I thought Caddo River had a good chance of turning the tables on the undefeated Concert Tour in yesterday’s $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) and I was right. I just did not count on Super Stock to run so big.
Caddo River got the jump on Concert Tour and it looked as if it would develop into a match race as most expected. They turned for home one-two but making a move was jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. aboard Super Stock.
The Steve Asmussen trainee switched to the outside and ran down the top pair, with Caddo River holding on to the runner up spot while Concert Tour settling for third.
My third choice Super Stock paid a generous $26.40 and the $2 exacta with my top pick paid $87.20, not bad considering the short six horse field.
Super Stock stamped his ticket to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby, while Concert Tour, who some were saying might be the betting favorite is now looking as if he wants no part of 1 ¼ miles.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby is over and we now have the better part of three weeks to solve the puzzle that will be the 20-horse field in the first jewel of the Triple Crown.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Aqueduct and Keeneland.
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 opener 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
#6 After the Party 5-2
#3 As it Should Be 12-1
#5 Always Carina 8-5
#4 Before You 3-1
Analysis: After the Party debuts for the Englehart barn hat is 17% winners with first time starters. This gal was a $750,000 Keeneland purchase, by Into Mischief out of the stakes winner Defy Gravity ($171,240). The mare has dropped two foals to race, debut winner Meade ($212,176) and Green Destiny ($95,560) who won the Ellis Park Debutante in her third career start. Solid works on the morning tab and she looks ready to go here in her debut.
As it Should Be was dismissed at 34-1 when she made her debut at Oaklawn Park. She was of poorly, had to check off heels of a foe on the far turn, then got stuck in behind foes with nowhere to go and weakened to finish seventh. Three have come out of that race to graduate in their next starts. A clean trip and she should show major improvement and is going to be a decent price in this spot. The Chapman barn is 21% winners with second out maidens.
AQUEDUCT RACE 7 ANALYSIS (4:34 P.M. ET)
Race 7 Clm $16,000N2L
#9 Spitball 8-1
#1 Varangian 12-1
#11 The Big S 2-1
#3 Macho Boy 5-1
Analysis: Spitball cuts back to a sprint after prompting the early pace and fading to finish a well beaten seventh against $25,000 non-winners of two. He drops in for $16,000 while cutting back to a sprint here for the Rice barn that claimed this guy three back for $25,000. Two back over a wet track he tracked the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish at seven furlongs. He broke his maiden at 5 1/2 and was beaten just a neck here in the mud last November at 6 1/2 furlongs. The cut back suits this guy. Rice is 16% winners moving runners from route to sprint.
Varangian caught a sloppy track last out where the gelding tracked the early pace and could not make up any ground late in a fourth-place finish at this level. He caught a racing strip that was kind to inside speed that day. It was his first go off an eight-month layoff for the Bond barn. The winner Royal Suspect came back to beat $25,000 non-winners of three in his next start on March 26 here. The Bond barn has won with 3 of his last 8 starters (with a +ROI) with runners making their second start off a +180-day layoff. He should be tighter second off the bench and is going to be a generous price in this spot.
KEENELAND RACE 8 ANALYSIS (3:51 P.M. ET)
Race 6 Md $30,000
#3 Bourre' Trick 5-2
#7 Breezy Money 8-1
#6 Speight and Malice 7-2
#8 Screenplay 5-1
Analysis: Bourre' Trick makes his first start on conventional dirt here for the Ward barn that is off to a strong start at the meeting, winning with 6 of his first 16 starters. Last out the gelding set the early fractions on the Tapeta at Turfway Park and weakened to finish fourth. The cut back to a dirt sprint should suit this guy as will dropping in for a tag for the first time. The trainer is 32% winners dropping runners from maiden special to maiden claiming. He is out of a Reprized mare that has dropped five other foals to race with three winners, top earner stakes winner Bears'way ($187,887) and G1 placed Conquest Eclipse ($175,046).
Breezy Money made his first three starts on wet tracks and last out cut back to 5 1/2 furlongs on grass. The colt broke a tad slow while bumping lightly with a foe then had to take up, bore out badly into the turn then checked sharply while getting out near the outside and weakened to finish fifth. The runner up and eighth place finisher in that race were next out winners. A good breeze over the main track here on April 4 and he should end up a fair price in this spot.
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win wager.
R1: #3 As It Should Be 12-1
R3: #7 Mac’s Revolution 8-1
R4: #1 Kilkea 15-1
R5: #1 Bella Principessa 8-1
R7: #9 Spitball 8-1
R7: #1 Varrangian 12-1
R9: #7 Wish for Magic 12-1
Good luck today!