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At the Gate - Saturday

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It is another doubleheader Saturday, with Belmont Park kicking off at 1:05 ET and Churchill Downs’ “Downs After Dark” program getting underway at 6:00 ET.
 
The feature at Belmont Park is the $300,000 Mother Goose (G1), which drew a compact field of five that includes Dreaming of Julia, who is looking to bounce back off her fourth place finish in the Kentucky Oaks (G1).
 
She became the talk of horse racing after her 21 ¼ length win in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) which earned a 114 Beyer Speed Figure. That figure is higher than the boys earned in any of the Triple Crown races.
 
I played against the Todd Pletcher trainee in her next start in the Oaks and she had a troubled trip and finished out of the money. However, I did not come up with the longshot winner, the Pletcher trained Princess of Sylmar.
 
The filly is going to be 2-5 in the Mother Goose and I am going to try to beat her again.
 
The feature Saturday night at Churchill Downs is going to be more fun as a field of 11 will line up in the $100,000 Debutante, a six furlong test for juvenile fillies.
 
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All 11 are coming off maiden wins, and they arrive in Louisville from all over the map. Among the tracks these fillies competed at in their last start include Mountaineer Park, Lone Star Park, Arlington Park, Will Rogers Downs, Pimlico, Indiana Downs, Churchill Downs and Monmouth Park.
 
I am going with the home team, as my top two picks both graduated at Churchill Downs.
 
The Debutante goes off as the seventh race tonight with a post of 9:05 ET. The co-feature is the $65,000 Roxelana, a six furlong race for fillies and mares that goes off as the 10th race at 10:42 ET.
 
Click here to purchase my full card report for Belmont Park for Saturday.
 
Click here to purchase my full card report for Churchill Downs for Saturday.
 
Here is today’s opening race from Churchill Downs to get the evening off to a good start:
 
CD Race 1 Md $10,000 (6:00 ET)
2 Lucky Pursuit   7-2
7 Grand Harbor   8-5
8 Rockfeller   5-2
3 Sicilian Limones   5-1
 
Analysis: Lucky Pursuit was off poorly and not a threat in his debut, checking in seventh in the sop for this tag, sent off at 9-1 in a field of ten. He was claimed out of the race by the Maker barn that is 28% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. The stretch out should pose no problem as this guy is by Hard Spun out of an A.P. Indy mare. The barn is 22% winners moving runners from sprint to route.
 
Grand Harbor stalked the early pace and made a good late rally to finish third last out when dropping in for this tag last out, sent off as the 5-2 betting favorite./ The colt was beaten by double digit lengths in his three previous starts and the bottom level here seems about right. He gets a jock upgrade from the seven pound bug to Gonclaves and comes in here owning the top last out speed fig. He is out of a stakes placed Grand Slam mare that has dropped a pair of winners, top earner George's Prayer ($105,350).
 
Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,7 / 2,3,7,8
TRI: 2,7 / 2,3,7,8 / 2,3,6,7,8
 
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
 
BEL Race 9 Alw $62,000N1X (5:17 ET)
3 With Exultation   5-2
8 Toy Cannon   7-2
12 Petrocelli   20-1
5 Noosh's Tale   4-1
 
Analysis: With Exultation checked in third last out as the beaten chalk in his first start against winners, exiting the same race as five others in here. Early on this guy was under ran tight hold and was rank heading down the backstretch, made a good middle move and jumped to the lead but was worn down late and had to settle for third behind a couple of longshots. This guy still appears to have plenty of upside and is well bred for a state bred. He is by Kitten's Joy out of a Cozzene mare that has dropped three other turf winners including a pair of stakes winners, top earner Becky's Kitten ($332,897). The Clement runner should get the job done here and note the jock Saez is 6 for his last 10 riding for the barn.
 
Toy Cannon exits the same race and did not have the best of trips, coming up the inside and having to steady and alter course to the outside inside the final furlong, beaten two lengths for the top spot. The gelding had landed in the bottom half of the exacta in his three previous starts.
 
Wagering
WIN: #3 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 3,8 / 3,5,8,12
TRI: 3,8 / 3,5,8,12 / 3,5,8,10,12
 
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:
 
CD Race 7 The Debutante (9:05 ET)
9 Del Mar Holiday   8-1
8 Teardrop   2-1
10 Fiftyshadesofgold   3-1
7 More Than Beauty   7-2
 
Analysis: Del Mar Holiday is going to be a decent price in here off a low figure maiden score where she drifted out in the stretch. She made her debut on poly at Keeneland and made a good late rally to finish third. Last out she showed improved speed and took the field gate to wire over a wet fast surface. She loses her jockey Rosie Napravnik to the favorite which should help the price. She may not be quick enough to get to the front here but she showed some ability to come from off the pace in her debut. She should get a good tracking trip and is going to offer value if she goes off near her 8-1 morning line. She is out of the stakes winner Harvest Girl ($278,865) who has dropped three other winners including a couple of talented runners in Harvest Lisa ($192,352) and Winning Image ($435,437).
 
Teardrop broke slow and spotted the field three lengths at the break in her debut, raced wide throughout, came seven wide into the stretch and just rolled on by the field to win by 3 ¾ lengths in a good looking effort. She took some play, sent off at 6-5 and is going to be a light price again here. The extra ground will suit and she just needs a better break. She has three sibs that are stakes winners, topped by $1.6 million earned Pyro. Her price is likely going to drift south of her 2-1.
 
Fiftyshadesofgold broke her maiden at Lone Star Park by 10 lengths and earned the top last out speed fig in the outing. She was sent off as the chalk and did not beat a real tough group. The fifth place finisher Great Queen did graduate in her next start, but it was against $25,000 maiden claimers and she earned a 43 Beyer. This gal is a tough read as she faces much tougher here, but she is in a sharp barn with Bret Calhoun that does good work with juveniles and she has a decent pedigree. She has a couple of sibs that are stakes winners, Sword Trick ($210,130) and Tastefullyxcessive ($113,329).
 
Wagering
WIN: #9 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 8,9 / 7,8,9,10
TRI: 8,9 / 7,8,9,10 / 2,7,8,9,10
 
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
R2: #4 Given the Odds   10-1
R6: #2 Five Afleet   10-1
R7: #9 Del Mar Holiday   8-1
R9: #12 I’m Your Luv   15-1
R11: #1 Unbroken Circle   8-1
 
Good luck today!

  
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  HORSE RACING EXPERT
  Mike Dempsey
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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