Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:03 PM
At the Gate - Saturday
We have 10 graded stakes on tap on Saturday as well as the $1 million Queen’s Plate at Woodbine, the first jewel of Canada’s Triple Crown.
I included nine of the graded stakes in today’s Best Plays Multi Track Report. I did not get around to looking at Churchill Downs, which did not exactly break my heart as I really only care about the track two days a year. (Actually, four this year because they host the Breeders’ Cup this November).
The biggest race on Saturday is not even graded. A field of 16 go to the post in the Queen’s Plate giving us the biggest field we will see all year in North America other than the Kentucky Derby (G1).
One of the interesting thing about the Queen’s Plate is how well the ladies do. Fillies have won three of the last seven editions of the race including last when Holy Helena beat the boys.
There are two fillies in this year’s race and they get a five-pound weight break. I landed on one of the fillies as my top pick is Wonder Gadot, who was beaten a head by the other filly in the race, Dixie Moon when they squared off in the Woodbine Oaks.
Wonder Gadot is trained by Mark Casse who won this race in 2014 with the filly Lexie Lou. Wonder Gadot nearly won the Kentucky Oaks (G1), beaten just a half length by Monomoy Girl. Casse adds blinkers and she reunites with Hall of Fame jockey Jon Velazquez.
One of the supporting features at Woodbine is the $250,000 Highlander (G1) which is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).
The other Breeders’ Cup Challenge race on Saturday is the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2) at Gulfstream Park. The winner earns an all expenses paid trip to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).
Getting overlooked this weekend is the $250,000 Mother Goose (G2) at Belmont Park. The race was downgraded from a Grade 1 race last year but drew a solid field this year including Santa Anita Oaks (G1) winner Midnight Bisou and the undefeated fillies Mo Smart and Road to Victory.
Saturday’s Best Plays Report includes my 13 strongest plays from Belmont Park and stakes action from Monmouth Park, Woodbine and Gulfstream Park.
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 Sp Wt (1:30 ET)
1 Doups Point 3-1
6 The Postmaster 7-5
2 Market Bubble 2-1
4 Sayhellotomylilfrn 20-1
Analysis: Doups Point makes his debut for the Clement barn that is 8% winners with first timers. This guy has decent looking works for his debut. He was a $70,000 purchase by Point of Entry out of the stakes winner Coy Cat ($247,755) who had dropped four foals to race, three winners including one turf winner.
The Postmaster raced near the back of the pack, was bumped nearing the 5/16's, came with a five wide bid and made up some ground late to finish third, beaten two lengths. He did not take any action in his debut, sent off at 29-1. He is out of a Powerscourt mare that has dropped a pair of winners, both turf winners, top earner stakes winner Lady Joan ($257,540). He is the logical one to beat but after being 29-1 in his debut the price sure is going to be shorter here.
WIN: #1 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,2,4,6
TRI: 1,6 / 1,2,4,6 / 1,2,4,6,8
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 The Mother Goose G2 (5:18 ET)
2 Midnight Bisou 8-5
3 Mo Smart 8-1
6 Road to Victory 5-2
7 My Miss Lilly 5-1
Analysis: Midnight Bisou had a three-race winning streak snapped when she was the beaten favorite in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs in her last outing. She was outrun early and came with a seven wide run to finish third. The winner Monomoy Girl came back to win the Acorn (G1) here on June 9. The runner up Wonder Gadot came back to miss winning the Woodbine Oaks by a neck and goes against the boys in the Queen’s Plate this afternoon at Woodbine. Our top pick reeled off three straight at Santa Anita including an impressive victory in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1). She showed three and four back she can be closer to the pace and likely will need to be as there is not a ton of early speed in here. She makes her first start for the Asmussen barn that is 22% winners with newcomers to the barn.
Mo Smart has not been tested in her two starts, winning by a combined 20 ½ lengths. She broke her maiden going seven furlongs in her debut at Gulfstream Park by 7 ½ lengths. The runner up Ox Eyed Daisy came back to graduate in her next outing on March 29 with a 70 Beyer and then was outrun versus Alw-1 optional claimers at Churchill Downs in her latest. In her second start our second choice beat Alw-1 optional claimers at Pimlico in the mud by 13 lengths. The runner up Maya Malibu beat Alw-1 optional claimers in her next start and last year she ran second in the Spinaway (G1) and third in the Frizette (G1). The fourth-place finisher Lady by Choice also won next out, beating $40,000 starter optional claimers by 15 ½ lengths with an 88 Beyer. The Pletcher trainee was a $150,000 purchase by Uncle Mo and the first foal to race out of a Smart Strike mare. She looks as if she still has some upside.
Road to Victory is perfect in three starts, winning the Alywow going 6 ½ furlongs on turf at Woodbine off the shelf. The filly broke her maiden in her debut and then won the Golden Rod (G2) over Monomoy Girl in her first start against winners but suffered an ankle injury forcing her to the sidelines. Monomoy Girl has won four in a row including three Grade 1 races in a row—the Ashland, Kentucky Oaks, and Acorn. By Quality Road out of a Tiznow mare, dirt likely is her better surface. She popped a bullet work over the main track here on June 22.
WIN: #2 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,6
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,6 / 2,3,6,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Woodbine:
WO Race 10 The Queen's Plate (5:36 ET)
11 Wonder Gadot 3-1
10 Telekinsis 5-2
4 Strike Me Down 10-1
8 Alternative Route 20-1
Analysis: Wonder Gadot was beaten a head as the chalk last out in the Woodbine Oaks in her second start over the surface. She was a game second in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) two back at Churchill Downs, beaten just a half-length to Monomoy Girl, who came back to win the Acorn (G1) at Belmont Park on June 9. Her only other trip on the Tapeta was last October where she won the Mazarine (G3) by six lengths in her third career start. She has landed in the money in 10 of her 11 starts, the lone exception a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) last fall at Del Mar. She adds blinkers and Husbands sticks with her stablemate but Johnny V. knows this gal well. She is getting five pounds from the boys and fillies have won this race in three of the last seven years.
Telekinsis took the field gate to wire to win the Queen's Plate Trial as the favorite. He was beaten just a head two back, run down by My Boy Jack in the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland on dirt in the final strides. The $470,000 Keeneland purchase is by Ghostzapper out of a Street Cry mare. Casse and Husbands teamed up to win this race in 2014 with the filly Lexie Lou. He looks capable of handling the extra ground.
Strike Me Down is back on the fake stuff after heading for home with a clear lead in the Tale of the Cat on turf at Monmouth Park only to get run down late and settling for the runner up spot. The colt ran well here on turf last fall running second in the Cup and Saucer and then broke his maiden in his next start which is his lone start on Tapeta. He makes his third start off the bench here for the Motion barn and Ortiz is in to ride this colt. He has a nice pedigree, by Tapit out of the stakes winner Strike Softly ($683,309) who has dropped two other winners including stakes winner Golden Sabre ($332,223).
WIN: #11 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 10,11 / 4,8,10,11
TRI: 10,11 / 4,8,10,11 / 4,7,8,10,11
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: #4 Sayhellotomylilfrn 20-1
R2: #1 Stormy’s Song 8-1
R2: #7 Designing 12-1
R5: #1 Wisconsin Night 8-1
R5: #4 Souper Echo 15-1
R7: #4 News Anchor 8-1
R8: #3 Mo Smart 8-1
R9: #7 Neoclassic 8-1
Good luck today!