At the Gate - Friday
September 27, 2013
By Mike Dempsey
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We are less than 24 hours away from Super Saturday at Belmont Park, with six graded stakes, all Breeders' Cup Challenge “Win and You're In” races.
Before we get there we have a good betting card on Friday which features the $100,00 Princess Dixie Stakes for state bred fillies and mares going 7 ½ furlongs on the main track. The race drew six and goes off as the fourth race on the card with a post time of 2:39pm eastern.
The James Iselin trained Willet is the even money favorite on the morning line. The five-year-old mare is coming off a win in the state bred Union Ave. in her last outing, her fifth win in 11 career starts.
If the chalk is going to get upset., it could be by Miss Valentine, who was 10 ¼ lengths behind in the Union Ave. in a sixth place finish. However, the mare is better than she showed in that outing and has done some of her best work over the Belmont Park main track.
Back in July she won the state bred Princess Dixie (yes, the same name as today's race) over the main track at Belmont Park and has landed in the exacta in seven of 12 trips over the surface.
Saturday's card will give us a good look on how the three-year-olds stack up against their elders in two keys races.
Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Orb and Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Palace Malice take on older for the first time in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). They will hook up with Flat Out, winner of the race in the past two years, along with Cross Traffic, the lightly races four-year-old coming off a win in the Whitney Handicap (G1).
The $400,000 Beldame (G1) may not be a great betting race, but it will be interesting how the brilliant three-year-old filly Princess of Sylmar stacks up against Royal Delta, winner of the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (G1) the past two years and the defending champion in the Beldame.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday will include all of the Breeders' Cup Challenge races from Belmont Park and Santa Anita Park.
Click here to purchase my full card report for Belmont Park for Friday.
Here is today’s opening race from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 Clm $15,000B (1:05 ET)
2 Radiohead 3-1
5 Springcourt 12-1
1 Wayward Sailor / 1a St Liams Halo 2-1
9 Political Justice 5-1
Analysis: Radiohead set the early fractions and battled on gamely right to the wire only to come up a neck shy of the top spot against $30,000 non-winners of three or a race on turf in six months. He is better on dirt and ran well at the Spa two back in a runner up finish and does have a win over the surface here although the win was in May of '11. The gelding makes his second start off the claim by the capable Gargan barn.
Springcourt was not a threat last out in a tenth place finish after racing wide throughout on the grass at the Spa. He is 0 for 12 on turf and 4 for 14 on conventional dirt. The Guillo barn is 21% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from turf to dirt. He figures to bounce back with the surface switch and has landed in the exacta in all three of his trips over the main track here.
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,5 / 1,2,5,9
TRI: 2,5 / 1,2,5,9 / 1,2,5,6,9
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 7 Md Sp Wt (4:13 ET)
5 First Summation 5-1
8 Missy Bay 6-1
1 Aesthetique 8-1
11 May Shares 7-2
Analysis: First Summation is coming off a troubled trip in a third place finish in her debut. The Clement trainee was sent off at 7-2 in a field of eight and was brushed by a rival in the early going, was blocked in traffic form the 1/4 pole to the 1/8 pole and finished up well when altered toward the outside in deep stretch. A clean trip makes her the one to beat here and the 5-1 morning line looks generous. She has one other sib to race, Fast to Strong ($54,480) who broke maiden on turf.
Missy Bay exits the same race as our top pick and was sent off as the 2-1 betting favorite. She pressed the early pace and weakened late to finish fourth, beaten four lengths for the top spot. She owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and if she is able to shake loose she may prove tough late. She has a couple of sibs that have won on grass including multiple stakes winner Frosty Bay ($212,579).
WIN: #5 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 5,8 / 1,5,8,11
TRI: 5,8 / 1,5,8,11 / 1,5,6,8,11
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: #5 Springcourt 12-1
R2: #4 Surfspun 8-1
R3: #8 Spin Chief 8-1
R5: #7 Frazil 8-1
R7: #1 Aesthetique 8-1
R8: #7 Seventy Six 8-1
R9: #7 Omis Journey 8-1
R10: $6 Barrel of Love 8-1
R10: #8 Sandy'z Slew 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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