Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM

At the Gate - Sunday

We have a couple of good turf stakes on Sunday at Belmont Park and Santa Anita that make up the featured races of the day.

At Belmont Park we have a field of eight lining up in the $300,000 Poker (G3) at a mile on the turf led by 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Oscar Performance who is the 5-2 morning line favorite.

The Bryan Lynch trainee makes his first start since running ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) last November at Del Mar. He won a pair of Grade 1 races last year, the Secretariat at Arlington Park and the Belmont Derby at Belmont Park.

Later on the west coast we have a field of 11 going 6 ½ furlongs on the downhill turf course in the $80,000 Siren Lure at Santa Anita.

The Richard Mandella trained Bombard is the 7-2 morning line favorite. The son of War Front makes his stakes debut after an impressive victory against second level allowance foes in his last outing.

I am looking for a bit more value with Cistron, who needs to move forward off his runner up finish to Australian Heat in his first start off a 6 ½ month layoff. The John Sadler trainee is 5-1 on the morning line and should move forward in his second start off the sidelines.

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

To purchase my Belmont Park and Best Plays Reports for Saturday click here .

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)
#5 Flipped 5-2
#8 Barefoot Angel 3-1
#7 Merger of Banks 7-2
#6 Our American Star 6-1

Analysis: Flipped tracked the early pace, came with a four wide bid and was no match for a sixth length winner last out. He bounced back after tiring to finish fifth two back on turf for a $40,000 tag. He was s a game second three back in his first of for the Diodoro barn who claimed this guy for $30,000 back in March. Ortiz sticks and the gelding catches a field here he should be able to handle He is out of a Storm Cat mare that has dropped five winners.

Barefoot Angel takes the blinkers off for start #13 and this gelding has landed in the money in eight of his starts without picking up his diploma. He has run second in three of his last four starts including a tough nose loss three back here for this tag. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and fits with his best although he seems more likely to land for a minor share again today.

Wagering
WIN: #5 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 5,8 / 5,6,7,8
TRI: 5,8 / 5,6,7,8 / 2,5,6,7,8

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

BEL Race 9 The Poker G3 (5:50 ET)
#4 Ballagh Rocks 3-1
#3 Oscar Performance 5-2
#8 Fire Away 4-1
#5 Made You Look 6-1

Analysis: Ballagh Rocks tracked the early pace and could not get to a loose on the lead gate to wire winner in Heart to heart in the Makers 46 Mile (G1) which was his first start off a 5 1/2 month layoff. He won this race last year and then was a solid third in a couple of Grade 1 's and then ninth in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) while beaten just three lengths. A solid return race and he has now earned triple digit Beyers in five straight outings.

Oscar Performance makes his first start since running ninth in the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) last fall. he won three in a row last year including the Belmont Derby (G1) here last summer. He only has one trip at a mile and that was his win in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita back in '16. The Lynch barn is 14% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff. This looks like a good spot for her return but hoping our top pick offers a bit more value for the top spot.

Wagering
WIN: #4 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 3,4,5,8
TRI: 3,4 / 3,4,5,8 / 1,3,4,5,8

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

SA Race 8 The Siren Lure (4:22 PT)
#11 Cistron 5-1
#9 Antolian Heat 4-1
#6 B Squared 4-1
#8 Perfectly Majestic 8-1

Analysis: Cistron was a game second last out against $75,000 optional claimers in his first start off a 6 1/2 month layoff and he should move forward off that effort for Sadler. The colt's previous trip on the downhill turf course was last may where he was a good second in the Desert Code. He has landed in the money in 8 of his 9 trips on turf and should get a good trip here sitting just off the pace.

Antolian Heat beat our top pick last out in a sharp effort his third win on the downhill. Two back he was fourth in the San Simeon (G3) behind repeat winner Belvoir Bay, who came back to win the Monrovia (G2) in his next start with a 101 Beyer. It took this guy five tries to get through his second allowance conditions, but he looks as if he is coming in here in good form for a sharp outfit in Miller.

Wagering
WIN: #11 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 9,11 / 6,8,9,11
TRI: 9,11 / 6,8,9,11 / 1,6,8,9,11

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
R4: #7 Czech Rate 8-1
R4: #4 Ego 20-1
R7: #5 Discretionary Marq 8-1
R8: #8 Benefactor 12-1

Good luck today!

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