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At the Gate - Sunday

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Dark Cover got the job done as our top pick in yesterday's Louisville Handicap (G3) at Churchill Downs, returning $6.60, but we missed out on the exacta as I tried to beat Atigun, who landed second as the slight betting favorite.

At Aqueduct four of the five turf races were moved to the main track with the exception of the Sheepshead Bay (G2) and I was feeling really good about our top pick Starformer, who was sent off as the 5-2 second choice in a field of eight.

However, she pressed the early pace and backed out of it without putting up much of a fight, fading to finish eighth.

Longshot Tannery got a ground saving trip from jockey Luis Saez, shot up in the inside to take over in the stretch and held off fellow longshot Anjaz by a length. The runner up lunged at the break and was off a beat slow and made a good late rally at 21-1.

The winner paid $22.60 with the $2 exacta paying a hefty $399.50.

There is no stakes action at Belmont Park or Churchill Downs today but we have a good betting card in New York and the weather is on the improve. My Multi-Track Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.

Don't forget we have holiday racing on Monday and the Belmont Park card features four graded stakes including the $750,000 Met Mile (G1) which is going to be a really good wagering race. Flat Out is going to be the betting favorite but I think we can beat him. Tune in tomorrow.

Click here to purchase my full card report for Belmont Park for Sunday.

Here is today's opening from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:

BEL Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:05 ET)
5 Hot Stones 6-1
1 Brandini 5-2
7 Let Me Be Nuts 6-1
3 La Java 5-1


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Analysis: Hot Stones is a $50,000 Spa purchase making her debut for the Levine barn that is 16% winners with first time starters. The filly sports a couple of bullet drills on the morning tab and debuts with lasix. She is by Bustin Stones out of a Freud mare that has dropped one other foal to race, 1 for 14 Hurricane Caroline ($24,740).

Brandini cuts back to a sprint after tracking the early pace and weakening to finish fourth last out going a mile. The winner of that race was Another Page, who came back to beat state bred Alw-1 foes in her next outing on May 12 here. Two back the Bond runner was beaten just a head in a solid debut and was 18 1/4 lengths clear of the rest of the field in the outing. If she runs back to that effort she will be tough to beat in this spot.

Wagering
WIN: #5 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,3,5,7
TRI: 1,5 / 1,3,5,7 / 1,3,4,5,7

Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:

BEL Race 9 OClm $25,000N1X (5:17 ET)
7 Charity Ball 4-1
6 Parc Monceau 5-1
1 Sister State 5-2
2 Read the Research 3-1

Analysis: Charity Ball
faces winners for the first time here after a gate to wire win last out in her second career start going a mile. The effort looked better after the third place finisher Barbie Wire came back to graduate in her next outing on May 16. Two back in our top picks debut she showed good early speed and weakened to finish fourth, a highly graded race that has now produced four next out winners. The Bill Mott trainee still looks as if she has some upside.

Parc Monceau ships in from the left coast where last out the filly broke her maiden over the fake stuff at Hollywood Park in her third career start. She lands with the Hushion barn that is 24% winners (with a +ROI) with newcomers to the barn. She has a nice pedigree, the $260,000 Keeneland purchase by Giant's Causeway out of the multiple graded stakes winner French Park ($297,601)

Wagering
WIN: #7 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 6,7 / 1,2,6,7
TRI: 6,7 / 1,2,6,7 / 1,2,6,7,8

Today's Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:

CD Race 9 OClm $62,500N2X (4:59 ET)
6 Golden Frontier 7-2
5 Z Rockstar 6-1
7 Ruble 7-2
3 Right to Vote 3-1

Analysis: Golden Frontier
chased sharp early pace and weakened to finish third last out as the beaten favorite at Oaklawn Park against Alw-3L foes in his first go off a 10 month layoff. This guy earned a 107 Beyer beating Alw-1 company here last May and then bounced next out in the Kelly's Landing. The gelding figures to be fitter for his second start off the layoff and owns solid early and mid pace numbers. He is going to be tough here and the 7-2 morning line actually looks generous.

Z Rockstar tracked the early pace and could not catch the winner in the stretch who had opened up a clear lead, settling for the runner up spot in the slop here going seven furlongs. The gelding appears to be heading in the right direction form wise and seldom runs a bad one, landing in the money in 15 of his 22 career starts.

Wagering
WIN: #6 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 5,6 / 3,5,6,7
TRI: 5,6 / 3,5,6,7 / 2,3,5,6,7

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.

Belmont Park
R2: #4 Queen Nine 10-1
R3: #6 Caxambas Pass 10-1
R4: #1 Hoppy Do 10-1
R4: #6 Point and Go 8-1
R6: #2 Miss Mastery 10-1
R7: #2 Bunhead 8-1
R8: #3 Rambling 15-1
R8: #1 Madam I'm Adam 8-1
R10: #8 Soul Opposition 10-1

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.
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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