At the Gate - Friday
June 5, 2014
By Mike Dempsey
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We are a day closer to possibly witnessing history and all continues to be well in the California Chrome camp. The colt schooled in the gate and jogged over the Belmont Park main track on Thursday morning.
It certainly appears that all systems are go and the Kentucky Derby and Preakness champ is coming up to the race as good as he has been this spring.
That is going to make it tough on the 10 foes that take him on. The main problem I see is backing him at his 3-5 morning line price.
I am not finished with Saturday’s report (it will be done by Friday afternoon) but I will give you a hint. I am not picking California Chrome to win.
Before we get to Saturday’s card, which will feature 10 stakes races including six Grade 1’s, we have a good betting card on Friday. Thursday’s card suffered from the weather, which knocked the races off the turf, but we should be good to go on Friday, and Saturday’s forecast is picture perfect.
Friday’s features are the $250,000 True North (G2) and the $200,000 Belmont Gold Cup invitational. The races will be televised on NBC Sports Network at 5:00pm (ET).
The True North drew a field of nine led by Dads Cap, who was a gate to wire winner last out in the Carter Handicap (G1) in his last outing, earning a career top speed fig in the victory.
The finale on the card is the Gold Cup, a two-mile turf event that will be tricky to handicap. Twilight Eclipse makes his first start since getting outrun in Dubai and likely will be the betting favorite. Trainer Graham Motion sends out a trio of runners and Draw Two (6-1) and Auld Alliance (12-1) look interesting at decent prices.
To purchase my full card report for Friday for Belmont Park click here.
Here is today’s opening from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:20 ET)
4 Crown the Kitten 5-2
3 Sunset Glow 3-1
2 Spanish Armada 2-1
5 The Truth Or Else 5-1
Analysis: Crown the Kitten is one of two in here sent out by the Ward barn. This filly is bred to love the grass, by Grade 1 turf winner Kitten's Joy and the first foal to race out of a Proud Citizen mare. The barn is 23% winners with first time starters and the colt gets lasix for his debut.
Sunset Glow is also sent out by Ward and this filly takes on the boys but does have a race under her belt. She was sent off as the betting favorite in her debut the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle but was off a step slow and could not catch a gate to wire winner. The third place finisher in the race was Pom Pom Pistol, who came back to graduate in her next outing on June 1 at Presque Isle. The $140,000 Keeneland purchase has a decent pedigree, by Exchange Rate out of a stakes placed Dynaformer mare, her first foal to race.
WIN: #4 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 2,3,4,5
TRI: 3,4 / 2,3,4,5 / 1,2,3,4,5
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 9 The True North G2 (5:25 ET)
1 Eastwood 20-1
3 Dads Cap 3-1
8 Bakken 5-2
4 Integrity 4-1
Analysis: Eastwood figures to move forward in his second start off a 7 1/2 month break and it is not often we get such a generous price on a Pletcher trainee in a graded stake. The colt was bumped coming out of the gate last out off the bench, pressed the early pace and weakened to finish third, catching a racing strip that was playing to outside stalkers and closers that day. The son of Speightstown showed some promise last year, breaking his maiden in his debut and then beating Alw-1 foes in his first start against winners. The colt owns solid early and mid pace numbers and while he is not proven against this type of company, he still appears to have a ton of upside.
Dads Cap is coming off a career top winning the Carter 'Cap (G1) last out in gate to wire fashion at seven furlongs at Aqueduct. The sixth place finisher Central Banker came back to win the Churchill Downs (G2) in his next start on May 3. The RRod runner has now landed in the exacta in seven of his nine starts The colt sports a couple of bullet works since his last outing and Rosario takes the call. Four of his last five speeds put him right in the mix in this spot.
WIN: #1 to win at 10-1 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,4,8
TRI: 1,3 / 1,3,4,8 / 1,3,4,7,8
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.
R2: #8 From the Point 8-1
R4: #7 Clara Lives Strong 15-1
R5: #4 Rose Quartz 12-1
R7: #11 Untiltherewasyou 12-1
R7: #3 Winner’s Legacy 8-1
R8: #8 Shore Runner 10-1
R9: #1 Eastwood 20-1
R10: #7 Auld Alliance 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.
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