Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:51 AM

Thursday's Picks from Aqueduct

More than a foot of snow landed on Aqueduct on Monday, but the sun will be out on Thursday before more rain and snow could make its way to New York on Friday.

Saturday looks okay at this point where we have the $100,000 Withers (G3), one of two Road to the Kentucky Derby points races this week.

The other is the $250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. Both races offer up 10-4-2-1 points toward entry into the Kentucky Derby, which is now less than three months away.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Essential Quality is the leader in the Road to the Kentucky Derby points standings with 30. The colt will likely make his three-year-old debut at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 15 in the Southwest (G3).

We saw two new contenders crack the top ten last Saturday. Greatest Honour won the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream Park and Medina Spirit won the Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita, both earning 10 points.

We still have 26 Road to the Kentucky Derby races to be decided over the next few months, so plenty of great action each weekend.

Note we have a change of post time at the Big A. First post is now 1:20 ET.

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 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 $40,000

  • #5 Me 'n Sap   2-1
  • #6 Not Phar Now   1-1
  • #7 Black Irish   5-2
  • #1 Simbasalltrouble   15-1

Analysis: Me 'n Sap was bumped coming out of the gate, stalked the early pace while down along the inside and finished gamely in a runner up finish last out when dropping back in for this tag. The racing strip was kind to speed that day. Only one has come out of the race to run back, sixth place finisher Have a Heart a next out grad for a $25,000 tag. The gelding makes his third start of his current form cycle and after getting beaten by double digit lengths in his two previous starts he looks headed in the right direction while catching a field he appears able to handle.

Not Phar Now drops in for a tag for the first time here for the Rice barn that is 36% winners (with a +ROI) with runners dropping from maiden special to maiden claiming. His two previous starts came in races taken off the turf and three back he was beaten just a half-length in a game runner up finish. He owns a slid pace profile throughout and looks like a legit favorite in this spot. He is out of a stakes placed Discreet Cat mare that has dropped two other foals to race both winners, top earner stakes winner Out of Orbit ($319,328). 


Race 6 Alw $50,000s

  • #1 Jake Rocks   3-1
  • #6 Somebody   9-2
  • #5 Montauk Daddy   8-5
  • #4 Much Trouble   4-1

Analysis: Jack Rocks stalked the early pace, came with a five wide run and finished evenly in a third-place finish last out at this level. He caught a racing strip that was playing to inside speed that day. He has had a lot of chances to beat winners and coming up short but catches a field here he looks capable of handling.

Somebody is coming off a sharp win versus $25,000 non-winners of three last out going seven furlongs here off a similar two-month break. The third-place finisher Microscope came back to beat state bred Alw-1 foes in his next outing on Jan. 3. The Bond trainee has done much of his best running over the main track here, landing in the exacta in 5 of 9 trips. He owns a solid pace profile throughout with the top late pace numbers. 


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: #1 Simbasalltrouble   15-1
  • R2: #3 Classy Papa   8-1
  • R7: #3 Rejected Again   8-1 

Good luck today!

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