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At the Gate - Friday

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Andrea has arrived in New York, and the rains will continue throughout the day with no let up until early Saturday morning. We are off the turf for Friday and the main track is listed as sloppy for the ten race card that gets underway at 1:05 eastern.
 
The racetrack will be sealed again after the final race, but it appears likely we will at least start Belmont Stakes Day with an off track. The racing surface does dry out quickly, so if no more additional rain falls on Saturday there is still a chance we will not repeat the sea of slop we saw on Kentucky Derby Day.
 
The turf course still figures to have plenty of give to it on Saturday and that will affect the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (G1), which features the return of Point of Entry.
 
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Point of Entry was entered in the Woodward Reserve Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs on Derby Day, but trainer Shug McGaughey elected to scratch him because of the yielding conditions.
 
However, McGaughey said that Point of Entry will still run on Saturday even of the turf is yielding or soft.
 
The feature on Friday is the $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap (G2) which will be run at the Belmont Stakes distance of 1 ½ miles. The race drew a field of eight including 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice and last year’s Breeders’ Cup Marathon (G2) winner Calidoscopio.
 
Post time for Saturday’s Belmont Stakes Day card is 11:35am eastern and my full card report for Belmont Stakes Day is now available.
 
Click here to purchase my full card report for Belmont Park for Friday.
 
Here is today’s opening from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
 
BEL Race 1 Clm $35,000B (1:05 ET)
1 Herbert Hall / 1a Laysh Laysh Laysh   7-2
4 Valediction   4-1
6 Alcomatch   5-1
9 Take Down Two   7-2
 
Analysis: Herbert Hall stalked the early pace and finished well, drawing clear late to beat $25,000 non-winners of two or three year olds on turf. The runner up in the race was Special Selection, who came back to beat state bred Alw-1 foe sin his next start. our top pick was claimed out of the race by the Jacobson barn that is 27% winners first off the claim. This guy has never been on a wet track but is certainly bred to handle one as it seems likely we are going to be off the turf today.
 
Valediction was outrun on the turf last out at Churchill Downs against Alw-2 optional claimers and faces an easier group here taking on $35,000 non-winners of three or a race on turf since Dec.7. Three back this guy was a game winner with a late rally to beat Alw-1 foes on grass at Fair Grounds. The gelding is by Vindication out of a Gulch mare and should like the off going.
 
Wagering
WIN: #1 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,4 / 1,4,6,9
TRI: 1,4 / 1,4,6,9 / 1,4,6,7,9
 
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
 
BEL Race 10 The Brooklyn Hcp G2 (5:45 ET)
4 Calidoscopio   5-2
3 Quick Casablanca   4-1
8 Ruler On Ice   8-1
5 Percussion   3-1
 
Analysis: Calidoscopio pulled off the upset in last fall's Breeders' Cup Marathon (G2) at 17-1 in his U.S. debut which was off a 4 1/2 month layoff. Last out in the Tokyo City (G3) off a similar layoff the ten year old was outrun in the early going and cold not make up enough ground late but got no pace to run at. It also looks as if the barn may not have had this guy fully cranked. He is proven he can go long and has handled a wet track. It looks as if he should get some pace to run at here.
 
Quick Casablanca stalked the early pace, made a good middle move and flattened out late in a third place finish in the Good Reward at 1 1/4 miles on the turf in his U.S. debut. He was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the outing despite coming back off a year layoff. He is a Group 1 winner in his native Chile and figures to move forward off his last outing. He has done most of his running on turf but does have a Group 1 on the main track and has enough pedigree to handle a wet track if the track is still wet.
 
Wagering
WIN: #4 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 3,4,5,8
TRI: 3,4 / 3,4,5,8 / 3,4,5,6,8
 
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: #8 Buddy James   15-1
R2: #5 Treblemaker   20-1
R5: #12 Here He Fitz   12-1
R5: #8 Gold Buffalo   8-1
R6: #7 Scampering   8-1
R8: #7 R Skinnys Chick   8-1
R10: #8 Ruler On Ice   8-1
 
Good luck today!

  
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