Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM
At the Gate - Friday
We had a wet track and were off the turf for Thursday’s nine race card at Aqueduct, and with the scratches and four races moved to the main track, I thought the day was going to be a complete washout.
It turned out better than I expected. After all the scratches we still managed to have five winners on top on the eight race card, the winners paying $3.90, $6.10, $7.90, $2.90 and $8.10.
I am looking forward to Saturday’s action which includes the $250,000 Mother Goose (G2) from Belmont Park, the $1 million Queen’s Plate from Woodbine and the $300,000 United Nations (G1) at Monmouth Park.
There are 10 graded stakes as well as two Breeders’ Cup Challenge races, not bad for a summer Saturday before Saratoga and Del Mar open in a few weeks.
The Mother Goose drew a solid field of three-year-old fillies including Santa Anita Oaks (G1) winner Midnight Bisou, who is the 8-5 morning line favorite. She came from far out of it to rally for third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) in her last start.
She faces two undefeated fillies in Mo Smart and Road to Victory as well as a pair of graded stakes winners.
Mo Smart is looking to give trainer Todd Pletcher his sixth win in the Mother Goose. The filly broke her maiden by 7 ½ lengths and came back to beat first level optional claimers by 13 lengths in her second start.
Road to Victory is perfect in three career starts. She beat Monomoy Girl to win the Golden Rod (G2) last fall at Churchill Downs, then hurt her ankle. She returned by winning the Alywow going 6 ½ furlongs on turf at Woodbine on her return on June 9.
Gazelle (G2) winner My Miss Lilly and Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) winner Coach Rocks add to the depth of the field in a race that was a Grade 1 up until last year when it was downgraded to a Grade 2.
We have a late post time Friday afternoon. First post on the nine race card at Belmont Park is 3:05 ET.
To purchase my Belmont Park Report for Friday click here.
Here is the opening race from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 Md Sp Wt (3:05 ET)
4 All Right With Me 8-5
3 Ok Henry 4-1
1 Positively Jean 2-1
2 Love and Love 8-1
Analysis: All Right With Me made her debut on the main track where she showed good early zip dueling for the early led and weakened to finish fifth, sent off at 5-1 in a field of six for Asmussen. The $30,000 Spa purchase is out of a Thunder Gulch mare that has dropped six winners including a pair of turf winners. The barn is 17% winners with second out maidens. She catches a pretty weak looking group of state breds here.
Ok Henry makes her debut for the Hills barn that is 17% winners (with a +ROI) with first time starters. She is by Haynesfield out of a Not for Love mare that has dropped two foals to race with one turf winner. Decent looking works at Monmouth Park for her debut.
WIN: #4 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 1,3,4
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 OClm $62,500N2X (6:50 ET)
3 Mominou 5-2
7 Okinawa 9-5
6 Jumby Bay 3-1
1 Fear No Evil 8-1
Analysis: Mominou dueled for the early lead and held on gamely to beat Alw-1 optional claimers last out going seven furlongs on turf here. She steps up a condition here while cutting back to six furlongs. She broke her maiden at Gulfstream Park going five furlongs sitting just off the pace. She is out of a Grand Slam mare that has dropped two other turf winners. She looks capable of winning right back here for Toner and Johnny V sticks.
Okinawa beat our top pick two back at the Alw-1 level in gate to wire fashion. Last out she prompted the early pace, had the lead briefly and could not match strides late with the winner in a runner up finish, beaten a length for the top spot. She makes her third start off the long layoff here for the Brown barn. Her numbers fit but I like the way our top pick finished better last out.
WIN: #3 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 3,7 / 1,3,6,7
TRI: 3,7 / 1,3,6,7 / 1,2,3,6,7
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.
R1: #2 Love and Love 8-1
R2: #3 Mohican 10-1
R4: #8 Just Cat 8-1
R5: #1 Pretentious 8-1
R8: #1 Fear No Evil 8-1
Good luck today!