At the Gate - Friday
June 21, 2013
By Mike Dempsey
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Today it is “Party at the Park” at Belmont Park and on Saturday it is “Downs After Dark” at Churchill Downs. For us online players that means today’s Belmont Park kicks off with a 3:00 ET post time and Saturday night we are racing under the lights at Churchill Downs, with the betting action getting underway at 6:00 ET.
Saturday night’s Churchill Down card is a good one highlighted by a wide open $100,000 Debutante, which drew a field of 11 juvenile fillies that will go six furlongs on the main track.
All 11 fillies are coming off maiden wins and they are coming from everywhere to meet up under the Twin Spires. The tracks where they raced last include Mountaineer Park, Lone Star Park, Arlington Park, Will Rogers Downs, Pimlico, Indiana Downs, Churchill Downs and Monmouth Park.
The Steve Asmussen trained Teardrop is the 2-1 morning line favorite off an impressive maiden score in her debut. She was left at the gate, spotted the field three lengths, raced wide throughout and still managed to win by 3 ¾ lengths. She is a half-sister to three stakes winners led by $1.6 million earner Pyro.
Also on the card is the $65,000 Roxelena, which drew a field of nine fillies and mares that will go six furlongs. The Al Stall trained Apropos is the 5-2 morning line favorite coming off a win against second level optional claimers.
The weather looks perfect for this afternoon’s Belmont Park card. There is no stake, but we have a solid nine race card that features five turf races.
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 OClm $20,000SAL (3:00 ET)
2 Cantonic 7-2
3 Kingofthebluegrass 8-1
5 Presumptive 3-1
6 Screenplay 5-2
Analysis: Cantonic set the early fractions and weakened to finish fourth last out versus similar company last out over the turf here which was labeled as good. The runner up Money in Motion returned to beat $35,000 starter optional claimers in his next outing on June 15 here. The gelding is a six time winner on turf and looks primed to take them farther here in his third start off the shelf for the Maker barn.
Kingofthebluegrass drops back in with starter company after weakening to finish seventh last out against Alw-2 optional claimers. Two back at this level he stalked the early pace while saving ground and made a mild late rally to finish third behind repeat winner Major Marvel, who came back to beat $16,000 starter handicap foes in his next start on May 27 at Philly. The six year old has not seen the inside of a winner's circle since taking the Independence Day at Mountaineer Park two summers ago, but the cut back in distance and class drop here will suit this guy and his 8-1 morning line looks fair enough to give him a look in this spot.
WIN: #2 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,5,6
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,5,6 / 2,3,5,6,8
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 OClm $25,000N2X (6:36 ET)
6 Royal Blessing 8-1
10 Adirondack Dancer 3-1
9 The Thinker 2-1
4 Lightning Stone 5-1
Analysis: Royal Blessing came off the bench with a game win against state bred Alw-1 foes coming with a four wide rally to run the field down late. The colt still looks like he had a little something left and I like the jock switch here to Saez. Among these state breds this guy has one of the more appealing turf pedigrees in the field, by Kitten's Joy out of a Royal Academy mare.
Adirondack Dancer also makes his second start off the layoff, last out running a game second at this level off a 6 1/2 month layoff. The gelding prompted the early pace, had the lead in the stretch and getting caught inside the final 70 yards. The gelding passed his first state bred condition over the turf here at today's distance last summer. Her figures to be tighter second off the bench here for the Rice barn that is 23% winners with runners making their second start off a +180 day layoff.
WIN: #6 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 6,10 / 4,6,9,10
TRI: 6,10 / 4,6,9,10 / 2,4,6,9,10
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: #3 Kingofthebluegrass 8-1
R7: #7 Comandante 10-1
R8: #6 Royal Blessing 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.
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