Baffert knows how to ship to the Middle East better than anyone and this five-year-old has landed in the exacta in 13 of his 14 career starts. He should get a good tracking trip sitting just off the pace which is where you want to be on the surface it seems. Four back in the Met Mile (G1) he ran really well in a runner up finish which as a one turn mile. This is a one turn 1 1/8 miles.
Mucho Gusto won the Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream park last out with a career top effort for Baffert. He had a solid three-year-old campaign including a second in the Haskell (G1) behind Maximum Security and a third in the Travers (G1) behind Code of Honor and Tacitus. His last was off a four-month break and he has matured nicely. He should be able to sit close enough to the pace and will benefit from a hot pace.
Maximum Security took the field gate to wire to in the Cigar Mile 'Cap (G1) going a one turn mile. he took advantage of a racing strip that was kind to speed that day. He earned a career top and if he regresses a few points from that effort that still makes him a player here. He is perfect in his two starts at nine furlongs, but I have a hunch running medication free won't do him any favors here. Not sure he is going to offer much value for the top spot although it would not surprise me to see McKinzie end up the slight favorite.
WIN: #8 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 8,10 / 7,8,10,12
TRI: 8,10 / 7,8,10,12 / 1,7,8,10,12
Here is the opening race from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQU Race 1 Clm $25,000 (1:20 ET)
#6 Stunning Munnings 3-1
#1 Summer Belief 2-1
#2 La Negrita 7-2
#3 Hot Little Honey 3-1
Analysis: Stunning Munnings is one of two in here that has faced winners. Last out the filly dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish sixth against $50,000 starter allowance foes. The runner up Officer Hutchy came back to beat $50,000 starter optional claimers in her next outing on Feb. 17. She has been beaten double digit lengths in her last two starts but catches an easier spot here in for a $25,000 tag and gets a jock upgrade from the bug to Carmouche.
Summer Belief took the field gate to wire to break her maiden last out in her third career start and first for a tag. She comes back off nearly a three-month break to face winners here. Good works on the morning tab for the Summer barn and she does not need to move forward much off her last effort to be in the mix in this spot. Would like to see a bit more than the 2-1 morning line however.
WIN: #6 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,2,6
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Gulfstream Park:
GP Race 11 The Canadian Turf G3 (4:30 ET)
#2 Caribou Club 6-1
#5 Sombeyay 9-2
#4 Hembree 5-1
#1 Hay Dakota 4-1
Analysis: Caribou Club came off a three month break last out in the Tampa Bay (G3) where the gelding stalked the early pace and came up empty in the stretch, tiring to finish seventh. This guy ran two game races two and three back, missing by a neck in the Artie Schiller and winning the Baltimore Washington Turf Cup (G3). He should move forward second off the bench here for the Proctor barn. He won back to back graded stakes in SoCal and is 9 for 3 overall in his career on turf. The cut back to a mile suits and he looks like decent value here if he goes off near his 6-1 morning line.
Sombeyay got a good prep in last out in a runner up finish against Alw-2 optional claimers in his first go off a 5 1/2-month layoff. Last summer at the Spa going a mile on turf her was beaten just a head in the Hall of Fame (G2) which was just his second start on turf and first going long. His effort last out produced a career top speed fig and with just three trips on turf under his belt looks as if he still has some upside. He should move forward second off the shelf for Pletcher.
WIN: #2 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 2,5 / 1,2,4,5
TRI: 2,5 / 1,2,4,5 / 1,2,4,5,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 The Bernardini (4:50 ET)
#1 Backsideofthemoon 7-2
#3 Dynamax Prime 6-1
#7 Leitone 3-1
#4 Ekhibaar 15-1
Analysis: Backsideofthemoon stalked the early pace and came with a good four wide rally to grab the runner up spot in the Jazil last out at nine furlongs in the slop. The winner Mr. Buff returned to win the Haynesfield in his next outing here on Feb. 22. Our top pick makes his third start since Klesaris claimed this guy for $100,000 three back out of a win. He looks headed in the right direction form wise and can handle the extra ground.
Dynamax Prime trailed the field early and made a mild late run to finish third last out as Wicked Trick ran away to a 9 1/4 length win against $25,000 starter allowance foes. The Atras trainee landed in the exacta in 9 of 13 starts last year including runner up finishes in the state bred Alex M. Robb and Empire Classic. Carmouche picks up the call here for Atras who is having a strong meet, hitting at a 31% clip. He is bred to handle the extra ground. He is 0 for 9 on the Big A main track but has landed in the money in six of those trips.
WIN: #1 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,4,7
TRI: 1,3 / 1,3,4,7 / 1,3,4,6,7
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.
R3: #8 Boom Boom Kaboom 15-1
R4: #1 Mad Munnys 10-1
R6: #7 I Prowl Alone 8-1
R7: #1 Beach Access 8-1
R7: #8 Mystical Song 15-1
R8: #4 Ekhibaar 15-1
R9: #6 Psychic Energy 8-1
Good luck today!