Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:04 AM

At the Gate - Saturday

The Triple Crown bid by Justify in two weeks got easier on Thursday with the announcement that Audible would skip the Belmont Stakes (G1) in favor of a later race, likely the Jim Dandy (G2) on July 28 at Saratoga.

Audible won the Holy Bull (G2) and Florida Derby (G1) and was third in the Kentucky Derby (G1). The colt was the early second choice for the Belmont Stakes.

The tricky part is the colt is owned by the same connections of Justify, namely WinStar and China Horse Club. The colt was supposed to work today but instead just galloped.

His trainer Todd Pletcher said he hos not bounced out of the Derby as well as he had hoped and his energy level “has not been quite the same.”

Justify has not scared everyone off, and it looks as if we will have a field of somewhere between seven and 11 runners.

We have a good Saturday of stakes action including three graded stakes at Santa Anita. The feature is the $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1).

The feature at Belmont Park is the $100,000 Paradise Creek with five going to the post led by Gidu who is eh even money favorite and will be tough to beat.

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

To purchase my Belmont Park and Best Plays Reports for Saturday 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 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 $25,000 (1:30 ET)
#1 There Goes Jose 12-1
#2 Playwright 4-5
#5 Rumbles of Thunder 2-1
#3 Dublin Leprechaun 6-1

Analysis: There Goes Jose has been outrun in both starts, last out catching mud where she faded to finish seventh at 9-2. He returns with blinkers added for a sharp outfit in Diodoro and he is going to be a generous price in this spot. This is not a tough group of state breds. He is the first foal to race out of a Chief Seattle mare.

Playwright pressed the early pace from the rail and tired to finish fifth last out in his first start off a four-month layoff for the Gargan barn. He drops back in for a tag here and he went gate to wire two back against state bred $40,000 foes but was DQ'd. He has landed in the money in six of his nine starts. The barn is 19% winners with runners making their second start off a 45-180 day layoff. He is the logical one to beat but is going to be a puny price.

WIN: #1 to win at 8-1 or better.
EX:1,2 / 1,2,3,5
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,3,5 / 1,2,3,5,6

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

BEL Race 7 Alw $65,000N1X (4:46 ET)
#5 Purely Lucky 8-1
#8 Mentality 5-2
#7 Discreet Image 8-1
#4 Breezy Gal 15-1

Analysis: Purely Lucky made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out going long on the turf at the Big A off a three-month break for the Cox barn. The filly now cuts back to seven furlongs here and reunites with Castellano who was aboard for her maiden score which came here going long last fall. This gal is out of a In Excess mare that ash dropped four other turf winners and a trio of stakes winners and she should be able to handle the cut back to a sprint. The barn is 38% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from route to sprint.

Mentality is back with state breds after making a good late run to finish a close up fourth in the Mizdirection at six furlongs off a six month layoff. She graduated here in her debut going six furlongs on the grass. Ward has been sending out live runners at the meet, hitting at a 35% clip. She is going to be tough here as the favorite.

WIN: #5 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 5,8 / 4,5,7,8
TRI: 5,8 / 4,5,7,8 / 4,5,7,8,13

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

SA Race 5 The Gold Cup at Santa Anita G1 (2:30 PT)

#4 City of Light 9-5
#5 Dr. Dorr 5-2
#2 Accelerate 2-1
#6 Pavel 5-1

Analysis: City of Light has run three straight career tops, winning the nine-furlong Oaklawn Handicap (G2) last out by a neck over our third choice. He raced wide much of the trip and looks as if he will be able to handle the stretch out to 1 1/4 miles here. He came up short in two starts against Alw-1 optional claimers last year and then won the Malibu (G1) in his stakes debut at seven furlongs. Next up in the Triple Bend (G1) and he was a sharp winner again, beating Bobby Abu Dhabi, who came back to win the Kona Gold (G2) with a Beyer of 103 on April 21. The colt was a $710,000 Keeneland purchase by Quality road out of a Dehere mare. He looks primed for another top effort in his third start of his current form cycle and is getting four pounds from Accelerate.

Dr. Dorr earned a career top speed fig winning the Californian (G2) here at nine furlongs by 7 1/4 lengths, his third win in a row. He won the Santana Mile two back for his first starts win. He steps into a tougher spot here but has Baffert in his corner and he should be able to handle the extra ground. He is by Lookin At Lucky out of an Unusual Heat mare.

Accelerate was the beaten chalk in the Oaklawn 'Cap last out. He earned a career top two back winning the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) here over a wet fast surface at 1 1/4 miles. He was just 1 for 8 last year, taking the San Diego 'Cap (G2) by 8 1/2 lengths. The Sadler trainee shows up every time, landing in the money in 16 of his 18 career starts. If he runs back to his Big 'Cap score he will be dangerous.

WIN: #4 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 4,5 / 2,4,5,6
TRI: 4,5 / 2,4,5,6 / 2,3,4,5,6

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: #1 There Goes Jose 12-1
R2: #2 Decisive Triumph 8-1
R3: #6 Gio Lucky 8-1
R5: #2 Alex’s Lemon Twist 8-1
R6: #8 Fair Archer 10-1
R6: #3 Curlin’s Legacy 15-1
R7: #5 Purely Lucky 8-1
R7: #7 Discreet Image 8-1
R7: #4 Breezy Gal 15-1
R9: #2 Black Stetson 8-1
R10: # Carmine’s Honor / 1a Cross Multiply 8-1

Good luck today!

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