Things went pretty well at Aqueduct on Saturday and I even had thoughts of sweeping the card, but after hitting the first six races with my top pick, the streak ended in the seventh race.
Sinful Dancer was my top pick in the seventh but she had to settle for the runner up spot, beaten three-quarters of a length. Hard Love won the eight race at $2.80 who I tried to beat, and my fourth choice Sassy Melissa took the nightcap.
Having the first five in a row did give us the early Pick 4 and Pick 5 which I thought actually came up a little light. The $1 early Pick 4 paid $468.50 and the $1 Pick 5 paid $786.50.
I missed on the three races in yesterday’s column in this space, so it was far from a perfect day.
We are right back in action for closing day at Aqueduct today. There are two stakes—the seventh is a $200,000 New York Stallion Series race and the eighth is the $100,000 Memories of Silver.
The spring Belmont Park meeting gets underway next Thursday, and I will have my sections and analysis daily throughout the meet.
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.
To purchase my Aqueduct and Best Plays Reports for Sunday click here.
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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
#7 Dr Ardito 8-5
#3 My Brother Neil 3-1
#5 Big Georges Kingdm 4-1
#4 Shinjuku 3-1
Analysis: Dr Ardito caught a sloppy track in his debut where he was sent off as the chalk in a seven horse field here going six furlong. He stalked the early pace and came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot. The winner went gate to wire over a racing strip that was playing to inside speed. The winner was Schokolade who missed by just a neck next out against state bred Alw-1 optional claimers in his next start. The third place finisher Our Man Mike came back to graduate in his next outing on April 2. The colt has plenty of pedigree to go longer, by Liam's Map out of an Indian Charlie mare that has dropped one winner. Brown is 23% winners with second out maidens.
My Brother Neil dueled for the early lead and could not go with the winner in a runner up finish over a wet track here at a mile in his third career start. The winner was a good third versus state bred Alw-1 foes and the third place finisher was a next out grad. He ran into repeat winner Excellent Timing his debut and caught off tracks in his last pair. A good breeze on April 10 as he returns off a 2 1/2-month break for the Toscano barn. He was a $100,000 purchase, the first foal to race out of a Giant Oak mare.
KEENELAND RACE 5 ANALYSIS (3:18 P.M. ET)
Race 5 Alw $50,000s
#5 My Candy Girl 9-2
#6 Camellia Gal 5-2
#3 Artistic Jeweler 6-1
#4 Hey Kitten 12-1
Analysis: My Candy Girl makes her first start off a 4 1/2-month break and lands with the Cox barn that is 27% winners with newcomers to the barn. This filly is coming off a game runner up finish against $35,000 non-winners of three last out at Aqueduct over good ground. She set the early fractions and could not hold off the winner late. She beat $25,000 starter optional claimers three back at Laurel Park. The Cox barn is 25% winners with runner coming back off a 61–180-day break. The filly catches a good spot here and the 9-2 morning line looks more than fair.
Camellia Gal was the beaten chalk last out at Gulfstream Park at this level. The filly stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish, beaten 1 3/4 lengths for the top spot. Maker claimed this gal for $20,000 three back out of a win and she was a game second at this level in her first trip for the barn behind repeat winner Valletta. She looks capable of better than her last.
AQUEDUCT RACE 7 ANALYSIS (4:34 P.M. ET)
Race 7 The NY Stallion Series
#6 Shesadirtydancer 6-1
#1 Laobanonaprayer 4-5
#5 Shaker Shack 3-1
#4 Laura's Bellamy 5-1
Analysis: Shesadirtydancer set the early fractions and could not hold off the top pair late in a third-place finish against $50,000 starter optional claimers last out in the mud. She caught an off track that was playing to outside stalkers and closers that day. The inner Betsy Blue came back to beat $50,000 starter allowance foes in her next start on Thursday. She graduated three back against state bred $40,000 maiden claimers on a fast track. The RRod trainee owns solid early and mid pace numbers and appears to have the best shot of beating the imposing chalk in here.
Laobanonaprayer is back with state breds after tracking the early pace and weakened to finish fourth last out in the Busher Invitational going a mile. The winner Search Results came back to win the Gazelle (G3) in her next outing on April 3. She was second two back int the state bred Franklin Square and three back in a New York Stallion Series race here at seven furlongs on a fast track she rolled to an eight-length win. The cut back to a spring here will suit this gal. The Vazquez barn is 20% winners moving runners from route to sprint. She is going to be tough but is going to be a puny price.
Shaker Shack was a good second last out behind repeat winner Betsy Blue while beating our to pick in here by two lengths. The Reynolds trainee adds blinkers here and looks headed in the right direction from wire as he makes his third start against winners and first outing versus stakes company. Ortiz picks up the call for Reynolds. This filly is out of a Disco Rico mare that has dropped three other winners and two are stakes winners, top earner Oak Bluffs ($745,006). With the hood added she figures to be right in the mix early.
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 Screamin’ By 8-1
R5: #4 On the Couch 8-1
R6: #6 Eloquent Speaker 8-1
R9: #4 Towering Gaze 12-1
Good luck today!