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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:51 PM

Saturday's Picks from Aqueduct and Laurel Park

I failed handicapping the forecast for Aqueduct on Friday, figuring they might cancel and racing went on as usual. But our trip out to Fair Grounds and Gulfstream Park turned out profitable.

My top pick in the opener at Gulfstream Park was he Ain’t No Saint who got a tough trip and could not catch my third choice Optimistic Valor. Boxing the top three returned a $70.40 exacta. Yeah, I didn’t box it myself.

We fared better the remainder of the day, knocking down exactas that paid $9.20 and $28.60 at Gulfstream Park in the other three races, and of the four races at Fair Grounds we picked up exactas that paid $14.80, $38.20 and $38.60.

We have a long day on Saturday with the $20 million Saudi Cup the last of eight races at King Abdulaziz Racecourse. FS1 will be televising the action.

I have my full card at Aqueduct and for a Saturday it is not the best of wagering cards. We have a few short fields including jut five in the opener. The feature is the $100,000 Maddie May and it did draw a competitive field of nine three-year-old fillies.

And we head out to Laurel Park for the Winter Sprintfest. The co-features are the $250,000 Barbara Fritchie (G3) and the $250,000 General Gorge (G3). I have five of the stakes in today’s Best Plays Report. “America’s Day at the Races” will be televised on FS1 from 8:30am to 1:00 ET, and then on FS2 from 1:00 to 5:30. There will be coverage of the Saudi Cup and the action from Aqueduct and Laurel Park. You can also 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.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Laurel Park as well as the $20 million Saudi Cup.

To purchase my Aqueduct and Best Plays Reports 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

  • #1 B C Glory Days   4-5
  • #3 What's My Category   6-1
  • #4 Vodka Lemonade   2-1
  • #2 Judge Bern   4-1

Analysis: B C Glory days is going to be tough here only facing four foes in his second career start. In his debut he set the early fractions and battled on gamely in a close up third, beaten a half-length for the top spot in the mud going a mile. The racing strip was playing to horse in the outer paths that day. The $170,000 Ocala purchase has worked sharply since his debut and should move forward with a race under his belt. The Terranova barn is 14% winners with second out maidens. A clean break from the rail and this guy will be tough to catch.

What's My Category was second last out for the fourth start in a row, the beaten favorite in each of his last three starts. He was claimed out of his last start by the Grusmark barn that steps him back up to face maiden special weight foes. dating back three years the barn is 1 for 15 first off the claim. The gelding earned a solid number two back in a runner up finish after setting the early fractions. He does not look as quick early as our top pick.  


Race 7 The Barbara Fritchie G3

  • #1 Sharp Starr   3-1
  • #8 Hello Beautiful   8-5
  • #6 Hibiscus Punch   12-1
  • #3 Dontletsweetfoolya   7-2

Analysis: Shug Sharp Starr invades from New York for the DePaz barn. Last out she prompted the early pace while out in the five or six path in the mud, battled on gamely while in between foes in the stretch and cold not go with the winner late in a runner up finish in the state bred La Verdad. She was three lengths clear of the third-place finisher. Two back in the slop she pressed the early pace and finished gamely to win the Go for Wand (G3) going a one turn mile. After three tries going nine furlongs last fall, she bounced back when cutting back to a one turn mile destroying state bred Alw-1 foes by 15 ¾ lengths and earning a 101 Beyer. Seven furlongs suits her in this spot, and she should get a good tracking trip sitting just off what likely is going to be a sharp pace.

Hello Beautiful has raced over the main track here seven times in her career and has won each outing. Last out she took the field gate to wire to win the What a Summer over a wet track at six furlongs. Her two career top efforts came here two and three back at today’s seven-furlong distance. She won the Safely Kept two back and the Maryland Million Distaff ‘Cap three back. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers, but she catches a field made up of a couple of foes that can make things difficult for her in the early going. Russell has been very live at the meet hitting at a 28% clip. This filly looks very tough but is likely going to be south of her 8-5 morning line.

Hibiscus Punch came off the bench while landing with the Nixon barn and has looked better with each outing. She was a good second in the Willa On the Move two back and then last out was a sharp winner versus Alw-1 company. The mare looks as if she will appreciate an extra furlong and is going to get a strong early pace to run at. Another move forward puts her in the mix here at a generous price and the KMan sticks with this filly. 


Race 8 The Maddie May

  • #2 Frost Me   9-2
  • #1 Vacay   7-2
  • #5 Shanes Pretty Lady   8-1
  • #7 Secret Love   6-1

Analysis: Frost Me is one of two in here sent out by the Kimmel barn. Last out this filly prompted the early pace, came five wide to take over the lead and drew clear late to a smart looking win versus state bred Alw-1 optional claimers. She broke her maiden in her debut and then pressed the early pace and could not go with the winner in the stretch in a runner up finish in the state bred Maid of the Mist in her first start against winners. The winner was Laobanonaprayer who came back to win a New York Stallion Series race by eight lengths in her next start and then was second in the state bred Franklin Square. Five of the nine in her are stretching out from sprints while this gal has routed in all three of her trips. She should get a good tracking trip sitting just off the pace and the 9-2 morning line looks fair enough.

Vacay caught a muddy track last out in the state bred Franklin Square. She tracked the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish, beaten 1 3/4 lengths. Two back she won the state bred Key Cents in a good looking outing in her first start against winners. The runner up in that race was Rossa Velove who returned to beat state bred Alw-1 optional claimers and then was fourth in the Franklin Square. Pletcher is 24% winners moving runners from sprint to route. She looks as if she will be able to handle the stretch out to a one turn mile. 


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. 


  • R7: #1 Quiettude   8-1
  • R8: #5 Shanes Pretty Lady   8-1 

Good luck today!

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