Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:52 AM

Friday's Picks from Aqueduct and Churchill Downs

We got Envoutante home as our top pick in the Falls City Handicap (G2) on Turkey Day at Churchill Downs, the filly jumping out to a quick start and taking the field gate to wire to win by six lengths.

She left the 3-5 favorite Bonny South to settle for the runner up spot. The winner paid $7.20 and topped a $2 exacta that paid $14.40.

We were not quite so lucky in the Red Carpet Handicap (G3) at Del Mar. The short priced favorite Orglandes came with a good late rally to get up late and return a puny $4.20. My top pick California Kook ran like one, checking in a disappointing seventh.

Aqueduct is back in action on Friday with three stakes, each worth $100,000. We have the Gio Ponti, Comely (G3) and the Forever Together on an outstanding 10-race card.

We also will head back out to Churchill Downs on Friday where the feature is the $500,000 Clark (G1) which drew a solid field including four of the 14 exiting Breeders’ Cup races.

The 3-1 morning line favorite is Code of Honor, who makes his first start since a runner up finish in the Kelso Handicap (G2) on Oct. 3. The Shug McGaughey trainee won last year’s Travers (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), the latter thanks to a disqualification.

There are a couple of runners in the field that may end up offering a bit more value. By My Standards is better than his eighth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) last out and Owendale is coming off a fifth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).

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

You can catch the action from Aqueduct and Churchill Downs today from 11:30am ET to 12:00 and 2:00 to 6:00 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 and Best Plays Reports for Friday 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.

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


Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #5 Reunion Tour   7-2
  • #3 Our Man Mike   4-5
  • #6 A Longlongtimeago   9-2
  • #7 Dante's Map   6-1

Analysis: Reunion Tour was sent off at 9-2 when making his debut in the slop in a 10-horse field at Belmont Park in a race taken off the turf. The gelding was squeezed back and bumped coming out of the gate, away next to last and finished evenly in a fifth-place finish. The $95,000 purchase is by Super Saver out of a Distorted Humor mare that has dropped one other foal to race, no winners to date. Carmouche picks up the call and this guy is bred to handle the extra ground. The Thomas barn has strong numbers with second out maidens, hitting at a 35% clip (with a +ROI).

Our Man Mike is back with maidens after two tries in state bred stakes company. He was a game second in the Aspirant two back and caught the slop last out in a runner up finish in the NY Breeders Futurity, both outings coming at Finger lakes. Solid numbers in his last two starts make him the one to beat but at a light price. He is in good hands with former Pletcher assistant DePaz. 


Race 8 The Comely G3

  • #3 Ice Princess   12-1
  • #1 Miss Marissa   3-1
  • #5 Thankful   4-1
  • #6 Mrs. Danvers   5-2

Analysis: Ice Princess was beaten just a neck last out in the state bred Fleet Indian in her first trip at nine furlongs and it was off a four-month break. Now she returns off nearly a three-month break and stepping back into graded stakes company. Her lone other try was a fourth in the Frizette (G1) last October which was in her second career start. She put in a bullet breeze on Nov. 20 for Gargan who is 21% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day break. She is bred to get nine furlongs and looks as if she may still have some upside. She is going to be a generous price in this wide open race.

Miss Marissa has won three in a row, last out holding on to win the Black Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico by a neck over Bonny South. That filly went in yesterday's Falls City (G2) at Churchill Downs. She struggled in stakes early this year but after beating Alw-1 and Alw-2 foes he got her first graded stake last out and comes in here in the sharpest form of her career for the Ryerson barn. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and has worked sharply in New York since her last outing.


Race 8 Alw $87,000N1X

  • #4 Storm At Sea   10-1
  • #5 Quiet Dignity   5-1
  • #6 Tempers Rising   5-2
  • #2 Villanelle   7-2

Analysis: Storm At Sea stalked the early pace and was no match for the top pair in a third-place finish last out at this level in a race taken off the turf going a one turn mile. Two back at Keeneland going two turns this filly raced at the back of the pack in a six-horse field and came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot. The third and fourth place finishers came out of that race to beat Alw-1 foes in their next starts. The Oliver barn is looking to get off the duck at 0 for 17 and this gal looks as if she still has some upside and can move forward off her last outing. Worth a look if she goes off near her 10-1 morning line.

Quiet Dignity has some up short at this condition nine times, all on turf. This will be her first start on dirt for the Maker barn that is 22% winners moving runners from turf to dirt. She is by Kitten's Joy out of a Bernardini mare and should be able to handle the surfaced switch. She has dirt drills at Belmont Park and Trackside and this is not exactly a tough looking group. 


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. 


  • R2: #4 In Vain   8-1
  • R3: #8 Factoring   8-1
  • R4: #7 Ellarella   8-1
  • R5: #8 Vanzzy   12-1
  • R7: #6 Secret Rules   8-1
  • R8: #3 Ice Princess   12-1
  • R9: #5 Chaleur   8-1
  • R9: #10 Miss Teheran   8-1
  • R10: #1 This Ill Defend   8-1

 Good luck today!

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