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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:51 PM

Saturday's Picks from Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs

We have one of the biggest days in horse racing so far in 2021 this afternoon with three key Road to the Kentucky Derby points races and there are a total of 11 graded stakes on tap.

The $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) is one of three Derby preps that will offer up 50-20-10-5 points toward entry into this spring’s Kentucky Derby. A field of 12 will line up.

Candy Man Rocket is coming off a victory in the Sam F. Davis (G3) over the Tampa main track. The Davis has produced four of the last 10 winners of the race.

There is some rain in the forecast for the Tampa area which may not have a huge impact on the race, but it could on the supporting stakes on the card, three of which are on the turf.

At Aqueduct we have four stakes on the card including the $300,000 Gotham (G3) which drew a field of eight Derby hopefuls.

Highly Motivated is the 8-5 morning line favorite. The Chad Brown trainee makes his three-year-old debut, last seen winning the Nyquist at Keeneland going 6 ½ furlongs last November.

We also head out to Santa Anita where Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has two of his top Derby contenders in action in the $300,000 San Felipe (G2). Life Is Good is the 8-5 morning line favorite and his stablemate Medina Spirit is the 7-2 second choice in the field of seven.

Also on the card at Santa Anita are the $400,000 Frank E. Kilroe (G1) and the $400,000 Santa Anita Handicap (G1).

“America’s Day at the Races” will be on FS2 from 5:00 to 6:00 ET covering the Road to the Kentucky Derby point races. 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.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 13 strongest plays from Aqueduct, Tampa Bay Downs and Santa Anita.

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

  • #2 Stormi Cat Lady 3-1
  • #3 Destinationwnrscir 1-1
  • #4 Epona's Dream 5-2
  • #5 Duckphat 12-1

Analysis: Stormi Cat Lady stalked the early pace while saving ground and finished up well in a runner up finish last out against state bred $40,000 foes. She steps back up in class here but was a close up third three back at this level, beaten just 3/4 of a length. She gets a jock upgrade from the bug to Cancel and there is no early speed in here and this gal looks capable of being on or near the lead. She is the first foal to race out of the stakes winner Storied Lady ($363,192).

Destinationwnrscir came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out in her third career start. She earned the top last out speed fig. She was third in her debut sprinting and then fourth in her first trip at a mile. She looks as if she still has some upside for the Baker barn and catches a slow group. The main knock is her price is likely going to be on the light side. She is out of the stakes winner Stormy's Smile ($73,971) who has dropped three other runners, all winners, top earner stakes winner Verdant Pastures ($238,536), winner of the 2017 state bred Empire Distaff.


Race 9 The Hillsborough G2

  • #1 Magic Attitude 9-2
  • #2 Counterparty Risk 4-1
  • #11 Micheline 8-1
  • #8 Miss Teheran 6-1

Analysis: Magic Attitude makes her first start since a third in the QEII Cup (G1) at Keeneland last October over good ground, beaten 1 1/4 lengths as the beaten favorite. She won the Belmont Oaks (G1) two back in her U.S. debut. Overseas this gal won a Group 3 and was second in the Group 1 Saint Alary behind Tawkeel who won the Prix de la Nonette (G2) in her next start. The Delacour barn is 20% winners with runners coming back off a 61–180-day layoff. She has already shown she can run well fresh and over ground less than firm.

Counterparty Risk tracked the early pace, made a good middle move to take over the lead coming up the inside and went on to win the Endeavour (G3) by a length in a sharp effort at 4-5. She was beaten just a neck two back in the Lady Shamrock at Santa Anita going a mile in her first start against winners. The Brown trainee looks like a good fit in this spot and the trainer has been sending out live runners here, hitting at a 35% clip.


Race 9 The Gotham G3

  • #3 Highly Motivated 8-5
  • #4 Wipe the Slate 6-1
  • #7 Freedom Fighter 5-2
  • #6 Capo Kane 5-1

Analysis: Highly Motivated makes his three-year-old debut here, his first outing since an impressive victory in the Nyquist last November at Keeneland going 6 ½ furlongs. The colt tracked the early pace and finished strongly to draw away to win by 4 ¼ lengths earning a solid figure. Three he beat that day came back to win next out including the runner up Quick Tempo who won the Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds and the fifth-place finisher Sir Wellington who won the Louisiana Juvenile. Fourth place finisher Awesome Gerry came back to run second and third in stakes company and the third-place finisher Roderick was a big winner versus non-conditioned allowance foes on Nov. 29 at Churchill Downs. The $240,000 Keeneland purchase should only get better with more ground. He is by Into Mischief out of the stakes winner Strong Incentive ($123,568). The barn is 28% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61–180-day break. The colt should get a good trip sitting off what should be a sharp early pace.

Wipe the Slate was not away cleanly last out in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) in his stakes debut. He chased a sharp early pace and faded to finish a well beaten sixth. O’Neill takes the blinkers off and it looks as if a one turn mile here may suit him. He broke his maiden two back going seven furlongs in his second career start. The colt is by Nyquist out of a stakes placed Zensational mare. Carmouche picks up the call and this guy figures to bounce back with a better effort and may end up a fair price.

Freedom Fighter set the early fractions and could not hold off his stablemate Concert Tour last out in a runner up finish in the seven-furlong San Vicente (G2) at Santa Anita. It was his first start off a six-month break, his maiden breaker coming at Del Mar in his debut last August. The colt has worked sharply since his last effort and looks like a good fit here. The colt is by Violence out of the stakes winner Canadian Ballet ($619,802) who was best sprinting on turf. This guy is likely not a Derby candidate, but a mile should be within his scope.


Race 8 The San Carlos G2

  • #9 Tigre Di Slugo 5-2
  • #6 Brickyard Ride 3-1
  • #1 Storm the Court 5-1
  • #2 Extra Hope 4-

Analysis: Tigre Di Slugo may be able to turn the tables on our second choice here after a runner up finish in the Cal Cup Sprint. The gelding was sent off as the 2-1 favorite, coming with a good move but having to check in traffic on the far turn while down toward the inside and finished strongly cone clear, beaten 3 1/4 lengths. The third-place finisher Fashionably Fast came back to win the state bred Tiznow in his next ting on Feb. 28. The extra furlong here suits him.

Brickyard Ride took the field gate to wire to win the Cal Cup Sprint. Now he needs to go an extra furlong here. He owns a good edge in early and mid pace numbers but Eurton noted the plan is to send Storm the Court who is breaking from the rail, so he could end up facing more pressure than he did last out. He has won 4 of his 5 starts over the main track here and the 3-1 morning line looks fair but he may end up getting a bit too much attention on the tote.


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 Duckphat 12-1
  • R3: #1 Corporate Raider 10-1
  • R6: #6 Make Mischief 8-1
  • R8: #1 Gone Glimmering 8-1
  • R10: #1 Trappeze Artist 8-1
  • R10: #8 Blues City 8-1

Good luck today!

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