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At the Gate - Thursday

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The pre-entries for the Breeders’ Cup were announced yesterday and now we have nine days to get ready for the two-day championship event on November 1-2 at Santa Anita Park.
 
There are plenty of familiar names, with nine Breeders’ Cup winners from last year returning including Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned and Distaff (formerly the Ladies’ Classic) winner Royal Delta.
 
The other defending champions looking for a repeat are Groupie Doll (Filly & Mare Sprint), Little Mike (Turf), Mizdirection (Turf Sprint), and Trinniberg (Sprint).
 
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In addition, Beholder, last year’s winner of the Juvenile Fillies will take on older in the Distaff, and Flotilla, who won the Juvenile Fillies Turf last year, returns this year in the Mile.
 
Final entries will be out next Tuesday along with morning line odds.
 
We have a good card at Belmont Park on Thursday including the return of My Miss Aurelia, last year’s runner up in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic.
 
The filly is the 3-5 morning line favorite in the $100,000 Punkin Pie, a seven-furlong test for non-winners of an open stake in 2013
 
She started her career by winning her first six starts before suffering her first defeat in the Ladies’ Classic. She has made just two starts since that defeat.
 
In December, she ran third in the La Brea (G1) and then in March ran third in the Azeri (G3) at Oaklawn Park. She makes her first start today for new trainer Todd Pletcher.
 
A good performance will send her to the Go for Wand (G2) at Aqueduct on Nov. 29, and that race may decide whether we will see her race in 2014 or be sent to the breeding shed.
 
She only faces four foes in the race with her biggest threat likely will come from Classic Point, a three-time winner over the Belmont Park main track.
 
There are two other stakes on the card. The $100,000 Island Sun drew a field of seven going a mile on the turf and $100,000 Basket Weave which drew nine three-year-olds that will go 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf course.
 
Purchase my Monthly Package and receive an entire month of Belmont Park and Aqueduct 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 Thursday click here.
 
Here is today’s opening from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
 
BEL Race 1 Md $25,000 (12:50 ET)
10 Michonne    10-1
7 Ginablu   5-2
6 Samurai's Honor    3-1
3 Hangingwithsonny   5-1
 
Analysis: Michone drops in for a tag for the first time here in her third career start for the Nevin barn. Last out on the turf at the Spa she dueled for thee early led and faded to finish a well beaten eighth. The switch back to dirt should suit and the filly picks up blinkers. She has six sibs that are winners including a stakes winner, top earner Halfway to Heaven ($296,643).
 
Ginablu drops in for a tag and adds lasix for her second career start for the Mott barn. The quick drop does not look promising but there is not much else in here to get excited about. This gal does have four sibs that are stakes winners, top earner Logic Way ($643,870). The Mott barn is 21% winners (with a +ROI) dropping runners from maiden special to maiden claiming.
 
Wagering
WIN: #10 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 7,10 / 3,6,7,10
TRI: 7,10 / 3,6,7,10 / 3,6,7,9,10
 
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
 
BEL Race 9 The Basket Weave (5:06 ET)
8 Dysprosium   4-1
3 Calm Pacific   5-1
6 Joha    7-2
4 North Slope   3-1
 
Analysis: Dysprosium invades from Calder where the speedy gelding won his first two starts, breaking his maiden in his debut and then winning the Needles last out going gate to wire and winning by six lengths.  He lands with the Bill Mott barn that is 25% winners with newcomers to the barn. The gelding owns solid early and mid pace numbers and fits well in this spot.
 
Calm Pacific is also undefeated in two starts, beating Alw-1 company last out by a neck in a game effort over the grass here. He tracked a relatively slow early pace and got up inside the final furlong for the win. The Chad Brown trainee still appears to have some upside and he is getting five pounds from our top pick. The barn has been very live at the meeting, hitting at a 29% clip. Decent value of this guy goes off near his 5-1 morning line.
 
Wagering
WIN: #8 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,8 / 3,4,6,8
TRI: 3,8 / 3,4,6,8 / 1,3,4,6,8
 
 
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
R1: #10 Michome   10-1
R2: #7 Meuser   8-1
R3: #2 Kitchi Warrior   12-1
R6: #1 Promise Me a Cat   10-1
R6: #3 Galloping Giraffe   12-1
R7: #8 Margaret Ownzit   12-1
R8: #7 Native Bombshell   8-1
R10: #10 Lawless Miss   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.
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.

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