Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:51 AM

Saturday's Picks from Aqueduct and Fair Grounds

It’s March Madness at Fair Grounds on Saturday afternoon with eight stakes including the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2).

The race serves as a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race with 100-40-20-10 points up for grabs toward entry into this year’s Run for the Roses which is now just six weeks away. I know it seems like the Kentucky Derby was just run. It’s been six months, time for another one!

There are 14 races at Fair Grounds today and I came up with six plays, four stakes making up the Pick 4 and a couple of good maiden races. They are included in today’s Best Plays Report.

At Aqueduct the feature is the $100,000 Cicada for three-year-old fillies. The race will go off early in the card, the third race of nine and it drew a compact field of five.

The 6-5 morning line favorite is the Tom Amoss trained Save, who ships in from Fair Grounds. Amoss rarely ships to New York and this filly is perfect in her two career starts. The 6-5 morning line sure seems light however.

I landed on Salt Plage, the 8-5 second choice. The filly is coming off a third-place finish in the Wide Country at Laurel Park in her last outing, but with just five going the race is likely a pass except for the early Pick 4 and Pick 5.

The NBC Sports Network will televise the Louisiana Derby this afternoon during a one hour telecast that gets underway at 6:00 ET. 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 11 strongest plays from Aqueduct and Fair Grounds.

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 $40,000

  • #4 King Moonracer 9-2
  • #1 Got the Gold 5-2
  • #5 Purple Hearted 8-5
  • #2 Jade's Dream 7-2

Analysis: King Moonracer was sent off at 3-1 in a field of six when he made his debut going seven furlongs here at the maiden special weight level. The colt tracked the early pace and faded to finish a well beaten sixth. He returns with blinkers and lasix along with the class drop. The Weaver barn is 26% winners with second out maidens. The colt is out of a Belong to Me mare that has dropped two other foals to race, both winners. McCarthy picks up the call and this guy should show more here and is bred to handle the stretch out to a mile. The trainer is 32% winners (with a +ROI) dropping runners from maiden special to maiden claiming.

Got the Gold stalked the early pace and weakened to finish sixth in his debut which came in the slop. He was sent off at 9-1 in a field of eight for the Rice barn that has better numbers with second outers than with firsters. The colt drops in for a tag here and the trainer is 38% winners (with a +ROI) dropping runners from maiden special to maiden claiming. The colt is by Goldencents out of a Quality Road mare her first foal to race. He should show more here with a race under his belt and the weaker spot.


Race 6 Alw $72,000N1X

  • #5 Quickflash 2-1
  • #4 Financialstability 4-1
  • #3 Moonachie 9-5
  • #1 Leap to Glory 3-1

Analysis: Quickflash makes his first start since last October where the gelding tracked the early pace and had no punch left late in a fourth-place finish last out at this level at Belmont Park. After graduating in his third career start, he has come up short at this condition five times including landing in the money in his first four trips. Good works for his return for the Kimmel barn that is 12% winners with runners coming back off a 61–180-day layoff. The barn has been live at the meet, hitting at a 26% clip. He catches a soft spot for his return.

Financialstability was bumped coming out of the gate and away last. He came whit a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot, beaten a half-length for the top spot in his first go off the claim by the Potts barn. He was claimed two back for $25,000 out of a win versus non-winners of three in the slop. It appears likely he is going to see some pace in front of him here.


Race 14 The Louisiana Derby G2

  • #4 Proxy 7-2
  • #6 Mandaloun 8-5
  • #5 Hot Rod Charlie 3-1
  • #7 Midnight Bourbon 5-1

Analysis: Proxy is one of six in here that exit the Risen Star (G2). The Stidham trainee was bumped coming out of the gate, tracked the early pace, was three wide around the far turn, came five wide into the stretch and finished up well while drifting out, beaten 1 ¼ length by Mandaloun. Two back the colt chased Midnight Bourbon who was able to take the field gate to wire to win the Lecomte (G3). The colt has not been off cleanly in his last three starts and the addition of blinkers could help that and assist in him staying a straighter course in the stretch. He looks capable of turning the tables and can handle the extra ground. He is by Tapit out of the stakes winner Panty Raid ($1 million) who was a Grade 1 winner on turf at 1 ¼ miles.

The beaten chalk in the Lecomte where he had to settle for third, Mandaloun added blinkers last out and turned the tables on Proxy and Midnight Bourbon winning the Risen Star with a career top speed fig. It was one of the most impressive outings we have seen on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. The colt has worked sharply since his last outing with three works over the main track here. This guy also should not have an issue with the added ground. He is by Into Mischief out of the stakes winner Brooch who was a Group 2 winner in Ireland. He draws a better post today and should get a similar tracking trip. The main knock is going to be the light price.

Hot Rod Charlie is the lone runner in this race that did not make his last start over the main track here. The colt races under the name of assistant trainer Leandro Mora as Doug O’Neill was slapped with a 10-day suspension due to a drug positive from last October. The colt was a solid second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) last fall at 94-1. He showed that effort was not a fluke with a game third in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) at Santa Anita, beaten a neck and a nose. The winner Medina Spirit came back to run second in the San Felipe (G2) and the fourth-place finisher Spielberg came back to runs second in the Southwest (G2) at Oaklawn Park. The locals seem to have an edge in this race over the years, but this guy looks as if he still may have some upside and has the look of a colt that may appreciate the long stretch here.


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 wager. 


  • R4: #3 Teetotaler 12-1
  • R5: #5 Mr Gazzo 8-1
  • R5: #2 Ballydooley 10-1
  • R8: #9 Pategory One 15-1

Good luck today!

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