We start the week with an eight-race card on Thursday at Aqueduct, and while the early Pick 5 starts off with three six-horse fields, it looks as if we can beat a couple of favorites.
We have a 7-5 morning line favorite in each of the first three races on today’s card, but if we can beat a couple of them, we can set ourselves up with a decent Pick 5 payoff with eight horse fields in the final two legs of the sequence.
The Late Pick 5 starts with the fourth race so the two overlap. The Late Pick 5 has bigger fields but there are a couple of favorites that look solid including Glass Ceiling in the seventh race.
I will be saving plenty of my bankroll for this weekend as we have the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) as the headliner on a 14-race card at Gulfstream Park that includes 10 stakes. The race is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race and drew several top contenders for the Run for the Roses including Greatest Honour.
The Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway Park and the UAE Derby (G2) at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai are also Road to the Kentucky Derby points races with 100-40-20-10 points up for grabs.
The highlight on the Meydan card on Saturday is the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1) which drew a field of 14 led by the U.S. based Mystic Guide from the Michael Stidham barn. The colt is getting the early betting action overseas at 5-2. He won the Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 27 in his last outing.
I will have my selections and analysis for all of the big races on 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.
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Here is the opening from Aqueduct to get the day off to a good start:
AQUEDUCT RACE 1 ANALYSIS (1:20 P.M. ET)
Race 1 Md Sp Wt
#1 Alpha Babe 7-2
#3 Tekila 7-5
#6 Bravo Regina 2-1
#4 Dare to Promise 6-1
Analysis: Alpha Babe makes her first start since her debut last May at Gulfstream Park where she was eighth when sent off at 7-2 in a field of nine for the Magner barn. She lands with Lynch, a former assistant to Jeremiah Englehart and Ray Handal. Blinkers and lasix are added and she has been working sharply in the mornings for her return. It is tough to get a mile off the bench but she is bred to go long, by Malibu Moon out of a Tiznow mare, her first foal to race. She catches a good spot for her return here facing just five foes.
Tekila dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish fourth last out in her first trip at a mile in the mud. She returns with blinkers added for the Hennig barn. She ran well two back in a runner up finish going seven furlongs here over a fast track. The winner and third place finisher came out of that racer to win next out. The winner Hybrid Eclipse beat Alw-1 optional claimers by six lengths in her next outing at Laurel Park on Feb. 25. She is the logical one to beat here in the opener but is going to be a light price.
AQUEDUCT RACE 6 ANALYSIS (3:52 P.M. ET)
Race 6 OClm $50,000SAL
#7 Shaker Shack 5-2
#2 Betsy Blue 3-1
#4 Dramatic Twist 4-1
#1 Shesadirtydancer 6-1
Analysis: Shaker Shack caught a muddy track last out in her first start against winners. She set the early fractions and could not hold off the winner in a runner up finish over a tiring racing strip that was kind to outside stalkers and closers. She was 7 1/4 lengths clear of the third-place finisher. She graduated two back against state bred $40,000 foes in her first start off a six-month layoff. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and she should move forward off her last effort back on a fast main track that hopefully plays fairer.
Betsy Blue was a solid second in her debut against $40,000 state breds and then last out she rolled to a sharp win when dropping in for a $25,000 tag, drawing away to win by three lengths as the short priced favorite. She was claimed out of her maiden win by the Weaver barn that has not been hitting the claim box much lately. In the past three years the barn is 0 for 10 first off the claim. She steps outside of the state bred ranks here and looks as if she still has some upside.
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.
R3: #5 Gringotts 8-1
R4: #8 Lorenzen 12-1
R7: #4 Elegant Zip 8-1
Good luck today!