Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM

At the Gate - Sunday

It had been pretty quiet the past few weeks since we witnessed Justify win the Triple Crown, but things got a little crazy yesterday with 10 graded stakes and it seemed as if they all went off at the same time, didn’t it?
I even got shut out of one of the stakes at Woodbine as I was trying to maneuver between Woodbine, Monmouth Park, Gulfstream Park and Belmont Park.
We hit both featured races in yesterday’s column, but the prices were on the short side.
Wonder Gadot got bet down in the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine, but she sure was impressive beating the boys by 4 ¾ lengths and it looked as if the margin could have been bigger. She returned $6.40 to win but we whiffed on the exacta, not using 28-1 Aheadbyacentury, who completed a $2 exacta that paid $157.00.
Midnight Bisou drew off to win the Mother Goose (G2) at Belmont Park by six lengths under jockey Mike Smith. She returned just $2.90 as the field got scratched down to four. The chalky exacta paid $5.20.
Long On Value got up late to win the Highlander (G1) at Woodbine as our top pick, returning $6.70 and stamping a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1).
The other “Win and You’re In” race was the Princess Rooney (G2) at Gulfstream Park which was won by Stormy Embrace and she earned a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). I gave her no shot and most others did not as well. She returned $33.40 with 14-1 Rich Mommy completing a $2 exacta that paid $322.40. 
Sunday’s Best Plays Report includes my 13 strongest plays from Belmont Park and Monmouth Park.
To purchase my Belmont Park and Best Plays Reports for Sunday click here .
Here is the opening race from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 Clm $14,000N3L (1:30 ET)
#3 Daria's Angel   9-5
#2 Paula's Pistol   1-1
#1 Special Risk   3-1
#5 Forres Lily   12-1
Analysis: Daria's Angel pressed the early pace and finished gamely to beat $16,000 non-winners of two last out here going a mile in her third start off the claim by the Diodoro barn. She steps up a notch here to the non-winners of three level and the stretch back out to a route seems to have suited this gal. The sharp barn has her back on track and she does not need to move forward much off her last outing to win right back.
Paula's Pistol was a sharp winner last out against $16,000 non-winners of two off a 2 1/2 month break. She broke her maiden three back for a $10,000 tag and then ran well in her first start against winners two back in the mud behind repeat winner Stay Fond who beat $14,000 non-winners of three in her next outing. Her last pair of speed figs are tops in here.
WIN: #3 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 1,2,3
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 7 Md Sp Wt (4:46 ET)
#2 Payne   5-2
#8 Illudere   5-1
#7 Aqwaam   4-1
#1 Hot Sriracha   9-2
Analysis: Payne makes his first start since last fall where the colt went clear heading for home but was run down in a runner up finish at 6-5 at Churchill Downs. The colt was third in his debut at 9-1 two months earlier. He was under the care of the high % Cox barn and now starts for the Chad Brown barn that is 29% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff. The $150,000 son of Paynter is out of the stakes winner Vertical Vision ($202,789) who has dropped one other foal to race, stakes winner Vertical Oak ($529,270).
Illudere is a $180,000 Keeneland purchase making his debut for the Jerkens barn that is 13% winners (with a +ROI) with firsters. The colt is by Ghostzapper out of a stakes placed Mizzen Mast mare. The colt is working as if he has some ability.
WIN: #2 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 2,8 / 1,2,7,8
TRI: 2,8 / 1,2,7,8 / 1,2,7,8,9
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Monmouth Park:
MTH Race 8 Md $20,000 (4:23 ET)
#8 Nagle Nation   10-1
#6 Cutter Helm   4-1
#7 Bound Bi Luck   3-1
#2 National Honor   6-1
Analysis: Nagle Nation finds a soft looking spot for his debut here for the Allard barn that is 1 for his last 14 with first time starters. The gelding is by Factorum out of an Awesome Again mare that has dropped nine winners and three have won on turf and a pair are stakes winners, top earner Always Sunshine ($417,650). Nothing special looking about the works at Philly but this is a capable barn and we should catch a decent price.
Cutter Helm was a good second two back in eh slop and last out in his first start off the claim by the DeMasi barn he tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth. He returns with blinkers added and his first go on turf since a fifth at Tampa Bay Downs back in March versus maiden special weight foes. He is out of a stakes placed Fit to Fight mare that has dropped a couple of turf winners. The barn is 21% winners with first blinkers.
WIN: #8 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 6,8 / 2,6,7,8
TRI: 6,8 / 2,6,7,8 / 2,5,6,7,8
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 Forres Lily   12-1
R4: #2 Unionizer   8-1
R6: #10 Phone Funky Munky   8-1
R6: #3 Idles of Arch   8-1
R9: #10 Leading Storm   15-1
Good luck today!

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