Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:51 AM

Friday's Picks from Aqueduct

We had two Road to the Kentucky Derby points races on tap this weekend, but now just one as Oaklawn Park cancelled racing over President’s Day weekend due to a winter storm that is heading to Hot Springs.

The $750,000 Southwest (G2) will now be run on Saturday Feb. 20. That leaves us with Saturday’s $400,000 Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds, which is the first Derby prep offering up 50 points to the winner, essentially making it a “win and you’re in” for the Run for the Roses.

A field of 13 was entered but Keepmeinmind, who was 3-1 on the morning line will stick to his home base at Oaklawn Park and likely run in the Southwest. In addition, the Tom Amoss trained Defeater is cross entered in the eighth race on Saturday, a first level optional claimer, so it looks as if we will have a field of 11.

The Risen Star has had a recent impact on the Triple Crown. Among its alumni include Country House, the Kentucky Derby winner of 2019 and War of Will who won the 2019 Preakness Stakes.

The betting favorite figures to be the Brad Cox trained Mandaloun, who was the beaten chalk in the Lecomte (G3) last out where he checked in third. The winner of that race was Midnight Bourbon (6-1), who was able to set moderate fractions and took the field gate to wire. The colt may not have things so easy on Saturday.

The Risen Star is one of six stakes on the card. The co-feature is the $300,000 Rachel Alexandra (G2), which is a Road to the Kentucky Oaks points race.

Nine were entered but eight will start. Charlie’s Penny (9-2) came up injured on Wednesday and will be a scratch.

I will have the best of the stakes action from Fair Grounds in Saturday’s Best Plays Report along with my strongest plays from Aqueduct.

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 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

  • #3 Charlotte Webley   6-1
  • #6 Miss Charisma   9-5
  • #1 Wished and Dreams   8-5
  • #2 Hey It's Tati   4-1

Analysis: Charlotte Webley set the early fractions and could not hold off the winner in the stretch in a runner up finish last out against $16,000 non-winners of two. She was down along the inside on a day the outer paths were best. She did bounce back after getting beaten double digit lengths in her two previous outings. Four back at this level she was a game second, beaten a half-length. She steps back up to $25,000 but these are still non-winners of two and there is not much early speed or talent in here. Decent value if she goes off near her 6-1 morning line.

Miss Charisma drops into an easier spot here after fading badly in a ninth-place finish against $50,000 starter allowance foes last out. Two back she prompted the early pace form the outside and weakened to fish third against Alw-1 company at Laurel Park. She was beaten just a head three back at Finger Lakes versus Alw-2L foes. She faces an easier group and while she was awful last out if she runs back to her efforts two and three back that would make her a major threat here. Cancel is coming off a good weekend and picks up the call for Englehart. 


Race 7 Alw $82,000N1X

  • #3 Glass Ceiling   5-2
  • #8 Dovey Lovey   6-1
  • #1 She's a Black Belt   10-1
  • #2 Forever Changed   7-2

Analysis: Glass Ceiling pressed the early pace in the slop and did not have enough punch left late in a third-place finish last out at this level. The winner Letmetakethiscall came back to beat Alw-2 optional claimers in her next outing on Jan. 18. She was claimed by the Kantarmaci barn for $32,000 three back out of a runner up finish. She was beaten just a head two back in her first start for the barn at this level. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and should get a good tracking trip sitting just off what should be a lively pace.

Dovey Lovey caught a muddy track last out where she was last early in the field of six and made a mild late rally to finish third. She has been on off tracks in each of her last four starts including a fourth two back in the same race our top pick exits. She has been better over a fast track, three of those coming over the main track here. She breaks from the outside and is going to get a good pace set up here in this spot. Decent value if she goes off near her 6-1 morning line. 


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. 


  • R2: #4 Madam Deputy   12-1
  • R6: #2 Blood Moon   10-1
  • R7: #1 She’s a Black Belt   10-1
  • R8: #2 Orphan Hallie   8-1

Good luck today!

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