Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:51 AM
Sunday's Picks from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park
When it comes to the Rebel (G2) at Oaklawn Park it is wise to just go all Baffert. The Hall of Fame trainer won the race for a record eighth time with Concert Tour.
The colt battled early with his main rival Caddo River but then put that foe away and went on to win by 4 ¼ lengths as my top pick, returning $5.40.
Baffert’s other starter Hozier, making his stakes debut, came up the inside and rallied for the runner up spot at 18-1, completing a $2 exacta that paid a hefty $66.80.
Concert Tour had two starts under his belt, a maiden score at six furlongs and a win in the seven-furlong San Vicente (G2). He showed two turns was no problem and has the look of a colt that will handle more ground. The colt is by Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense out of a Tapit mare.
It is now seven weeks until the Kentucky Derby, and Baffert will have to decide whether to give the colt one more prep, which likely would come in the Arkansas Derby (G1) on April 10 or the Santa Anita Derby which is on April 3.
The Rebel was the most impressive Derby prep I have seen so far this spring, but we have a good one coming up next Saturday, the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds.
Entries have already been drawn and a field of eight will head to the post. Mandaloun was installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite. The colt wo the Risen Star (G2) in his last start over the Fair Grounds main track.
His main rivals will be Proxy (7-2) who was second in both the Risen Star and Lecomte (G3) and Hot Rod Charlie (3-1) who was third beaten a neck and a nose in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita in his first start this year. The colt ran second in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).
I will have more on the race and my selections and analysis next week. There are four graded stakes on the 14-race card next Saturday at Fair Grounds. With entries already out I can get a head start on handicapping the card.
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 Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.
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Here is the opener from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQUEDUCT RACE 1 ANALYSIS (1:20 P.M. ET)
Race 1 Md $40,000
- #4 American Gentleman 3-1
- #6 Repo Rocks 1-1
- #3 Maine 5-2
- #5 High Press 10-1
Analysis: American Gentleman dropped in for a tag for the first time last out, dueling for the early lead and finishing gamely in a runner up finish, beaten a half-length. He was down along the 2-34 paths most of the trip on a day the outer paths were the place to be. He was cutting back from a route on turf two back which was off a 2 1/2-month break. Beaten double digit lengths in each of his first four starts, the class drop woke this guy up and he catches a pretty soft looking spot here.
Repo Rocks drops in for a tag for the first time here for the Mott barn that is 26% winners with runners dropping from maiden special weight to maiden claiming. Last out he tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth. He has worked sharply since his last outing and owns a solid pace profile throughout. He is going to be tough on the class drop for Mott but his price is going to be on the short side.
GULFSTREAM PARK RACE 6 ANALYSIS (3:41 P.M. ET)
Race 6 Md Sp Wt
- #6 Iced Latte 7-2
- #7 Zuri 4-1
- #2 Viva La Red 8-1
- #8 Surrealist 9-2
Analysis: Iced Latte was sent off as the 2-1 betting favorite when making her debut in a 11-horse field here last month and was not a threat in a ninth-place finish. She was bumped coming out of the gate and never got untracked. She has put in three works since and is willing to give her another chance here. Pletcher is 23% winners with second out maidens. She is by Pioneerof the Nile out of the stakes winner Malibu Prayer ($618,026), this her first foal to race. I like the switch to Saez.
Zuri debuts for the Mott barn that has been very live at the meet, hitting at a 28% clip overall and is 4 for 13 (with a +ROI) with first timers here. This gal was a $1 million purchase, by Union Rags out of a Bernardini mare that has dropped four foals to race, all winners and three are stakes winners, top earner Point of Honor ($724,040). A solid looking work tab over at Payson for her debut here. She looks ready to go and is bred to handle starting off going a mile.
AQUEDUCT RACE 8 ANALYSIS (4:55 P.M. ET)
Race 8 The Damon Runyon
- #5 Excellent Timing 5-2
- #3 Perfect Munnings 4-1
- #1 A Longlongtimeago 9-2
- #9 It's a Gamble 15-1
Analysis: Excellent Timing was a good looking maiden winner in his second career start, taking the field gate tow ire and drawing off to win by 7 1/4 lengths. He caught the attention of high profile owners Dubb, Madaket and Kumin who purchased him privately and sent him to Florida with Chad Brown. The colt worked sharply and put in one quick drill since returning to New York. Just one of the five that exited his last race has come back to win, Fool Moon Fever running second, second and third behind breaking his maiden last out by 17+ lengths. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and should move forward as he returns off a three-month break, giving him some time to mature. The barn is 28% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61–180-day layoff. With the scratch of Eagle Orb he figures to be lighter than his 5-2 morning line.
Perfect Munnings cuts back to seven furlongs after stalking the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish in the state bred Gander, the winner drawing away to win by 11 3/4 lengths. He broke his maiden on turf going six furlongs and then won the state bred Rego Park last out in his first go on the main track. Blinkers are added here and he picks up Carmouche who has had plenty of success since picking up mounts from Pletcher, hitting at a 35% clip (with a +ROI).
A Longlongtimeago tracked the early pace and came with a good late rally to break his maiden in his debut, sent off at 9-2 in a field of 10 here over a wet track. The third-place finisher Reggae Music Man came back to graduate in his next outing on Feb. 13 by 6 1/2 lengths and four others exited the race to run second or third in their next starts. He was away last, tracked the early pace, had to wait for some room on the far turn and edged clear late in a professional outing. He looks capable of moving forward off that effort for a capable outfit.
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 High Price 10-1
- R4: #5 Happy Medium 10-1
- R7: #8 Danebury 8-1
- R8: #9 It’s a Gamble 15-1
Good luck today!