Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM

At the Gate - Thursday

The week at Belmont Park certainly got off to a good start as we knocked down the winner with my top pick in each of the first five races on the card on Wednesday.

We beat a couple of chalks in short fields and the winners came back at $7.20, $9.70, $2.80, $8.80 and $7.90 and that meant we hit the early Pick 5 cold to the tune of $799.000 for a $1.

I whiffed on the next three races before Leap to Glory got hammered down in the nightcap from a 3-1 morning line and returned just $3.30 to give us our sixth top pick on the nine-race card.

Fields were draw yesterday for some of the big races on Saturday including the $500,000 Indiana Derby (G3) which drew a field of nine but no Triple Crown race alums.

The Dale Romans trained King Zachary was installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite., The colt has won three of his six career starts and is coming off a smart looking victory in the Matt Winn (G3) in his last outing at Churchill Downs.

The richest race of the weekend is Saturday’s $750,000 Delaware Handicap (G2) for fillies and mares going 1 ¼ miles at Delaware Park. Nine were entered but Farrell will scratch.

The Bill Mott trained Elate makes her 2018 debut and is the 2-1 morning line favorite. A winner of last year’s Alabama (G1) and Beldame (G1), she was the beaten favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) in her last start, checking in fourth.

I will have selections for both races in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.

To purchase my Belmont Park Report for Thursday click here .

Here is the opening race from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:

BEL Race 1 Clm $25,000N2L (1:30 ET)
#5 Single Gem 2-1
#3 Binkster 7-5
#2 Tale of Mist 8-5
#4 Lake Party 8-1

Analysis: Single Gem returns off a three month break here for the Diodoro barn that is 26% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180 day layoff. The gelding tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth last out against $50,000 starter optional claimers at Oaklawn Park. The runner up and third place finishers came out of that race to win next out. He drops into an easier spot here facing $25,000 foes for his second start off the claim by a barn that has won with six shippers (21%) over the past three months here.

Binkster tracked the early pace and tired to finish 10th last out on turf in a NY Stallion Series race. He was outrun two back in the slop and figures to move forward facing a softer spot and a fast main track. He showed speed three and four back against $40,000 starter allowance foes at a mile in his first two starts against winners. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and fits here but at a light price.

WIN: #5 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 5 / 2,3
TRI: no play

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

BEL Race 8 Alw $90,000N1X (5:18 ET)
#1 Bengala 7-2
#3 Silver Shaker 2-1
#10 Emmy Performance 4-1
#5 Galileo's Melody 10-1

Analysis: Bengala makes her third start of the year here sine landing in the U.S. with Clement. She was a game second two back over soft ground at Keeneland off a seven-month layoff. The winner of that race was Creative Thinking, who came back to win the Keertana in her next outing on May 26. She faced pretty tough company overseas including winning ninth in the Irish Oaks (G1) at the Curragh. She was the beaten chalk last out in her first trip over the grass here but she did move forward and looks primed for a top effort here with Irad picking up the call.

Silver Shaker makes her second start off the bench here for the Chad Brown barn. Last out off the layoff she came with a five wide bid and finished gamely in a runner up finish, beaten 3/4 of a length. She graduated in her fourth career start and then was third and second in her first two starts at today's condition. The barn is 22% winners with runners making their second start off a +180 day layoff. She is out of a stakes placed Silver Charm mare that has dropped five other winners including a pair of stakes winners, top earner Praetero ($714,869).

WIN: #1 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,5,10
TRI: 1,3 / 1,3,5,10 / 1,3,5,8,10

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: #4 Lake Party 8-1
R5: #5 Sparky 8-1
R7: #3 Sparticle 8-1
R8: #5 Galileo’s Melody 10-1

Good luck today!

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