At the Gate - Friday
October 5, 2012
By Mike Dempsey
Despite a ton of scratches on Thursday's card at Belmont Park we managed to turn a small profit with four winners on top on the nine race card.
We have a great weekend of racing coming up, with Keeneland opening today. I will be providing my full card reports on Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday's card includes five graded stakes, all with Breeders' Cup implications. The marquee event on Saturday is the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).
Wise Dan is the 4-5 morning line favorite off winning five of his last six starts, the lone loss coming in the Stephen Foster (G1) where he was beaten a head by Ron the Greek.
The gelding can run on any surface and is coming in off a really smart looking win in the Woodbine Mile (G1) on Sept. 16.
We have a trio of graded stakes at Belmont Park tomorrow, with the $400,000 Jamaica (G1) featuring another 4-5 morning line favorite.
The Dale Romans trained Dullahan is the 4-5 favorite despite being winless in three starts on turf in his career.
The colt is a three time Grade 1 winner, all on polytrack, with the last one coming against older in the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar on Aug. 25.
The race appears to be a prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic, but if he runs big on turf, Romans can also look at both the Mile and Turf as options.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday will include all of the stakes action from Keeneland and Belmont Park.
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To purchase my full card report for Belmont Park for Friday click here.
Here is today's opening from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 Md $35,000 (12:50 ET)
2 Queen Nine 9-5
3 Perfectly Anna 8-5
4 Seven Dreams 10-1
6 Desert Traveler 6-1
Analysis: Queen Nine tried turf last out in her first go for the Baker barn off the claim, tracking the early pace and fading to finish seventh for a $50K tag. She drops into a softer spot here tagged for $35K and returns to the main track. She showed some ability with a third in her debut at Churchill Downs, beaten two lengths and then was a decent fourth two back at the Spa. The barn is 28% winners moving runners from turf to dirt and pedigree wise this guy seems better suited for the main track.
Perfectly Anna makes her debut for the Ward barn that is 21% winners with first time starters. The filly is by Pleasantly Perfect (12% winner with debut runners) out of the stakes winner Scholastic Giant ($114K), her first foal to race. The Ward juveniles tend to get a lot of attention at the betting windows, but the barn is just 4 for 57 overall in New York going back three months, so let's not settle for too short a price.
WIN: #2 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,4
TRI: no play
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 OClm $25,000N1X (4:34 ET)
1 Royal Rhiannon 3-1
6 Inny Minnie 5-2
4 Flashy American 5-1
3 Island School 7-2
Analysis: Royal Rhiannon was a good looking maiden winner last out in her second career start and now stretches out to a route of ground for the first time. The $220K purchase certainly has the pedigree to handle the extra distance. She is by Broken Vow out of the stakes winner Caressing ($956K). She is in good hands with the Terranova barn that is 17% winners moving runners from sprint to route. She still appears to have a ton of upside potential and this is not a real deep spot for her first start against winners.
Inny Minnie stalked the early pace and did not have any punch left late in a fifth place finish last out on grass in her first go off a seven moth layoff. She was second in the Delta Princess (G3) in her final start as a juvenile and then mixed it up at Fair Grounds to finish third in a couple of stakes before going to the bench. She figures to be tighter second off the bench of the Nihei barn, a former assistant to Todd Pletcher.
WIN: #1 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,3,4,6
TRI: 1,6 / 1,3,4,6 / 1,3,4,6,7
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: #4 Seven Dreams 10-1
R3: #2 Raffie's Factor 8-1
R5: #8 Cousin Michael 8-1
R7: #5 Free Brave 8-1
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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