Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:51 AM

Thursday's Picks from Aqueduct

We are back in action at Aqueduct on Thursday afternoon and then we have three Road to the Kentucky Derby points races on tap over the next couple of days.

On Friday at Turfway Park a full field will go in the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial with 10-4-2-1 points up for grabs toward entry into the Kentucky Derby.

The race serves as a prep for the meet’s top race for three-year-olds, the cleverly named $250,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) on March 27. Six in the race are Triple Crown nominated including Gretzky the Great, who won the Summer (G1) at Woodbine last fall on the synthetic surface.

The Mark Casse trainee makes his first start since running sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last November at Keeneland.

On Saturday at Oaklawn Park the $750,000 Southwest (G3) will finally be contested after getting postponed twice due to weather.

The race marks the return of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Essential Quality. The colt was perfect in three starts last year for trainer Brad Cox.

The colt faces six foes including Jackie’s Warrior, who was an early betting favorite for the Kentucky Derby last year after winning the Hopeful (G1) and Champagne (G1). He was the beaten favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, checking in fourth at 4-5.

Also on Saturday is the $300,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The top five finishers of the Holy Bull (G2) are expected to return including the winner Greatest Honour.

There are nine stakes on Saturday at Gulfstream Park, and I will have selections and analysis for most of them in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.

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

  • #6 Heymackit'sjack   9-5
  • #2 Mr Fantasy   2-1
  • #1 Kikkerland   2-1
  • #3 Giramonte   12-1

Analysis: Heymackit'sjack drops in for a tag in his third career start here for the Kimmel barn that is having a good meet here, hitting at a 22% clip overall. The colt was fifth in his debut on turf at 15-1 with the top pair next out winners. The winner Perfect Munnings won the state bred Rego Park in her next outing. In her second career start our top pick caught a sloppy track here where she tracked the early pace and tired to finish sixth. Three have come out of the race to graduate next out. She adds lasix while catching a weak group here dropping in for a $40,000 tag. She is out of a Stormy Atlantic mare that has dropped one winner. She gets a jock upgrade to Carmouche.

Mr Fantasy showed speed in her debut, dueling for the early lead and weakening to finish fifth at 6-1 in a field of eight. She owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers. The Breen barn is 22% winner with second out maidens. If she gets clear she may prove tough to catch. She is out of a More Than Ready mare that has dropped one other foal to race, 3 for 13 Morgantown ($93,118). 


 Race 7 OClm $40,000N2X

  • #2 Double Shot   8-1
  • #3 South Africa   7-2
  • #1 Dark Money   5-2
  • #5 Seven Lillies   4-1

Analysis: Double Shot was last early and came with a good late rally to get up and beat state bred Alw-1 company last out in sharp effort. The runner up Bustin Timberlake came back to beat state bred Alw-1 foes in his next outing on Feb. 15. Two back in the mud this guy came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot against $25,000 non-winners of two. The Donk trainee earned a career top speed fig last out and this race appears to set up nicely for him as there are three in here with some early speed that should assure a solid pace to run at.

South Africa pressed the early pace and was no match for Seven Lillies in the stretch in a runner up finish as the beaten favorite last out. He was the beaten favorite two back as well in his first start at this condition. Carmouche sticks and he should get a good trip pressing the pace again. With just seven starts under his belt he looks as if he may have more upside than most of these. 


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. 

We may be compensated by the company links provided on this page. Read more