Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM

At the Gate - Friday

We have a twilight post time at Belmont Park on Friday with the first race going off at 3:05 ET and then we come back with a huge 11-race card on Saturday with five graded stakes including a pair of $1 million races.

The feature on Friday is the $100,000 State Dinner at 1 11/6 miles on the main track which drew a compact field of five led by even money morning line favorite Timeline.

The Chad Brown trained Timeline has won five of his eight starts and started his career winning his first four including the Peter Pan (G3) and Pegasus (G3) last year.

His main threat is Sunny Ridge (8-5) who was the beaten favorite when third in the Salvatore Mile (G3) at Monmouth Park in his most recent start. The gelding won twice last year, taking the Jazil and Stymie on the inner track at Aqueduct. He is trained by Jason Servis, who is wining at a 47% clip at the meeting.

Sunny Ridge is almost as consistent as his trainer, running Beyers ranging from 96 to 99 in five of his last six starts.

Completing the field are Frammento (15-1), You’re to Blame (7-2) and Giuseppe the Great (8-1).

We have five stakes on Stars & Stripes Day on Saturday. NBC picks up the action during a 90-minute telecast that gets underway at 4:30 ET and Fox Sports 2 will broadcast the action from 6:00 to 7:00 ET.

The features are the $1.2 million Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) and the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1).

In addition, we will head out to Arlington Park on Saturday where there are four graded stakes that serve as prep races for Arlington Million Day. I will include the stakes action in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.

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 Alw $50,000s (3:05 ET)
#5 Fact Check 9-5
#2 Herecomesyourman 7-5
#1 Too Much Data 6-1
#7 Zefiro 4-1

Analysis: Fact Check tracked the early pace while under a hold, had to steady off heels with about three furlongs to go and finished up well for third last out at this level in his second start off the claim by the hot Servis barn. The top pair have both won next out, the winner Dirty beating allowance foes at Laurel Park and the runner up Axtell beating Alw-1 foes here on June 30. A clean trip makes this guy really tough in this spot for a barn hitting at a 47% clip at the meeting. If the rains come and this race is moved to the main track that will not slow this guy down. He has a second and a third in two trips over the off going.

Herecomesyourman was outrun early, came with a good bid to take over the lead and could not match strides late with the winner in a runner up finish against $40,000 non-winners of two. It took 13 tries for this guy to break his maiden but has run well in two of his three starts versus winners earning figs good enough to win in this spot. Castellano sticks and this guy does have a strong off track pedigree if this comes off the grass.

WIN: #5 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 2,5 / 1,2,5
TRI: no play

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

BEL Race 8 OClm $62,500N2X (6:50 ET)
#1 Battle in Seattle 10-1
#3 Masked 8-5
#10 English Minister 10-1
#12 Our Independence 9-2

Analysis: Battle in Seattle made a good late rally to beat Alw-1 foes at Presque Isle last out on Tapeta in his second start since landing in the U.S. with the Motion barn. The gelding checked in ninth two back over good ground here in his first start off a 11 month layoff. He has only won on the fake stuff but he has run okay on turf and looks primed for a top effort here in his third start off the shelf here. He is out of a High Yield mare that has yielded one other runner, a winner on turf.

Masked makes his first start here for Cox who takes over from Baffert and is 29% winners (with a +ROI) with newcomers to the barn. The colt won twice going 6 1/2 on the downhill, then was third in the William Walker at Churchill Downs going five furlongs and set the early fractions and weakened to finish third in his local debut in the seven furlong Paradise Creek. The cut back to six furlongs and the class drop should suit this guy.

WIN: #1 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,10,12
TRI: 1,3 / 1,3,10,12 / 1,3,10,11,12

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
R2: #5 Abeja Negra 8-1
R2: #3 Flying Pleasantly 12-1
R3: #5 Giuseppe the Great 8-1
R4: #1 Trish the Dish 8-1
R4: #4 Miss Technicality 8-1
R5: #6 Bobby On Fleek 8-1
R7: #7 Hot Sriracha 8-1
R8: #1 Battle in Seattle 10-1
R8: #10 English Minister 10-1
R9: #5 Ultimate Cause 10-1

Good luck today!

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