At the Gate - Wednesday
October 9, 2013
By Mike Dempsey
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We are back in action at Belmont Park on Wednesday afternoon, with the feature the $100,000 Coastal Stakes which drew a field of seven.
It was an eventful weekend, with 11 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races run, and now there are just two left. Yes, we are less than four weeks away from the Breeders’ Cup which is Nov.1-2 at Santa Anita Park.
Thursday’s Jessmine at Keeneland and Sunday’s Nearctic at Woodbine are the final two “Win and You’re In” races left to be run.
We saw a few upsets over the weekend, with both Wise Dan and Groupie Doll going down to defeat in their final preps.
I was very much impressed with the effort of Emollient, who won the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) on Sunday at Keeneland. She was taking on older for the first time and she won in style and she just may give Royal Delta a run for her money in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (G1).
Wise Dan came up short in a runner up finish in the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), but of course the race came off the turf and was run over the polytrack.
The gelding is still going to be a major player and likely heavy favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). However, if both he and Game On Dude, who will be the favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) both win, Game On Dude is going to have the edge for Horse of the Year.
Most of the Breeders’ Cup races look as if they are going to be wide open betting affairs and I am looking forward to handicapping the two days of races in a couple of weeks.
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Here is today’s opening from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 Clm $35,000B (12:50 ET)
8 Viva Allegiance 5-2
3 Correspondent 7-2
9 Lemon Song 3-1
1 Elusive Design 8-1
Analysis: Viva Allegiance gets the call and the top four contenders here are all exiting the same race which was won by Lemon Song. This is a furlong shorter and our top pick is making just her third career start and was in the mix until the final furlong at a mile where she flattened out, coming up a half-length shy of the top spot. She broke her maiden two back for a modest $25,000 tag at 6-1 in a field of 10. The cut back figures to suit and she just appears to have more upside than most of these and looks capable of turning the tables here.
Correspondent tracked the early pace, headed for him with a two length lead and could not hold on inside the final half furlong, settling for the runner up spot. She was making her first start off a two month break and was making her first start off the claim by the Perillo barn. The trainer is a former assistant to Jamie Ness who went out on her own for Midwest Thoroughbreds. She has not had a ton of luck racking up a few too many seconds. It could be more of the same here.
WIN: #8 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 3,8 / 1,3,8,9
TRI: 3,8 / 1,3,8,9 / 1,3,5,8,9
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 The Coastal (4:34 ET)
2 Escapefromreality 3-1
1 Saint Vigeur 5-2
6 Midnight Taboo 4-1
3 Tenango 6-1
Analysis: Escapefromreality took the field gate to wire to win the state bred Albany going nine furlongs at the Spa. This guy has run well outside the state bred ranks, missing winning the Withers (G2) back in February on the inner track at the Big A. He beat state bred Alw-1 foes in his lone go over the main track here and the cut back to one turn here should suit this guy.
Saint Vigeur returns off a three month break here after running second in the Dwyer (G2) behind Moreno, who returned to run second in the Travers (G1) and Pennsylvania Derby (G2) in his next two outings. Two back the colt ran second in the Peter Pan (G2) behind Freedom Child, who freaked that day. The layoff is not a problem, the Brown barn hits at a 31% clip with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff.
WIN: #2 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,3,6
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,3,6 / 1,2,3,5,6
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: #1 Elusive Design 8-1
R3: #8 Beat of the Drum 8-1
R5: #4 Armature 8-1
R7: #1 Manatee Bay 8-1
R9: #2 Princess Mara 12-1
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.
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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