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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:03 PM

At the Gate - Saturday

The feature at Belmont Park on Saturday comes early with the $100,000 Wild Applause the fourth race on the 10-race card. Seven were entered with two main track only runners, so if we indeed stick to turf we will have a field of five.
 
Got Stormy is the 6-5 morning line favorite and looks like a standout coming off a neck win in the Penn Oaks in her last outing. However, it is a turf race and that means she will face three runners from the Chad Brown barn.
 
Punked is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line. She makes her third start since landing in the U.S. with Brown. She beat first level optional claimers in her last outing and looks as if she still has room to move forward.
 
Brattata (7-2) is back on turf after a well beaten fifth in the Soaring Softly (G3) which was taken off turf. Brown’s third runner is Lady Suebee (8-1), who beat first level allowance foes in her first start against winners.
 
The feature at Santa Anita is the $250,000 San Carlos (G2) which drew a strong field including a pair of Bob Baffert runners in American Anthem and Dabster.
 
And the big one at Thistledown today is the $500,000 Ohio Derby (G3) which drew a field of 12 including three runners with Triple Crown experience.
 
My selections for that race are down below where I landed on the 5-2 morning line favorite Flameaway who looks as if he will be tough to beat.
 
Saturday’s Best Plays Report includes my eight strongest plays from Belmont Park and Santa Anita and my analysis for the Ohio Derby (G3).
 
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 $40,000 (1:30 ET)
#2 Golden Vale   8-1
#1 Mrs Vargas   6-1
#7 Ragtime Suzy   9-2
#4 Malarkey    5-2
 
Analysis: Golden Vale adds blinkers here after tracking the early pace and finishing up with a mild late rally for third last out for this tag. He was third two back and three back was second behind a runaway 9 1/4 length winner. He catches a softer looking group here and with the hood added he should be forwardly placed. He has a solid off track pedigree and we may see some rain today.
 
Mrs Vargas debuts for the RRod barn that is 14% winners with first timers. The $30,000 Keeneland purchase is by Bernardini out of the stakes winner Love Dancing ($49,253) who has dropped three foals to race with a pair of winners. Decent looking works and this guy is bred to like a wet track.
 
Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,4,7
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,4,7 / 1,2,4,5,7
 
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
 
BEL Race 9 Alw $65,000N1X (5:50 ET)
#7 Dooder   8-1
#10 Way Smart   7-2
#8 High Jingo   5-2
#2 Sweet August Lady   6-1
 
Analysis: Dooder is one of two in here sent out by the Chad Brown barn, both coming back off layoffs. This gal was ninth in the Natalma (G1) last out at Woodbine last September, heading to Canada off just a maiden win versus state breds in her debut. The runner up and third place finisher both came back to graduate and have since beaten winners. The $260,000 Spa purchase is the first foal to race out of a Forest Wildcat mare. The Brown barn is 30% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff.
 
Way Smart came off a 5 1/2-month layoff with a solid second as the beaten favorite going seven furlongs over good ground, beaten a half-length for the top spot. Sher broke her maiden on the grass here last fall going seven panels in her second career start. The filly should be tighter for her second start off the bench here for the Bond barn. She is out of a Smart Strike mare that has dropped two other turf winners. She showed last out she can handle ground with some give to it which may be the case today with some rain in the forecast.
 
Wagering
WIN: #7 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 7,10 / 2,7,8,10
TRI: 7,10 / 2,7,8,10 / 2,4,7,8,10
 
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Thistledown:
 
TDN Race 9 The Ohio Derby G3 (5:10 PT)
#2 Flameaway   5-2
#10 Core Beliefs   5-1
#9 O'Kratos   12-1
#3 Lone Sailor   3-1
 
Analysis: Flameaway stalked the early pace and faded to finish a well beaten 13th in the Kentucky Derby (G1) in the slop. The Mark Casse trainee had run four solid races to start his three-year-old campaign. He won the Kitten’s Joy on turf and the Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. He stamped his ticket to Louisville with a runner up finish in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), then was second in the Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland. There is a chance of a we track today but this guy’s first two starts on wet tracks were both wins, coming in the Skidmore at the Spa last summer and the off the turf Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland last fall. The colt has worke3 sharply and should bounce back with a better effort here. The last three winners of this race were 18th, 8th and 13th in the Run for the Roses.
 
Core Beliefs ran third in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) Justify in his first start against winners, beaten 9 ½ lengths at 41-1. He then shipped to New York and ran a solid second in the peter Pan (G3) behind Blended Citizen who was a disappointing ninth in the Belmont Stakes (G1) in his next outing. The Peter Eurton trainee owns solid early and mid pace numbers and has a solid off track pedigree if the rains come. His Peter Pan was over a wet track and he headed for home with a clear lead but got run down by a more experienced foe. The colt appears to have as much upside as any in this field.
 
O’Kratos is the wildcard in the field, making his first start on conventional dirt. The colt won the Marine (G3) at Woodbine over the Tapeta surface in his last out, his third in six starts. After getting outrun on turf in the Columbia at Tampa Bay Downs in his first start after breaking his maiden who has won sharply in two trips at Woodbine. He is by Paddy O’Prado out of a Speightstown mare and has worked sharply at Woodbine. If he takes to dirt he can land in the mix here at a decent price.
 
Wagering
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,10 / 2,3,9,10
TRI: 2,10 / 2,3,9,10 / 2,3,5,9,10
 
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: #2 Golden Vale   8-1
R2: #11 Bartleby   12-1
R5: #4 Tiffany’s Vision   10-1
R6: #7 Mission Command   10-1
R8: #2 Turco Bravo   8-1
R9: #7 Dooder   8-1
R10: #6 Platinum Nugget   10-1
R10: #11 Construct   10-1
 
Good luck today!

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