At the Gate - Thursday
September 27, 2012
By Mike Dempsey
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We started off the week yesterday with four winners on top on the nine race card, good for a +69% +ROI for the afternoon at Belmont Park.
Football fans got good news as the replacement refs are history now that the NFL and the referee's union came to an agreement late last night, with the regular refs slated to return to action for tonight's game in Baltimore.
That has to be a major relief to fans and especially sports bettors.
We are just five weeks away from the Breeders' Cup, and we have a huge day coming up on Saturday, with eleven Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" races on the slate.
Super Saturday at Belmont Park features five Grade 1 races along with one Grade 2, and at Santa Anita Park, home to this year's Breeders' Cup, there are five Grade 1 races.
I will have selections and analysis for all of the stakes in Saturday's Best Plays Report, which will be available on Friday afternoon.
The $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) is a key prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) and drew a deep field of older runners, with ten going to the post.
The Bill Mott trained Ron the Greek is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The five-year-old has won two of five starts this year with three runner up finishes, most recently running second in the Whitney Handicap (G1) at Saratoga.
Three others are coming out of the Whitney including the winner Fort Larned.
One of the more intriguing races on Saturday is the $400,000 Beldame Invitational (G1), which matches up last year's Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (G1) winner Royal Delta against It's Tricky, who was the runner up in last year's Ladies Classic.
The headline event at Santa Anita on Saturday is the $250,000 Awesome Again (G1) which drew nine including Game On Dude, Richard's Kid, and rail Trip.
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Here is today's third race (the opening two races are steeplechase events) from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 3 Alw $54,000N1X (2:00 ET)
3 Mr. Rodriguez 3-1
4 Agillion 9-5
2 Meet the Mets 2-1
1 Zekes Surprise 3-1
Analysis: Mr. Rodriguez stalked the early pace from the outside and did not have enough punch left late in a third place finish in the state bred David, which was his first start off a three month layoff. The colt broke his maiden in his debut two back over the main track here. The colt is in good hands with Mr. Rodriguez who is 20% winners with runners making their second start off a 45-180 day layoff.
Agillion was the beaten favorite last out in the state bred Aristie, making a good late rally, finished strongly but came up just a head shy of picking up the win. He broke his maiden two back in his debut in a good looking effort, drawing clear to win by 5 3/4 lengths. The third place finisher in the race was Carrymeaway, who came back to graduate in her next outing on Sept. 13.
WIN: #3 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 2,3,4
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 Md Sp Wt (4:40 ET)
1 Lasso 5-2
5 Wally Did It 6-1
3 In Speight Ofitall 3-1
8 Relentless Road 12-1
Analysis: Lasso makes his first start since running third at Santa Anita on the main track back in January for the Baffert barn. The winner of that race was Castaway, who won one of the divisions of the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park in his next start. Our top pick was eighth in his debut two back behind another repeat winner, Midnight Transfer winning the San Pedro in his next outing. Now he ships east and makes is first start for the Clement barn that is 28% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff. The switch to turf should suit as he has a couple of sibs that are grass winners top earner Paris Vegas ($224K).
Wally Did It comes back off a 2 1/2 month break after checking in an even fourth last out going six furlongs on the grass here. The extra furlong should suit and this guy has three sibs that are grass winners. The Goldberg barn is strong with runners coming back off the bench and Bravo takes the call.
WIN: #1 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,3,5,8
TRI: 1,5 / 1,3,5,8 / 1,3,5,8,9
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.
R1: #5 Cornhusker 8-1
R4: #5 Lawyer Ron 12-1
R6: #8 Alcomatch 12-1
R7: #4 Candy Feat 8-1
R8: #8 Relentless Road 12-1
R10: #7 Richbelle 8-1
R10: #5 Fava 15-1
Good luck today!
HORSE RACING EXPERT
Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders’ Cup.
Last Year Mike had a solid Triple Crown, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick.
Mike has also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively.
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