Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:51 AM

Thursday's Picks from Aqueduct

Well, 2020 comes to an end today, with most of us stuck at home and watching virtual New Year’s Eve celebrations on television.

One thing that kept me sane throughout this pandemic is horse racing managed to mostly run uninterrupted, although we had to wager from home, which most of us do anyway.

Aqueduct is back in action this afternoon and there is a mandatory payout in the Empire 6 which has a carryover of $183,471.

The wager starts early as we have an eight race card today so the first leg of the sequence is the third race.

The New York Racing Association also announced that during the month of January there will be a mandatory payout each day for the Empire Pick 6.

I have been an outspoken critic of all Jackpot wagers as they kill churn, offer takeout rates that are too high, and too often are eventually won by betting syndicates, not the small time players.

Even though there is a mandatory payout daily next month, I would still stick to the Pick 5, which has a .50 cent increment and a lower takeout. The wager offers the best value for most horseplayers.

We have plenty of action coming up this weekend including a pair of Road to the Kentucky Derby points races. The $150,000 Jerome at Aqueduct and the $100,000 Sham (G3) will each offer up 10-4-2-1 points toward entry into the Kentucky Derby next May.

We are just 121 days away from the first Saturday of May. Let’s hope in 2021 the Derby can be run in its traditional date.

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 Thursday 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 Md $20,000

  • #8 Travelin Dani   20-1
  • #5 Mucho Sunshine   5-2
  • #2 Confectioner   2-1
  • #3 Grecian Pharoah   5-1

Analysis: Travelin Dani gets the nod in a race where none of these likely have a bright future. The gelding was bumped around and squeezed back early in his debut and was not a threat in a ninth-place finish on turf. He dropped in for $25,000 last out catching a sloppy track and was not a threat after again not getting away cleanly. He picks up Davis and is in a sharp barn with Miceli. This is a really weak spot and perhaps this guy will show more here in just his third career start.

Mucho Sunshine is sent out by the Shivmangal barn that is 0 for 37 on the year. Last out this gelding prompted the early pace, took over the lead and held on until late in a third-place finish, beaten 3/4 of a length. He was down toward the indie much of the trip on a day the outer paths were best. Three back he set the early fractions and finished gamely in a runner up finish, beaten a half-length. The low % jock and barn combined with the 5-2 morning line does not exactly get the pulse racing. 


Race 7 Alw $82,000N1X

  • #1a Glass Ceiling   5-2
  • #6 Palomita   2-1
  • #4 Letmetakethiscall   9-5
  • #3 Lucky Dime   6-1

Analysis: Glass Ceiling missed by just a head last out at this level in her first start off the claim by the Kantarmaci barn. The filly stalked the early pace while down along the inside, was stuck behind a tired foe and had to angle toward the outside where she finished gamely to just miss. She was claimed for $32,000 two back out of a runner up finish behind Jump for Joy. She looks headed in the right direction and looks capable of moving forward off her first go for the barn. Her entrymate Jump for Joy also has Lezcano listed to ride and the trainer indicated she is the likely one to get scratched.

Palomita was bumped coming out of the gate last out going five furlongs at this level at Churchill Downs. The filly was making up ground late while drifting out and then the jock dropped his whip in deep stretch. She is 0 for 6 at this level since breaking her maiden in her second career start. She has landed in the money in five of those starts running into repeat winners twice. Her last fig came up light and she is capable of running faster. 


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: #8 Travelin Dani   20-1
  • R2: #4 Ellarella   15-1
  • R4: #1 Fair Regis   8-1
  • R4: #2 Rude Awaking   8-1
  • R5: #2 De Only Solution   8-1
  • R6: #6 Ruby Bleu   10-1
  • R6: #5 Direct Order   8-1
  • R8: #5 Lucky Lizzie   8-1 

Good luck today!

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