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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:52 PM

Saturday's Picks from Aqueduct and Churchill Downs

We have a couple of good graded stakes this afternoon to wager on and in both it looks as if we can beat the short priced favorites.

Finite (8-5) looks imposing in the $100,000 Chilukki (G3) at Churchill Downs as she makes her third start off the bench. She was beaten just a neck in the Raven Run (G2) at Keeneland in her last outing. But her price is going to end up puny.

Risky Mandate (5-1) took the field gate to wire to beat second level optional claimers and the Tom Amoss trainee sure looks as if she is coming into the race in top form and is worth a look.

The feature at Aqueduct this afternoon is the $100,000 Red Smith (G3) for three-year-olds and upward going 1 3/8 miles on the inner turf course.

Sadler’s Joy (8-5) is the defending champion and the favorite, but this guy has won just once out of his last 18 starts, and his price is likely to end up very much on the short side.

A good option is going to be the Graham Motion trained Ziyad (9-2) who was third in the Sycamore (G3) at Keeneland in his last outing.

The Sycamore was won by Red Knight (5-2) and the gelding is also worth a look as he makes his third start off the bench for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.

Friday was a day for longshots at Aqueduct and the Late Pick 5 had runners that paid $6.70, $31.40, $17.80, $23.40 and $69.00.

I was knocked out early and for the few that had it the return on a 50-cent ticket was a whopping $265,129.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Churchill Downs.

You can catch the action from Aqueduct and Churchill Downs today at 11:30am ET on FS2. In addition, you can stream the action on YouTube or by using the TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. is offering a risk free bet up to $300 for new players .

To purchase my Aqueduct Report for Saturday click here .

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Belmont Park Reports daily, my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday and my two-day Breeders’ Cup Reports.

Here is the opener from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:


Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #5 Munnings Muse 5-2
  • #4 Beautiful Karen 3-1
  • #3 Snicket 6-5
  • #2 Lucky Lizzie 8-1

Analysis: Munnings Muse set the early fractions and weakened to finish fourth last out going 6 1/2 furlongs at Belmont Park. This gal showed some promise last year with a runner up finish in her debut. She was sent off as the chalk two back on her return off the bench but tired to finish fifth. She looks primed for a top effort here third off the bench for the De Paz barn. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers.

Beautiful Karen stalked the early pace and made a mild late rally to finish third last out in her first start off a seven-month layoff. The runner up Wasp came back to break her maiden in her next outing on Oct. 30. The filly should move forward enough second off the bench for Rice to be a threat here. She is out of a Malibu Moon mare that ash dropped four other foals to race with three winners.


Race 9 The Red Smith G3

  • #8 Ziyad 9-2
  • #10 Red Knight 5-2
  • #4 Sadler's Joy 8-5
  • #9 Aquaphobia 6-1

Analysis: Ziyad made his U.S. debut last out in the Sycamore (G3) where he stalked a slow early pace form the outside and finished evenly while on his wrong lead in the stretch in a third place finish, beaten two lengths for the win and missing the place spot by a head behind a couple of foes he faces again today. His previous start in North America came in the 2019 Canadian International (G1) at Woodbine where he set the early fractions and came up 3/4 of a length short in a third-place finish over good ground. The cut back here to 1 3/8 miles should suit him and I am hoping Franco is a bit more aggressive with him here as there is not much early zip signed up and he has shown he can be closer to the lead. This guy was beaten just a neck in the last two editions of the Prix de Saint Cloud (G1).

Red Knight beat four foes he faces again today in his two-length win in the Sycamore. The Mott trainee saved a lot of ground early and then split rivals on the third turn to gran second and then rolled past the pacesetter for the win in a good looking effort. He came off a 7 1/2-month layoff two back with a runner up finish on soft ground in the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) and his last pair of speed figs are the best of his career. He looks primed for another top effort in his third start off the bench here.

Sadler’s Joy is the defending champion of this race, winning her last November over good ground. That win snapped a 10-race losing streak. Since that win he is 0 for 7, crossing the wire in front in the Bowling Green (G2) by a neck at the Spa this summer but got DQ’d for interference in the stretch. He has earned triple digit Beyers in 8 of his last 11 starts and has earned $2.6 million but he is not exactly a win machine and needs pace and a trip. He picks up Rosario with Castellano sidelined, and the price is going to be on the light side.


Race 9 The Chilukki G3

  • #6 Risky Mandate 5-1
  • #2 Finite 8-5
  • #3 Grand Cru Classe 5-2
  • #8 Unique Factor 10-1

Analysis: Risky Mandate took the field gate to wire to beat Alw-2 optional claimers last out earning a career top speed fig. The runner up Club Car came back to beat Alw-2 company in her next outing. She bounced back after getting outrun two back going two turns in the La Troine (G1), The Amoss trainee comes in here in the sharpest form of her career and willing to give her a look here at a one turn mile. She has popped a couple of bullet works over the main track since her last outing. She ran third din the six furlong Prioress (G3) last year and was third in the restricted Shine Again at seven furlongs this summer at the Spa She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and her maiden score came over the main track here.

Finite was sent to the sidelines with a minor ankle issue and she was outrun in her return but that as over good ground on turf. She bounced back with a game effort in the Raven Run (G2) last out where she came with a good late rally to miss by just a neck. She is a four-time stakes winner and won the Rags to Riches over the main track here at a mile last fall by six lengths. She looks primed for a top effort here third off the bench for Asmussen. The main knock is her price seems likely to go south of the 8-5 morning line. She has a win over a wet track and a strong off track pedigree.


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 Lucky Lizzie 8-1
  • R2: #10 Danzigwiththestars 8-1
  • R5: #1 The Great Dansky 12-1
  • R5: #4 Mister Bobby 10-1
  • R6: #4 White Frost 8-1
  • R6: #7 Tic Tic Tic Boom 8-1
  • R6: #12 Lijana 12-1
  • R7: #10 Silver Token 8-1
  • R9: #6 Notorious Flirt 8-1
  • R10: #9 Selfmade 8-1

Good luck today!

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