Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:04 AM

At the Gate - Thursday

There was a little drama over the past few days as a video surfaced of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Justify walking gingerly during a photo op.

Social media lit up, but trainer Bob Baffert called it a scratch. The colt was examined by the veterinary staff from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and given a green light and hopefully that ended the rumors that there was something wrong with the colt and he would not make it to Baltimore.

Who will not make it to Louisville is most of the rest of the Kentucky Derby field. As of now it appears that only sixth place finisher Bravazo is definite while the runner up Good Magic is still sitting on the fence.

Federico Tesio winner Diamond King was listed as a definite for the Preakness, but his connections have entered him in this Saturday’s $350,000 Peter Pan (G3) at Belmont Park.

Tampa Bay Derby (G3) winner and Arkansas Derby (G1) runner up Quip is again in the Preakness field along with the D. Wayne Lukas trained Sporting Chance, who was fourth in the Pat Day Mile (G3) on the Derby Day undercard.

The only others that look pointed to Baltimore right now is Tenfold, who was fifth in the Arkansas Derby and Givemeaminit, who was fourth in the Louisiana Derby (G2) and most recently third in the Pat Day Mile.

As it stands now Justify is going to be a tiny price, likely around 3-5. If trainer Chad Brown elects to skip the Preakness with Good Magic, we could be looking at 1-5 or even lower.

However, between next Friday’s Black Eyed Susan Day and Preakness Day, there are 14 other stakes races and there will be plenty of value to find even if the Preakness becomes a walkover.

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 and my Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Day reports From Pimlico.

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

BEL Race 1 OClm $80,000N1X (1:30 ET)
#3 Zap Daddy 3-1
#8 Vegas Kitten 6-5
#5 The Queens Jules 8-1
#6 Penalty 6-1

Analysis: Zap Daddy stalked the early pace while saving ground and finished evenly in a sixth-place finish as the beaten favorite in the Florida bred Sophomore Turf at Tampa Bay Downs in his first start against winners. The winner He's Bankable came back to win the English Channel in his next start on May 5. He fits well in this spot taking on Alw-1 optional claimers.

Vegas Kitten was sent off as the favorite in his debut at Churchill Downs but did not get going until late in a seventh-place finish behind repeat winner Roses Vision. He was a game maiden winner last out over soft ground at Keeneland in his second career start and earned the top last out speed fig. A solid turf pedigree on this Brown trainee, by Kitten's Joy out of a Dynaformer mare. There could be some give to the ground today with some rain in the forecast but either way this guy still appears to have plenty of upside.

WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,8 / 3,5,6,8
TRI: 3,8 / 3,5,6,8 / 3,5,6,7,8

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

BEL Race 7 Clm $14,000N3L (4:46 ET)
#3 One More Round 5-1
#4 Fillet of Sole 9-5
#8 Kenyan 8-1
#1 Beyond the Green 4-1

Analysis: One More Round tracked the early pace and finished evenly last out in a third-place finish at this level last out, beaten a length for the top spot and missing the place spot by a neck over our third choice in here. The gelding beat $12,500 non-winners of two at Philly three back going seven furlongs. The gelding owns a solid pace profile throughout and does not need to move forward much off his last effort to bet this group.

Fillet of Sole was not a threat last out against $50,000 non-winners of three going seven furlongs off a two-month break. Two back over a wet track at the Big A he came with a mild late bid to finish third going 6 1/2 furlongs against $50,000 non-winners of three. The colt came back with a good breeze for Pletcher who is 27% winners moving runners from sprint to route.

WIN: #3 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 1,3,4,8
TRI: 3,4 / 1,3,4,8 / 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: #5 The Queens Jules 8-1
R2: #1 Leah’s Dream 8-1
R3: #7 On Patrol 10-1
R4: #3 Wondermeister 15-1
R5: #3 Woundwithhereyes 8-1
R6: #2 Quietly Quick 8-1
R7: #8 Kenyan 8-1
R8: #4 Great Soul 10-1
R9: #8 Kicken Kimberly 10-1

Good luck today!

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