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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:51 PM

Saturday's Picks from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park

The fifth running of the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) takes place this afternoon, one of seven stakes on a blockbuster card at Gulfstream Park.

A field of 12 will line up in a competitive race with Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Knicks Go the 5-2 morning line favorite.

The co-feature is the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) and the race also drew a full field of a dozen.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 10 strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park including six of the seven graded stakes.

The Brad Cox trained Knicks Go is likely going to be lower than his 5-2 morning line favorite so as you can see below, I went looking for a bit more bang for our buck. I landed on Harpers First Ride, who is 10-1 on the morning line.

The Pegasus Turf drew a competitive field and is a solid betting race. The Todd Pletcher trained Colonel Liam is the 7-2 morning line favorite.

I again went looking for more value and I am going to take a good look at Anothertwistafate (5-1) and Social Paranoia (8-1).

The Pegasus World Cup and Pegasus World Cup Turf will be televised live on NBC from 4:30 to 6:00 ET. “America’s Day at the Races” is on FS2 from 1:30 to 6:00 ET featuring Aqueduct and Oaklawn Park.

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 .  In addition, AmWager is offering up to a $500 bonus for new horseplayers.

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 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 (12:20 ET)

  • #6 Tekila 5-1
  • #2 Maracuja 1-1
  • #4 Hybrid Eclipse 8-5
  • #5 Handle the Truth 8-1

Analysis: Tekila makes her first start since her debut over a sloppy track in a race taken off the turf back in November. She stalked the early pace and weakened to finish sixth at 27-1. Four runners have coming out of that race to win next out. She returns with lasix added for the Hennig barn that is 14% winners (with a +ROI) with second out maidens. Decent value if she goes off near her 5-1 morning line.

Maracuja came with a good late rally to come up just a neck short of graduating in her debut. She caught a racing strip that was playing to inside speed. She also adds lasix and does not need to move forward much off her debut effort to earn her diploma here. She is out of a stakes placed Unbridled's Song mare that has dropped four other foals to race, all winners. She looks logical but is going to end up a light price.


Race 7 Clm $16,000N2L (3:20 ET)

  • #9 Unbridled John 6-1
  • #4 Cohiba Ghost 2-1
  • #8 Royal Suspect 7-2
  • #2 Kingfish 4-1

Analysis: Unbridled John cuts back from a mile where last out in his first start against winners he set the early fractions and weakened to finish a well beaten fourth. He was down toward the inside on a day the outer paths were best. It took him 13 tries to break his maiden and he catches a pretty weak looking group here. Decent value if he goes off near his 6-1 morning line.

Cohiba Ghost was outrun early and came with a mild late run to finish in the runner up spot in his local debut after shipping in from Canada, no match for a six-length winner at this level. It was not the toughest spot, seven have come out of that race to run back and none landed in the money in their next starts. The extra furlong should suit this guy who broke his maiden at this distance on the ale stuff at Woodbine for a $40,000 tag last June. He should move forward with a race over the track.


Race 12 The Pegasus World Cup Inv. G1 (5:44 ET)

  • #8 Harpers First Ride 10-1
  • #4 Knicks Go 5-2
  • #10 Code of Honor 9-2
  • ##7 Tax 5-1

Analysis: Harpers First Ride should be a decent enough price here as he ships down from Maryland. The gelding has earned triple digit Beyers in three of his last four starts including a win in the Pimlico Special (G3) at 1 3/16 miles last October at Pimlico. This is his first try at the G1 level but he comes in here in the best form of his career. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and should get a good trip sitting just off the pace. We need the favorite to get some heat early and that could come from Sleepy Eyes Todd or Independence Hall. He is in a capable barn with Gonzales and he fires just about every time out, a winner of 10 of his 17 career starts.

Knicks Go was our top pick in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and he just ran them off their feet, drawing away to win by 3 1/2 lengths as much the best. Three he beat have come back to run, the runner up Jesus'' Team winning the Claiming Crown Emerald on Dec. 5. The five-year-old has run huge since landing with the Cox barn but he has always showed talent, winning the 2018 Breeders' Futurity (G1) at Keeneland then running second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). His price seems likely to go south from his 5-2 morning line and I am not convinced he beat a very tough group in his last two starts where he earned big numbers. We will try to beat him for the top spot.

Code of Honor draws the 10 post and it is a short run to the first turn here at nine furlongs. Last out her came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot in the Clark (G1). A pair have come out of that race to win next out including Title Ready who won the Louisiana (G3) at Fair Grounds in his next start. He is going to need some pace up front and a perfect trip. Note Johnny V. lands on Mr. Freeze.


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: #5 Handle the Truth 8-1
  • R2: #7 Attentive 10-1
  • R4: #3 Avid Sucinori 10-1
  • R4: #2 Scott Alaia 8-1
  • R5: #6 Farragut 8-1
  • R8: #2 Villainous 8-1
  • R9: #11 It’s Hot Out 10-1

Good luck today!

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