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At the Gate - Thursday

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As of early this morning the track condition at Belmont Park was fast and the turf firm, but there is rain in the area, and there is a chance we could see a wet track by this afternoon.
 
Entries were drawn yesterday for Saturday’s stakes action and we have a few outstanding turf stakes on tap.
 
The $400,000 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland drew a field of nine, and while the race is not a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” race, several could exit the race and head to Santa Anita Park for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) on Nov. 1.
 
The Chad Brown trained Alterite is coming off a win in the Garden City (G1) at Belmont Park which was her first start off a three-month break and her U.S. debut.
 
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Her main foes figure to be Lake George (G2) winner Kitten’s Dumplings and Pucker Up (G3) winner I’m Already Sexy.
 
At Belmont Park we have a pair of graded stakes on turf, the $200,000 Knickerbocker (G3) and the $200,000 Athenia (G3).
 
Boisterous is looking to win the Knickerbocker for the third straight year and is the 7-2 second choice. The morning line favorite is Za Approval, but his trainer Christophe Clement stated the gelding will scratch if the turf comes up yielding.
 
The Athenia drew a field of seven along with three main track only entrants. The Chad Brown trained Samitar appears the one to beat. The filly is coming off a victory in the restricted Speed Boat at Saratoga over good turf. She is perfect in her two trips over the Belmont Park turf.
 
I will have selections for a couple of the stakes in Saturday’s column and all will be in the my Multi-Track Report.
 
Purchase my Monthly Package and receive an entire month of Belmont Park action, Keeneland and Best Plays on the weekends, and my two-day Breeders’ Cup Report for just $99.95.
 
To purchase my full card report for Belmont Park for Wednesday click here.
 
Here is today’s opening from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
 
BEL Race 1 Clm $16,000B (12:50 ET)
6 Dust Em Mick   5-1
11 Seven Dreams   3-1
5 Ascended Fever   4-1
3 Zekes Surprise   4-1
 
Analysis: Dust Em Mick gets the call in the opener and it looks likely we will be off the turf today. Our top pick made a good late rally to finish third last out on turf against $20,000 non-winners of two or three-year-olds on the turf here going six furlongs. She did not run well in her two starts on turf but comes in here sharp and the Jacobson barn sticks with the bug Vargas who rode this gal last out for the first time. She has a decent enough turf pedigree and looks headed in the right direction.
 
Seven Dreams made a good late run to get up and beat $20,000 non-winners of two or three-year-olds just a week ago. The filly has now won four of her nine starts over the main track here and has won two of four in her career over off going. She is the obvious one to beat here if this race does indeed come off the grass as expected.
 
Wagering
WIN: #6 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 6,11 / 3,5,6,11
TRI: 6,11 / 3,5,6,11 / 3,5,6,7,11
 
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
 
BEL Race 8 Clm $15,000N2L (4:34 ET)
7 Mr Rodriguez   4-1
3 Harley   5-2
9 Ego Friendly   3-1
1 Tape It   5-1
 
Analysis: Mr Rodriguez is coming off a third place finish last out versus similar in the mud at the Spa in a race taken off the turf. The gelding was claimed out of the race by the Galluscio barn that is 19% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. The gelding now makes his second start off nearly a year on the bench and figures to move forward off his last effort. His maiden score came over a wet track and we may see one again today.
 
Harley goes turf to dirt here after checking in seventh last out for $20,00 non-winners of two or three-year-olds. He is just 1 for 18 in his career but has done his best work on wet tracks, breaking his maiden and running in the money in his other two trips on off going. The switch off turf will suit this guy.
 
Wagering
WIN: #7 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,7 / 1,3,7,9
TRI: 3,7 / 1,3,7,9 / 1,3,5,7,9
 
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
R4: #2 Loveisheartandsoul   12-1
R5: #2 Moravitz   12-1
R7: #6 Danaus   10-1
R9: #8 Shertzer   8-1
 
Good luck today!

  
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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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