Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:54 PM
Horse Racing Best Bets At the Gate - Sunday
It has been rare that I land on the chalk in a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race this season, but I thought Nadal was going to be very tough and made him my top pick in yesterday’s $1 million Rebel (G2) despite the short price.
After the Bob Baffert trainee dueled through fast fractions 22.89 and 46.00 it sure looked like the early battle was going to take its toll. Instead the colt kept on going and managed to hold on to win by three-quarters of a length and return $3.80 for the win. It was Baffert’s record seventh win in the Rebel.
What was almost as surprising as Nadal’s ability to finish was the runner up Excession, who came calling late and nearly got the job done at odds of 82-1. We missed out on the exacta which returned $156.40.
Nadal had closed at 10-1 in Pool 3 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager which ended on March 8. The colt was the third choice in the pool, with Authentic closing at 6-1 and Tiz the Law at 7-1.
The Kentucky Derby is now just 48 days away, and Churchill Downs released a statement yesterday that said they would “have an update about the Kentucky Derby and additional information on our spring meet in the coming week.”
The Coronavirus crisis of course has shut down most major sports, but horse racing has carried on without fans. Over 100,000 fans buy tickets on Derby Day, and Oaks Day also draws huge crowds.
It is possible the track could run the Derby without fans, relying on revenue from betting and television rights. One key to that decision is whether the major Derby preps over the next month can be contested. If not, there could be a postponement of the Triple Crown series, which could be held in the summer.
Racing will be nationally televised on FS2 from 3:00 to 6:30 ET on Sunday. Aqueduct and Oaklawn Park will be the featured racetracks. If you are new to horse racing, both Churchill Downs and the New York Racing Association have apps to stream the action on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Firestick.
In addition, horseplayers can stream all of the action using the Watch TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. is offering a risk free bet up to $200 for new players.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Oaklawn Park.
To purchase my Aqueduct and Best Plays Reports for Sunday 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 $40,000 (1:30 ET)
#7 Danegeld 3-1
#5 Dutchmen Forever 5-2
#4 Cause 3-1
#1 Long Island City 9-2
Analysis: Danegeld tracked the early pace and was no match for a nine-length winner in a runner up finish last out in his second career start. The winner was Tapizearance who came back to beat $50,000 starter optional claimers in his next outing on March 1. The gelding a sloppy track in his debut two back and had the lead heading for home but got run down, landing second in a good effort for the Bond barn that does not win first out that often. Another move forward and this guy will be tough in this spot. He is the first foal to race out of a Leading the Parade mare.
Dutchmen Forever dueled for the early lead and tired to finish fifth last out going a mile. he cuts back to a sprint and two back this guy was beaten just a nose going seven furlongs here in the slop. He picks up the bug Maragh who is making an impression since coming up from Florida, winning at a 18% clip here. He makes his third start of his current form cycle for the Levine barn that is a bit cold at the meeting, winning with just 3 of 48 starters.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 5,7 / 1,4,5,7
TRI: 5,7 / 1,4,5,7 / 1,4,5,6,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Aqueduct:
AQU Race 8 The Damon Runyon (5:01 ET)
#3 Bourbon Bay 3-1
#4 Scilly Cay 7-2
#1 Dream Bigger 3-1
#5 Chowda 5-1
Analysis: Bourbon Bay was the beaten chalk in the state bred Gander last out, beaten 4 1/4 lengths by Chowda in a third-place finish. The colt tracked the early pace, was down toward the inside on the far turn and finished with some interest late. That outing was at a mile and he reportedly missed some time with a bruised foot. He ran well two back in the Jerome in a deadheat for the runner up spot, which was his first start against winners at a mile. He graduated three back at six furlongs over a wet track. The Hennig barn is 20% winners moving runners form route to sprint. Looks as if seven panels may suit him.
Scilly Cay also exits the Gander where the colt stalked the early pace and weakened inside the final furlong in a fourth-place finish. He won the state bred Rego Park two back at 6 1/2 furlongs and was a good second in the state bred Notebook three back at six furlongs. The colt reunites with Lezcano who was aboard for both of his wins. Rice is 19% winners moving runners from route to sprint.
Dream Bigger dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish third in the Rego Park last out as the chalk behind Scilly Cay. It was his first outing where he did not land in the exacta. He won the state bred Notebook three back and just missed in a New York Stallion Series race two back at seven furlongs. The RRod trainee draws the rail and owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers. He returns off a two month break here with a good breeze over rat Belmont Park on Mar. 8. The colt will be the one to catch here.
WIN: #1 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 1,3,4,5
TRI: 3,4 / 1,3,4,5 / 1,2,3,4,5
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Oaklawn Park:
OP Race 7 Alw $90,000N1X (4:21 CT)
#1 Town Champ 7-2
#8 Candy Cornell 3-1
#7 Tiz McNamara 4-1
#5 Courting a Kiss 5-1
Analysis: Town Champ broke outward coming out of the gate, was sent to set the early fractions and drew clear to beat $30,000 starter allowance foes last out in his first start against winners and second start since landing in the Asmussen barn. The trainer claimed this guy for $20,000 at Churchill Downs and he earned a career top in his first start for the barn, breaking his maiden against $25,000 maiden claimers in the mud. The gelding has a strong off track pedigree and he steps up into a tougher spot but looks capable of handling it.
Candy Cornell pressed the early pace and battled on gamely in a fourth-place finish, missing out of the place spot by a couple of noses. Two back here he set the early fractions and could not hold off the winner in the stretch in a runner up finish. The winner was Grits and Curiosity who beat Alw-2 foes in his next outing on Feb. 21. The third-place finisher Tough Love also exited that race to win next out, taking an Alw-1 heat here on Feb. 22. Diodoro has been very live at the meeting, hitting at a 32% clip.
WIN: #1 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,8 / 1,5,7,8
TRI: 1,8 / 1,5,7,8 / 1,3,5,7,8
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.
R7: #1 Flying Curlin 10-1
Good luck today!