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At the Gate - Saturday

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Today’s $200,000 Peter Pan (G2) at Belmont Park is a good betting race, and there are several contenders that are using the race as a prep for the Belmont Stakes (G1) in four weeks.
 
If Orb wins next week’s Preakness Stakes (G1) and heads to Belmont Park for a shot at the Triple Crown, there could be a few in action this afternoon that are waiting in the wings.
 
Among those is the Kiaran McLaughlin trained Incognito, who is my top pick in today’s Peter Pan. The colt is coming off a nose win against first level optional claimers and makes his stakes debut today.
 
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The colt overcame a slightly speed favoring racing strip last out and should only get better as he stretches out and not only should be able to handle today’s 1 1/8 miles, I think he will be able to handle the 1 ½ mile distance of the Belmont Stakes.
 
The colt has a long winded pedigree, by A.P. Indy out of the multiple stakes winner Octave, who is by Unbridled's Song.
 
The colt also is bred to love a wet track, and we may see one today. There is light rain falling as of this morning, and a chance of thundershowers this afternoon.
 
Races 2, 4, 5, and 10 are off the turf today.
 
To purchase my full card reports for Belmont Park and Churchill Downs click here.
 
My Best Plays Report includes my nine strongest plays for Saturday from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.
 
Purchase my Monthly Package and receive an entire month of Belmont Park action, my Saturday Churchill Downs Reports, my weekend Best Plays Reports, as well as my Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Day reports for just $99.95.
 
Here is today’s opening from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
 
BEL Race 1 Hcp $16,000 (1:05 ET)
2 Lubango   2-1
5 Divine Child    4-1
1 Point Taken / 1a J W Blue   3-1
4 Blue Creek   6-1
 
Analysis: Lubango ships in from Philly for the Preciado barn. Last out the gelding checked in second at Pimlico in the Henry Clark behind a loose on the lead gate to wire winner Eighttofasttocatch, a speedy multiple stakes winner who earned triple digit Beyers in his last two starts. Our top pick makes his second start off a two month break and looks well spotted here dropping in with starter handicap foes. He has a couple of wins over the main track here and has shown he can handle a wet track as well.
 
Divine Child is coming off a runner up finish last out against starter optional claimers, the beaten chalk in his first go off the claim by the Servis barn. The trainer lost this guy for $25,000 last December and took him back for $15,000 two back out of a race in which he won by 5 1/4 lengths at Gulfstream Park. The runner up in that race was Break Up the Game, who came back to beat starter optional claimers in his next outing. his guy fit sin this spot and has a win and a couple of thirds in five trips over wet tracks in his career.
 
Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 2,5 / 1,2,4,5
TRI: 2,5 / 1,2,4,5 / 1,2,4,5,7
 
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
 
BEL Race 9 The Peter Pan G2 (5:17 ET)
10 Incognito   5-1
8 Declan's Warrior   4-1
7 Saint Vigeur    6-1
5 Abraham   7-2
 
Analysis: Incognito just beat Alw-1 foes last out by a nose in his first go against winners but did have a bit of trouble in the stretch. This guy should only get better as he stretches out and a good run in this race will set him up for the Belmont Stakes. The colt is bred to run all day and handle a wet track. He is by A. P. Indy out of the multiple graded stakes winner Octave ($1.6 million). It took four tries for him to break his maiden but note three back he was beaten just a neck by Mr Palmer, who came back to win the Private Terms and then ran fourth in the Wood (G1). We have not seen the best out of this guy yet.
 
Declan's Warrior made a good late rally to win the Bay Shore last out by a head going seven furlongs and goes a route of ground for the first time here. Zito said he is not pointing this guy to the Belmont. He has shown improvement in each outing and should have no problem handling the added ground. The barn is 19% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route. The colt is a half to stakes winner Canonize ($271,234).
 
Saint Vigeur started off his year by breaking his maidens at Gulfstream Park two back and the effort was flattered when runner up, third, and fourth place finishers all came back to graduate in their next starts. Last out the Chad Brown trainee tracked a slow pace and was able to get up late to beat Alw-2L foes over a muddy track. They went real slow early ion that race and that may be a reason the last out speed fig came back on the light side. He figures to move forward here and the 6-1 looks fair enough to toss him in the mix here.
 
Wagering
WIN: #10 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 8,10 / 5,7,8,10
TRI: 8,10 / 5,7,8,10 / 2,3,5,7,8,10
 
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:
 
CD Race 10 The Unbridled Sidney (5:30 ET)
5 Good Deed   5-1
4 Sweet Cassiopeia   8-5
9 Palazzo Babe   6-1
1 Holiday for Kitten    3-1
 
Analysis: Good Deed is making her first career start on turf here for the Margolis barn. Last out in the Carousel on the main track at Oaklawn Park the filly dueled for the early lead through sharp early fractions and ran out of gas, weakening to finish fourth. She is a three time stakes winner on dirt and she just may take to turf. She has three sibs that are grass winners and note the barn put a couple of works on the turf into her.  She is super quick and figures to be wining it up front and may end up getting overlooked on the tote.
 
Sweet Cassiopeia comes in here off three consecutive wins on turf, last out winning the Giant's Causeway at Keeneland going 5 1/2 furlongs on the grass. The mare makes her third start of her current form cycle and has a win over the turf course here, taking an optional claimer here at the fall meeting. If she runs back to her last three figs on turf she is going to be very tough to beat here as the short priced favorite.
 
Wagering
WIN: #5 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 4,5 / 1,4,5,9
TRI: 4,5 / 1,4,5,9 / 1,4,5,9,10
 
Live Longshots:
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.
 
Churchill Downs
R5: #5 Strike It Big   8-1
R6: #2 Gamay Noir   15-1
R11: #2 Stanley Cup
 
Good luck today!

  
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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.
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