Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:52 AM

Friday's Picks from Aqueduct

It looks as if the rain may hold off for Friday’s card at Aqueduct but then we will be dealing with the potential for an off track on Saturday where the track hosts four stakes races.

The headliner tomorrow is the $250,000 Cigar Mile Handicap (G1) which drew a field of nine led by the Shug McGaughey trained Performer (7-5) who comes into race riding a five race winning streak.

Only one of those wins came in stakes company, the colt taking the Discovery (G3) last November over the Big A main track. He hit the sidelines after that win and returned to beat $80,000 optional claimers off the bench in the mud at Belmont Park on Oct. 17.

He gets a major class test and is up against several strong foes including Firenze Fire (5-2) who was third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) and King Guillermo (9-2), who is making his first start since a runner up finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1) back in May.

The stakes action starts on Saturday with the $150,000 Remsen (G2) which will go as the fourth race on the card and the race is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race.

We have a small field of five with the Todd Pletcher trained Known Agenda the 8-5 morning line favorite. The colt broke his maiden by a head in his second career start.

The $100,000 Go for Wand Handicap (G3) drew a field of six with Nonna Madeline the 4-5 morning line favorite. The Pletcher trainee was third in the Turnback the Alarm Handicap (G3) in her most recent outing.

The $150,000 Demoiselle (G2) is a Road to the Kentucky Oaks points race. Eight go to the post led by Tempted winner Malathaat (4-5) who won her stakes debut by 7 ¾ lengths.

I will break down some of the sakes action in tomorrow’s column and will have my selections and analysis for my strongest plays from the Big A and Claiming Crown Day at Gulfstream Park in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.

You can stream the action from Aqueduct today on YouTube or by using the TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. is offering a 50% deposit match up to $250 .

To purchase my Aqueduct Report 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 opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start: 


Race 1 Clm $25,000N2L

  • #2 Gray Haze   5-1
  • #3 Charlotte Webley   7-2
  • #5 Holmdel Park   7-2
  • #1 Left Leaning Lucy   4-1

Analysis: Gray Haze drops back in for a tag after a game third last out against Alw-1 foes at Penn, beaten a half-length in her first start off the claim by the Grusmark barn. She was taken two back at Delaware Park at this level where she prompted the early pace and weaken late to finish third, beaten 1 3/4 lengths. Except for the turf effort three back this filly always seems to be in the mix. She catches a pretty weak group here and I like the jock switch here to the bug Cardenas.

Charlotte Webley chased the early pace and weakened in the stretch to finish third last out as the winner Fangirl drew away to win by 11 1/2 lengths. She was making he first start off the claim by the Simmonds barn that has won with 3 of his first 5 starters at the meet, all prices. She did not care much for the mud two back and looks back on track here. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and looks primed for a top effort here in her third start of her current form cycle. 


Race 6 OClm $80,000N1X  

  • #5 Hillbilly Logic   8-1
  • #9 Kid Cash   6-1
  • #6 Town of Gold   5-1
  • #7 Swashbuckle   4-1

Analysis: Hillbilly Logic was bumped coming out of the gate in his debut at Churchill Downs and after tracking the early pace could not go with the top pair in a third-place finish. The seventh and eighth place finishers came out of that race to graduate next out while the winner Spicy Marg came back to run third versus non-conditioned allowance foes in his next start on Nov. 29 at Churchill Downs. The gelding steps out of the maiden ranks but Ward looks eager to get this guy o turf one more time as this is likely the last week of turf racing here at the Big A. He is out of a stakes placed Showcasing mare, her first foal to race. Ward hits at a 22% clip with second out maidens.

Kid Cash tries grass for the first time here in his third career start for the RRod barn. He showed speed in both starts on turf, last out here over a wet track where he dueled for the early lead before weakening to finish third. Blinkers are added today. This guy is out of a Royal Academy mare that has dropped five winners and three have won on turf. With the hood added and Carmouche in the irons the strategy is simple, this guy is going to try and take them gate to wire. 


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: #10 Il Primo Sole   15-1
  • R5: #2 Diamond in the Sun   8-1
  • R6: #5 Hillbilly Logic   8-1
  • R7: #2 Hurricane Hill   8-1
  • R7: #8 Reckless Spirit   8-1
  • R8: #11 Currency Chrome   10-1
  • R8: #14 Kosciuszko   8-1
  • R9: #5 Prince Orb   12-1 

Good luck today!

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