Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM

At the Gate - Thursday

There are only four graded stakes races in the U.S. on tap on Saturday, which is slim pickings, but I was surprised to see such a large field is showing up for the $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3) at Thistledown.

Three of the dozen runners in this year’s edition have Triple Crown race experience and several others competed in Road to the Kentucky Derby points races.

The Mark Casse trained Flameaway is the 5-2 morning line favorite. After running second in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and Blue Grass (G2) he was forwardly placed in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and faded to finish 13th.

Lone Sailor competed in the first two jewels of the Triple Crown. The Tom Amoss trainee was eighth in the Run for the Roses and was fifth beaten two lengths in the Preakness (G1). The colt is the 3-1 second choice on the morning line.

Diamond King (6-1) faded to finish seventh in the Preakness. The John Servis trainee won the Federico Tesio at Pimlico in his previous outing.

Other top contenders include Peter Pan (G2) runner up Core Beliefs, Sir Barton runner up Title Ready (10-1) and Tom Ridge winner Trigger Warning (12-1).

I will have selections and analysis for the race on Saturday.

To purchase my Belmont Park Report for Thursday click here.

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

BEL Race 1 Alw $50,000s (1:30 ET)

5 Bootlegger 8-1

3 Not in Charge 7-2

1 Carrick 2-1

7 Cumberland River 4-1

Analysis: Bootlegger makes his first start since December and gets a key barn switch here to RRod who is 19% winners with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff. The colt broke his maiden on turf at the Spa last summer but was not able to run back to that effort in five starts versus mostly tougher than these. Decent looking works on the morning tab and this guy just may come back running. Worth a look if he goes off near his 8-1 morning line.

Not in Charge stalked the early pace and came with a mild late rally to finish in the runner up spot, no match for a six-length winner while winning a photo for the runner up spot. Two back off a 4 1/2 month break he was a close up fourth beaten just a half-length and placed third thanks to a DQ. He makes his third start off the shelf here for the capable Goldberg barn looks like a legit threat in this spot.

WIN: #5 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 3,5 / 1,3,5,7
TRI: 3,5 / 1,3,5,7 / 1,3,5,6,7

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

BEL Race 7 Clm $25,000 (4:46 ET)

1 Brimstone 4-1

10 Global Positioning 8-1

5 Sal the Turtle 5-1

4 Bobby On Fleek 9-2

Analysis: Brimstone shipped to Finger lakes last out where the gelding set the early fractions and weakened to finish third versus state bred allowance foes going 4 1/2 furlongs. The winner Readyheartandsoul came back to beat state bred optional claimers in his next outing at Finger Lakes on May 21. The gelding wired the field two back at this level at the Big A while in the care of Asmussen. Last summer this guy beat Alw-2 optional claimers over the main track here. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and draws the rail. The gelding looks capable of better than he showed last out.

Global Positioning caught a sloppy track last out against state bred Alw-2 optional claimers, racing at the back of the pack early and making a mild late rally to finish fourth. He is 0 for 5 since the struggling Adsit barn claimed this guy for $25,000. He does have a couple of wins over the main track here and should get a good pace set up. Worth tossing in the mix here at a decent price.

WIN: #1 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 1,10 / 1,4,5,10
TRI: 1,10 / 1,4,5,10 / 1,2,4,5,10

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 Bootlegger 8-1
R3: #1 Lookin At Blessing 10-1
R5: #2 Banker’s Island 10-1
R6: #1 Saratoga Treasure 10-1
R7: #10 Global Positioning 8-1
R8: #1 Amabilis 10-1
R8: #5 Dynatail 8-1
R9: #9 Raging Fire 12-1

Good luck today!

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