Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:51 AM

Saturday's Picks from Aqueduct and Oaklawn Park

In addition to Aqueduct we will take a trip out to Hot Springs where Oaklawn Park is putting on a good show that includes five stakes highlighted by a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race.

The $1 million Rebel (G2) drew a field of eight three-year-olds with 50-20-10-5 Derby points up for grabs. The race also serves as a prep for the Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 10.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has dominated the Rebel, winning it a record seven times including last year with Nadal. He is well represented this year with Concert Tour and Hozier.

Concert Tour is the 2-1 second choice on the morning line. The colt makes his first start going two turns after winning the seven-furlong San Vicente (G2) in his last outing.

Baffert will also send out Hozier (12-1) who was a good looking maiden winner in his second career start on Feb. 15 at Santa Anita.

The Brad Cox trained Caddo River is the 8-5 morning line favorite. The colt won the Smarty Jones in his last outing over the Oaklawn Park main track on Jan. 22.

The feature at Aqueduct this afternoon is the $100,000 Correction for fillies and mares going six furlongs on the main track.

Richard Mandella ships in Amuse from the west coast. The trainer has not started a horse in New York in nearly two decades. The mare was fifth in the Santa Monica (G2) at Santa Anita in her last outing. The Correction will be her final career start before hitting the breeding shed.

“America’s Day at the Races” will be on FS1 from 2:00 to 3:00 ET and then FS2 picks up the coverage from 3:00 to 6:00. 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 10 strongest plays from Aqueduct and Oaklawn Park.

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Here is the opener from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start: 


Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #4 One Whirlwind Ride   7-2
  • #2 B C Glory Days   8-5
  • #7 Forty Two Ace   5-1
  • #8 Saint Selby   9-2

Analysis: One Whirlwind Ride caught a sloppy track last out where the gelding was last early and raced wide much of the trip in a fourth-place finish. This guy was forwardly placed in his two previous starts and looks quick enough to be on or very close to the lead early here. He adds lasix to the mix here and gets a jock upgrade to Pablo. The gelding is out of the stakes winner The Funky Express ($123,400) who has dropped five other foals to race with four winners.

B C Glory Days cuts back to a seven furlongs here for his third career start for the Terranova barn. This guy dueled for the early lead and battled on gamely in the stretch in a close up third in his debut at 5-1. He was sent off as the chalk last out where he was beaten just a neck. Both starts came in the mud and he is quick enough to handle the cut back to seven panels. The $170,000 Ocala purchase is by Brody's Cause out of an Any Given Saturday mare, her first foal to race. A logical threat here for a capable barn. 


Race 9 The Correction

  • #3 Amuse   8-5
  • #5 Jump for Joy   5-1
  • #6 Awesome Debate   7-2
  • #2 Sadie Lady   6-1

Analysis: Amuse ships in from the left coast for the Mandella barn and this mare is making her last career start before hitting the breeding shed. She was bumped coming out of the gate in the Santa Monica (G2) last out, raced last early and weakened in the stretch to finish fifth. Two back she made a mild late run to finish in the runner up spot in the Kalookan Queen off a 3 1/2-month break. She looks primed for a top effort third off the break here an picks up Carmouche who is off Sadie Lady to ride the likely favorite. She was second and third in a cope of G3 races last year earning numbers good enough to handle this group.

Jump for Joy took the field gate to wire in the mud last out to beat Alw-1 company and did it while down along a deep rail much of the trip. It was her fourth consecutive start over an off track. The eight-year-old mare earned a career top speed fig in her 32nd career outing. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and if she is ever going to win a stake this might be the spot. 


Race 10 The Hot Springs

  • #2 Flagstaff   9-2
  • #7 C Z Rocket   2-1
  • #6 Whitmore   8-5
  • #1 Boldor   5-1

Analysis: Flagstaff caught a sloppy track last out in the King Cotton where he was reserved at the back of the pack and made a mild late run to finish fourth as the 6-5 favorite. He was beaten 1 ½ lengths for the top spot. The outing was his first since getting beaten a head by C Z Rocket in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G2), the winner then running second in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). This guy won just one of his six starts last year but came out on the wrong ends of photos twice. He has posted two sharp works since his last outing and figures to be tighter in his second start off a four-month break. He picks up Rosario and should be closer to the pace here.

C Z Rocket was beaten 3 ¼ lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Stalking the early pace while four wide, he was brushed by a foe at the quarterpole and was no match for Whitmore late. Two have come out of the Sprint to win next out including the filly Frank’s Rockette who won the American Beauty here on Jan. 30. Two others came out of the Sprint to run second including third place finisher Firenze Fire who was the runner up in the Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream Park. Miller claimed this guy for $40,000 last April and he reeled off five straight wins before his runner up in the Sprint. He has been working steadily at San Luis Rey for his returns for Miller who is 18% winners with runners coming back off a 61–180-day layoff.

Whitmore pulled off the upset in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at 18-1 and now returns off a four-month break here for the Moquette barn that is 15% winners with runners coming back off a 61–180-day layoff. He did miss almost two weeks of training due to the weather last month but followed it up with two sharp works. He has won this race four years in a row and loves the main track here where he has nine wins and four seconds in 14 trips.  The eight-year-old got a perfect trip last out behind a sharp early pace and there really is not nearly as much early zip going in here. He could make it five, but his price is going to be very much on the short side. 


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: #7 Empress Luciana   10-1
  • R3: #5 Handle the Truth   15-1
  • R4: #3 Mac’s Revolution   15-1
  • R6: #4 Bar Fourteen   8-1
  • R7: #8 Posse Can Disco   8-1
  • R8: #6 Celtic Chaos   8-1
  • R8: #5 Twelfth Labour   10-1 

Good luck today!

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