Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:04 AM

At the Gate - Saturday

The Belmont Park spring/summer meeting got underway on Friday and we got off to a good start with six winners on top on the nine-race card, the winners returning $6.30, $4.50, $8.40, $3.90, $10.40 and $5.60.

We have a good 10-race card on tap this afternoon at Belmont Park with the feature race the $125,000 Elusive Quality, a seven-furlong test on turf for older runners that drew a competitive field of 10.

Among the field are $1.1 million earner Kharafa, a hard knocking nine-year-old who has won 12 turf races and Ready for Rye who has earned $759,840, with two of his six career starts on turf.

Not much rain fell yesterday, and the turf was labeled as good, so we should have good to firm conditions this afternoon.

As you can see below I landed on Conquest Panthera from the Mark Casse barn. The gelding has three career wins on turf including the Play the King (G2) at Woodbine at seven panels last summer.

My Best Plays Multi Track Report for Saturday includes my eight strongest plays from Santa Anita and Belmont Park.

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

BEL Race 1 OClm $62,500N2X (1:30 ET)
#7 Abbreviate 2-1
#3 I'm Betty G 6-5
#8 Lady Joan 5-1
#6 Truth in the Lies 9-2

Analysis: Abbreviate made a good late run to finish third last out at this level going six furlongs and gets an extra furlong here to run them down. The Chad Brown trainee broke her maiden at seven and beat Alw-1 optional claimers at a mile. The extra furlong here suits and she looks primed for a top effort in her third start of the year.

I'm Betty G set the early fractions in the Stall Memorial going long on the turf at Fair Grounds and weakened in the stretch to finish third. He has landed in the money in eight of his nine starts on turf, the win coming in the Md bred Pearl Necklace last summer at Laurel Park. She returns off a two month break here and the cut back in distance should suit her. The barn is 23% winners moving runners from route to sprint.

WIN: #7 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 7 / 3,8
TRI: no play

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

BEL Race 9 The Elusive Quality (5:50 ET)
#9 Conquest Panthera 4-1
#10 Kharafa 9-2
#5 Commute 5-2
#2 Undrafted 6-1

Analysis: Conquest Panthera makes his second start off a 3 1/2 month break and cuts back to one turn here after checking in fifth in the Danger's Hour. He is one of two the Casse barn sends out in this spot. Two back this gelding came with a good late rally to finish third in the Turf Sprint Championship at six furlongs on the turf at the Big A. He earned a career top speed fig winning the Play the King (G2) at Woodbine at seven panels. The cut back suits him for Casse who is 18% winners with runners making their second start off a 45-180 day break.

Kharafa went 0 for 6 last year and appears to have lost a step or two as he makes his first start as a nine-year-old here. He came off the bench to run a good second in this race last year. He has landed in the exacta in three of his four trips at the distance and while he did not win last year he earned numbers that fit here landing in the money in five of his six trips.

Commute is also sent out by Casse. The gelding came off a nine-month layoff last out in the Shakertown (G2) against a tougher group than this and made a mild late run to finish fourth. That was over soft ground at 5 1/2 furlongs and he will appreciate the added ground here. His last trip at seven furlongs came three back in the Connaught Cup (G2) he headed for home with a clear lead and got caught at the wire. He has handled any type of turf and there could still be some give to the turf today after rain fell yesterday.

WIN: #9 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 9,10 / 2,5,9,10
TRI: 9,10 / 2,5,9,10 / 2,5,8,9,10

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Santa Anita:

SA Race 9 Md Sp Wt (4:00 PT)
#2 Coco Kisses 4-1
#5 Miss Ricochet 2-1
#7 Loving Lynda 5-2
#3 Got an Obsession 8-1

Analysis: Coco Kisses prompted the early pace and could not go with the winner late in a promising runner up finish in her debut here. She came back second out and was off a beat slow and regressed in a fifth-place finish as the beaten chalk. A better break and she should be right in the mix early against this group. She is out of a stakes placed Awesome Gambler mare that has dropped one winner.

Miss Ricochet has started three times and has landed in the bottom half of the exacta in each outing. She returns here off a six-month layoff for the Bonde barn that is 23% winners with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff. Solid works on the morning tab and this is not a real deep group of Cal breds she faces here.

WIN: #2 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 2,5 / 2,3,5,7
TRI: 2,5 / 2,3,5,7 / 2,3,4,5,7

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: #3 Latin Love Bug 12-1
R3: #7 Vicar’s Legend 10-1
R5: #9 Domain 8-1
R6: #6 Buddy’s Tiz 10-1
R7: #7 Silencia 8-1
R8: #1 Killybegs Captain 10-1
R10: #5 Excluded 8-1

Good luck today!

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