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MIKE DEMPSEY at Saratoga: 9/17/21

Belmont Park
Friday September 17
By Michael Dempsey

Weather: Rain showers early with overcast skies later in the day. High 76F. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

BEL Race 1 Clm $10,000 (1:00 ET) ML FAIR
#7 Kumar A 5-2 2-1
#5 Tapalist A 6-5 8-5
#4 Hammerin Aamer B 6-1 5-1
#3 Heavy Roller C 8-1 6-1
Race Rating: $$
Kumar chased the early pace and weakened to finish fifth last out against $25,000 claimers going nine furlongs over a wet track at the Spa. He beat $20,000 foes here at 1 1/16 miles his third win in five trips over this dirt surface. He is jammed in here for $10,000 and four of his six career wins have come at a mile.
Tapalist stalked the early pace and came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out against $12,500 foes. The winner set the fractions over a racing strip that was kind to inside speed. The winner then came back to beat $20,000 claimers in his next start on Sept. 4 at the Spa by 5 1/2 lengths. He cuts back to a mile her for Diodoro and looks tough with the main knock the likely light price.

BEL Race 2 Md Sp Wt (1:33 ET) ML FAIR
#5 Balthus A 5-2 2-1
#3 Summer Silence A 2-1 5-2
#2 Megayacht B 8-1 6-1
#1 Proven Innocent C 4-1 5-1
Race Rating: $$$
Balthus debuts for the Brown barn that is 18% winners with firs timers. This colt is bred to be a good one, by Galileo out of the stakes winner Forest of Darkness. Irad has the call for Brown and this colt has been working steadily for his debut but note he has spent much of his time at Monmouth Park, with two local drills. It is not a very tough looking spot and he is certainly bred to be able to handle the 1 1/4 miles. Over the past year Brown has hit at a 15% clip in first timers going long on turf.
Summer Silence set the early fractions and weakened to finish fifth last out here back in June. The Clement trainee was a good second three back and ran third in the two starts prior to that outing. He is by Union Rags out of a stakes placed Horse Chestnut mare that has dropped four other foals to race and they have all won on turf. He probably does not need to move forward much off his best figs to be right in the mix in this spot.

BEL Race 3 Alw $92,000N1X (2:04 ET) ML FAIR
#1 Primacy A 7-2 3-1
#6 Love and Love A 5-2 3-1
#4 Perfect Grace B 3-1 7-2
#5 Trinni Luck C 4-1 5-1
Race Rating: $$
Primacy stretches out to a route here for the Brown barn. The filly went seven panels last out at Saratoga where she stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a third place finish. Two back she ran third behind Bella Sofia who came back to win the Test (G1) in her next start. The barn is 24% winners moving runners from sprint to route and she has the pedigree to handle a route of ground, by Union Rags out of a Valiant Nature mare.
Love and Love went from seven to nine belongs last out here she tracked the early pace and could not get to the loose on the lead gate to wire winner. The third place finisher Ice Princess came back to beat Alw-1 company in her next start on Aug. 14 at the Spa. She passed both of her state bred conditions going a one turn mile. The cut back in distance here and to one turn should suit her.

BEL Race 4 Md Sp Wt (2:34 ET) ML FAIR
#3 Gal in a Rush A 6-1 4-1
#7 Diamond Hands A 7-2 7-2
#10 Old School B 4-1 4-1
#1 Miss You Ella / 1a Splitaecondsonny C 3-1 4-1
#4 Haughty C 5-1 6-1
Race Rating: $$$
Gal in a Rush caught a muddy track in her debut going six furlongs at the Spa, sent off at 7-2 in a field of eight. She was last early and came with a six wide run, not making up much ground late in a sixth place finish. The top pair in the race won next out, the winner Miss Interpret winning the PG Johnson in her next outing at the Spa on Sept. 2. The extra ground and surface switch should suit her. She is by Ghostzapper and the first foal to race out of a Dynaformer mare. Clement is 20% winners with second out maidens.
Diamond Hands is also sent out by Clement. The filly made a mild late rally to finish third in her debut, sent off at 6-1 in a field of seven over yielding ground. She was a $425,000 Ocala purchase, a solid numbers for a Frosted runner. She is out of the turf stakes winner Love Cove ($396,739) who has dropped five winners and four have won on turf. The barn is hitting at a 27% clip (with a +ROI) overall with his juveniles this year.

BEL Race 5 Clm $50,000 (3:06 ET) ML FAIR
#9 Seismic Wave A 9-5 8-5
#5 Tizzarunner A 9-2 4-1
#2 Attentive B 8-5 5-2
#3 Soulmate C 10-1 8-1
Race Rating: $$$
Seismic Wave returns off nearly a four month break here after making a mile late run to finish third last out for this tag here last out. The runner up was Attentive, who came back to beat $40,000 foes in his next outing and is in here. The Brown trainee won the '19 English Channel and was in the mix in stakes last year including a runner up finish in the Poker (G3). Good works on the morning tab for a barn that is 27% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff. He has the back class and Rosario sticks. Looks like the legit favorite in this spot.
Tizzarunner came with a mild late bid to finish third last out against $25,000 foes at the Spa. He was claimed out of the race by the Kantarmaci barn that is 22% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. The barn was frigid at the last meet here but picked up some wins at the Spa and looks back on track. The trainer does good work with recent claims and this guy looks capable of handling the slightly tougher company here.

BEL Race 6 Md Sp Wt (3:38 ET) ML FAIR
#7 Protonic Power A 3-1 5-2
#3 Afjan A 5-2 3-1
#2 Cairama B 7-2 4-1
#5 Life Is Great C 12-1 8-1
#1 Swing District / 1a Systemic Change C 9-2 9-2
Race Rating: $$$
Protonic Power is one of two firsters in here sent out by the Pletcher barn that is 17% winner overall with first time starters. This year the trainer has hit at a 25% clip (with a +ROI) with juvenile debut runners. This colt is by Protonico out of the stakes winner Sheza Smoke Show ($150,644) who has dropped two foals to race, both winners including G1 stakes winner Princess Noor ($363,500) who won the 2020 Del mar Debutante (G1). Solid works on the morning tab and this guy looks ready to fire with Saez getting the call.
Afjan is also sent out by Pletcher. He is by Uncle Mo out of the G3 stakes winner Scarlet Strike ($421,530) who has dropped two foals to race with one winner. This colt has solid works as well including a good gate drill on Sept. 10 over the training track here.

BEL Race 7 The Allied Forces (4:12 ET) ML FAIR
#7 Jaxon Traveler A 5-2 5-2
#3 Arzak A 7-2 3-1
#6 Big Everest B 7-2 7-2
#5 Smokin' Jay C 6-1 6-1
Race Rating: $$$
Jaxon Traveler coming off a sharp win at Pimlico on the main track in the restricted Star De Naskra going six furlongs. This guy has only been on turf once in his career, a third in the Quik Call (G3) two back. He prompted a sharp early pace and hung around gamely until late. He has landed in the exacta in 8 of his 9 career starts and willing to give him another look on grass. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers is out of a stakes placed After Market mare that has dropped three other winners and two have won on turf.
Arzak stalked the early pace and finished gamely to get his nose in from to win the Tom Ridge last out on the Tapeta at Presque Isle. He came with a good late rally two back in the My Frenchman on turf in a third place finish on yielding ground at Monmouth Park. He comes in here off a career top and it looks as if he is going to get some pace to run at here.

BEL Race 8 The Christiecat (4:44 ET) ML FAIR
#5 Caldee A 4-1 3-1
#10 Bye Bye A 5-2 3-1
#9 Honey Pants B 7-2 4-1
#2 Sussex Garden C 6-1 9-2
Race Rating: $$$
Caldee is cutting back from a route at Ellis Park in the Dueling Grounds Preview where she tracked the early pace, took over the lead heading for home and got run down late in a solid runner up finish. The winner Flippant came back to win the Virginia Oaks and the third place finisher Adventuring won the Dueling Grounds Oaks at Kentucky Downs in her next outing. The Cox trainee has shown plenty of tactical speed to suggest she can handle the cut back to six furlongs. The barn is 24% winners moving runners form route to sprint. She beat Alw-1 optional claimers over the grass here and last year ran second in the Miss Grillo (G2).
Bye Bye was off last after getting squeezed back out of the gate in a field of 10 and came flying with a good late run to finish third in the Galway at 5 1/2 furlongs at the Spa, beaten a couple of heads for the top spot. She won the Soaring Softly (G3) three back at seven furlongs over the grass here in her first start against winners. A better start and the extra half furlong makes his gal really tough in this spot.

BEL Race 9 Md $25,000 (5:16 ET) ML FAIR
#1 Captivating Cara A 10-1 6-1
#9 Tellaperfecttale A 2-1 5-2
#6 Little Ms Scarlet B 4-1 9-2
#3 Stormi Cat Lady B 8-1 6-1
#8 Know It All Red C 7-2 9-2
Race Rating: $$
Captivating Cara has come up short 15 times but let's give this gal one more shot to get it done. She is coming off a decent second last out. She dueled for the early lead and could not hang with the winner in a runner up finish, beaten 3 3/4 lengths. The winner was Danny Deep Cuts who came back to beat $16,000 non-winners of two in her next start on Sept. 2. Four have come out of our top pick's last race to run back and they all have improved their Beyers by 19 points or better. Davis gets her second ride on this gal after she had Harkie and Cardenas on her in her four previous starts. She is quick enough to be in the mix early from the rail and she is going to be a decent price.
Tellaperfecttale tracked the early pace and finished gamely to miss by just a nose last out when dropping in for this tag. She was claimed four back for $40,000 where she was beaten just a head. She lost her jock in her first go for Morley off the claim and then was sixth versus tougher. This is the right level and she makes her second start off nearly a four month break.

Good Luck today!

Please check all program numbers and post times before wagering.
Prices listed are the morning line odds followed by fair odds.

Race Ratings:
$$$$: The strongest plays of the day. Some days there will not be a race at this rating, but when there is, it's straight to the betting window.
$$$: These races are the
better wagering opportunities of the day. I either have a strong opinion on my top pick or feel this is a great race for value in the exotics.
$$: These races are usually races where I do not have a strong opinion, or feel my top pick may end up going off at a short price. A moderate investment only
and spread races when playing horizontal bets.
$: These races are in most cases a pass. Usually races with short fields offering little value or just inscrutable. Small investment or pass and spread races when playing horizontal bets.

For exacta players, I usually will play my "A" horses over my "B" and "C" horses that offer value. I rarely box. For trifecta players, as a general rule I do not play trifectas or superfectas in fields of eight or less. When playing trifectas, I usually will key my "A" horses in the top spot adding my "B" horses in the second spot over "C" horses in the third spot.  In the rolling doubles, I usually use my "A" horses in each race, using "B" and "C" horses only when they offer good betting value. I generally do not play Pick 3's and focus on Pick 4's and Pick 5's with reduced takeout. I have each of my top five horses ranked "A" "B" or "C" and play multiple tickets. A good tool to use to create tickets according to your personal bankroll is