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At the Gate - Thursday
There was not much drama yesterday at the post position draw for the Preakness Stakes (G1) coming up on Saturday, with Justify drawing the seven post, the same post he broke from in his Kentucky Derby (G1) victory.

As expected he will face seven foes led by the Derby runner up Good Magic, who drew the five post. Justify was installed as the 1-2 morning line favorite while Good Magic is the second choice at 3-1.

Justify is the heavy favorite at -280 in the latest Preakness betting odds at BetOnline while Good Magic is at +260.

As I was working on Friday’s Black Eyed Susan card, I kept close tabs of the weather, which looks as if it is going to be miserable all week. The forecast calls for an 80% chance of rain on Thursday, 100% on Friday and 90% on Saturday. Over two inches of rain has already fallen at Pimlico as of Wednesday night.

My inclination was to think that most of the turf races would be shifted to the main track except for several of the major stakes, but that may not be the case.

The Pimlico turf superintendent Leo Hernandez told The Daily Racing Form that he is confident the races would go on turf despite the forecast.

There are 13 turf races scheduled between Friday and Saturday, most with large fields. Hernandez told David Grenig, “It’s still firm. I keep the grass up high. We’re looking good so far.”

I am going to take Leo’s word for it. After all, the National Weather Service blew the forecast for both Oaks and Derby Day.

Purchase my two day Preakness Package which includes my reports for Black Eyed Susan Day on Friday and my Preakness Day Report for Saturday. Friday’s Report is now posted and I will have Saturday’s Report available by Friday afternoon.

To purchase my Belmont Park Report for Thursday click here.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package, which will give you a full month of reports from Belmont Park, my Best Plays Report each weekend, my Black Eyed Susan Day and Preakness Day Reports From Pimlico and the Belmont Stakes Festival from Belmont Park.

Here is the opening race from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:

BEL Race 1 Md $30,000 (1:30 ET)
#1 Consubstantial 9-2
#3 Stop Thinking 7-5
#6 Carlisle Belle 2-1
#2 Forever Rising 4-1

Analysis: Consubstantial stretches out from six furlongs and there is not early speed in here and this gal may have the best shot of clearing early from the rail. Two back she was off a beat slow when she lost her footing and managed to pick it up late to rally for third. Last out she faded to finish fifth after a wide trip. The Contessa barn is 15% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route. Pedigree wise the added ground suits her. She is by Awesome Again out of a Showing Up mare, her first foal to race.

Stop Thinking made a mild late bid to finish third in her debut going long on turf, sent off at 7-1 in a field of 10. Blinkers are added as she switches to the main track. The Gargan barn is 32% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from turf to dirt. She has three sibs that are winners including stakes winner Marai ($133,800).

WIN: #1 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,6
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:

BEL Race 8 Alw $50,000s (5:18 ET)
#9 Mo Flash 10-1
#4 Awsum Roar 2-1
#3 Angel Food 7-2
#6 Avery Maeve 3-1

Analysis: Mo Flash made a good late rally in the slop at Keeneland on the main track at seven furlongs and was beaten just a neck against $50,000 claimers. The filly has three tries on turf, the best effort a runner up finish as maiden. She has a decent enough turf pedigree, by Uncle Mo out of an Afleet Alex mare, her first foal to race. The Casse barn is 16% winners moving runners from dirt to turf. She needs to step it up but looks headed in the right direction and should be a fair price in this spot.

Awsum Roar tracked the early pace, opened up a clear lead heading for home and ducked out and shied away from the whip in the stretch and was caught late. Blinkers are added here as she makes her third start off a long layoff for the Servis barn. The trainer hits at a 37% clip (with a +ROI) overall in turf sprints.

WIN: #9 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 4,9 / 3,4,6,9
TRI: 4,9 / 3,4,6,9 / 2,3,4,6,9

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
R2: #4 Rhythmia 15-1
R4: #2 Cody’s Notes 8-1
R5: #6 Daddy D T 8-1
R7: #6 Mrs. Orb 8-1
R8: #9 Mo Flash 10-1

Good luck today!

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Mike Dempsey Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year-round as well as covering the biggest events including the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup.
A professional handicapper and horseplayers for more than three decades, no handicapper in the industry works harder and been more successful in bringing horseplayers analysis that produces profits at the track!

Mike has owned racehorses and knows the racetrack from the backstretch to the finish line.

Mike is in his second decade of producing great results for the readers of Vegas Insider. Among his scores in the Kentucky Derby include winning with his top pick Animal Kingdom who paid $43.80 in 2011 and Super Saver at $18.00 in 2010.

While favorites have dominated the Run for the Roses in recent years, Mike’s full card analysis for every race on each card is always looking for value for horseplayers looking to pad their wagering bankroll.

Mike's Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card each day.

Check out Mike’s daily column At the Gate where he offers up free selections and live longshots.

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Jerry Sessa Jerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins.
Jerry opened the 2016 Triple Crown season by hitting his Derby Day best bet, Nyquist. He also nailed the Derby exacta for a $30.60 payout. On 4/16/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.

In the 2015 Belmont Stakes Jerry dominated races 8-11 by hitting a $4,400 Pick 4, 3 Daily Doubles, 2 Pick 3's and calling American Pharoah as the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.

Jerry is always looking to repeat his 2012 Triple Crown success, when he selected the winning horses for The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes.

Jerry looks forward to working with everyone and making money for anyone who invests in his picks on a daily basis.

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