Our Saturday Spot Plays were largely terrible or overbet or both, so let’s try to do better today. We have just two faces to focus on, but they are both very good and competitive fields – one at Gulfstream and one at Aqueduct.
Gulfstream 10th – 3yo fillies, MSW, 8.5 furlongs, turf – #9 Moonlit Cove (6-1) is a horse that has encountered trouble in each of her first two starts. The well-bred (Giant’s Causeway out of Grade-1 winner Star Billing) had a very wide trip in her debut behind a slow pace. Then last time, she was in good position only to get stymied and shuffled back at the top of the lane and ultimately forced inside where she may have been a tad reluctant to go on through. The runner-up in that race is back today, #3 Asticou Trail (4-1) who can certainly win but Moonlit Cove will be a better price and has run two better-than-it-looks races. The longshot use for us is #2 Elude (15-1). She was making her turf debut on January 7th and was totally stuck in behind horses and never got a chance to run at all through the lane for trainer Tom Albetrani. #1 Talaagy (7-2) was also in that race with Elude and had a clean wide run to just miss. She can also win, but both Moonlit Cove and Elude will be very good prices worth including.
Play – Moonlit Cove to win and box in the exacta with Elude, Asticou Trail, and Talaagy.
Aqueduct 9th – Franklin Square Stakes – 3yo NY-bred fillies, 6 furlongs, dirt – #9 Maple Mo (2-1) is the horse to beat and ran well to break her maiden last time for trainer Linda Rice (who won four races between Aqueduct and Laurel yesterday). But there are a few potential other speed horses including #2 Bluegrass Flag (3-1), who was aided by a gold rail last time. We’ll take a shot with #10 Wilburnmoney (12-1). She’ll have to run faster, but her last two are better than they look. Two back, off a three-month layoff, she was compromised by a slow pace that was wired. Then last time in an allowance race, she was waiting to get to the outside late on the turn and into the top of the lane, and when she did get clear, came with a decent rally. That might have been a weaker field, but Wilburnmoney might get some pace to attack here at a big price. #7 Overnegotiate (5-1) turns back after pressing a scalding pace that fell apart going long and has two sprint races that are good enough.
Play – Wilburnmoney to win and box in the exacta with Maple Mo and Overnegotiate.