Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:51 AM

Friday's Picks from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park

We ring in the New Year with a good nine -race card at Aqueduct and we will head out for some of the action from Gulfstream Park this afternoon as well.

The feature at the Big A today is the $150,000 Jerome going a mile on the main track. The race is the first Road to the Kentucky Derby points race of 2021.

It’s so nice not to have to say 2020 anymore, isn’t it?

The race unfortunately drew a small field of five, so it’s not exactly a good betting race. I landed on the second choice Eagle Orb, who is 9-5 on the morning line.

The New York bred steps outside of the state bred ranks for the first time. He won the Bernard F. Bongard back in October and won a New York Stallion Series race in his last outing.

The Brad Cox trained Swill is the 7-5 morning line favorite. The colt came up short in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) last out in his first attempt at two turns. The cut back to one turn should suit him.

There are three stakes at Gulfstream Park this afternoon and I included two of them in today’s Best Plays Report which includes my nine strongest plays from the two tracks.

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 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 $30,000

  • #3 Take It Off 8-5
  • #2 Cashmere Queen 9-2
  • #4 Magnificent Mags 9-5
  • #7 Don't Cry Anna 8-1

Analysis: Take It Off drops in for a tag for her second career start here for the Tony D. barn. In her debut she was sent off at 27-1 going six furlongs in the slop in a race washed off the grass. She pressed the early pace and faded to finish a well beaten eighth. Three have come out of that race to run back and two graduated. She returns with blinkers and lasix added for a very capable barn that had a very quiet 2020.

Cashmere Queen set the early fractions and was no match for a 14-length winner in a runner up finish last out in her first start for a tag. The winner Tap the Barrel has not come back to run yet. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and may prove tough to catch here. She is out of a Pentelicus mare that has dropped 10 foals to race with eight winners, top earner stakes winner Pashito the Che ($568,170). She has some early zip and draws the rail with the bug Cardenas. She looks as if she can be competitive against this group.


Race 8 The Jerome

  • #4 Eagle Orb 9-5
  • #2 Swill 7-5
  • #3 Hold the Salsa 4-1
  • #5 Original 7-2

Analysis: Eagle Orb steps outside of the state bred ranks for the first time here. He has landed in the exacta in four of his five starts. He won the six-furlong state bred Notebook last out in a sharp effort over a wet track. Two back at a mile he set the early fractions and could not hold off the winner late in a runner up finish in the Sleepy Hollow. The winner Brooklyn Strong came back to win the Remsen (G2) in his next outing on Dec. 5. This guy is bred to handle more ground, by Orb out of a stakes placed Harlan’s Holiday mare. He should be forwardly placed and fits well in this spot.

Swill cuts back to one turn after a fourth last out in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) which was his first start going long. He stalked the early pace while saving ground, angled out and did not have enough punch left late, beaten 4 ½ lengths. The colt broke his maiden two back going seven furlongs at Churchill Downs in gate to wire fashion. The runner up and 10th place finisher exited that race to graduate in their next starts. A one turn mile looks like it is going to suit this guy well and the trainer is using this race as a prep for the $1.5 million Saudi Derby on Feb. 20 which is also a one turn mile.

Hold the Salsa is a two-time stakes winner versus state breds, taking a New York Stallion Series race last out going seven furlongs over the main track here. His one trip at a mile came two back where he checked in fourth in the Sleepy Hollow, beaten 8 ½ lengths. The colt is based at Fair Hill with owner/breeder and trainer Lugovich. He needs to take a jump up to land in the exacta here.


Race 9 The Janus

  • #7 Extravagant Kid 2-1
  • #8 The Critical Way 8-1
  • #4 Imprimis 9-5
  • #3 Sayyaaf 6-1

Extravagant Kid exits the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) where he came with a good late rally while wide to check in fourth, beaten a length for the top spot. he got a better trip than the fav in here Imprimis who had trouble in the stretch but Irad always seems to find trouble on that guy. Our top pick is overdue for a win after coming up short in his last four, a game second in the Woodford (G2) and Turf Sprint (G2) in his two previous outings. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and the cut back to five furlongs is no problem, he has excelled at this distance and is a three-time winner over the grass here including this race last year.

The Critical Way took the field gate to wire to beat Alw-2 optional claimers last out in a sharp effort at Tampa Bay Downs. This guy has now landed in the exacta in 8 of 13 trips on turf and was beaten just a head in the VB Raines two back at Monmouth Park. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and speed has been very good at this distance at the meet. He looks capable of breaking up a chalky exacta.


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: #7 Don’t Cry Anna 8-1
  • R2: #4 Undetectable 8-1
  • R3: #6 Win With Pride 10-1
  • R4: #9 Celestial Dream 10-1
  • R4: #10 Oak Creek Canyon 10-1
  • R6: #10 Daring Disguise 8-1
  • R9: #9 Paynt the Edges 8-1

Good luck today!

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