Sep 07, 2018
At the Gate - Saturday
It is the second day of the Belmont Park meeting and we have a good 10-race card on tap today with the feature the $100,000 Allied Forces.
However, I am looking forward to dropping a few bucks at Kentucky Downs which features five stakes races today and an All Stakes Pick 5 with a 14% takeout. The feature is the anchor leg of the Pick 5, the $750,000 Kentucky Turf Cup (G3). All five races are included in my Best Plays Report for today.
A full field will go 1 ½ miles led by the defending champion Oscar Nominated (7-2) for the Mike Maker barn. The five-year-old is looking to bounce back off a disappointing sixth place finish in the United Nations (G1) at Monmouth Park.
I landed on him as my top pick as you can see below, and I am looking for some value in the exacta with Manitoulin (6-1), who figures to bounce back off a seventh-place finish in boggy conditions at Saratoga in the Bowling Green (G2) in his last outing.
It is a tough Pick 5 sequence with fields of 11, 10, 10, 11 and 12. Even if a few favorites win this wager, it is going to pay off well.
The Allied Forces at Belmont Park drew a field of seven that will go six furlongs on turf. World of Trouble is the 9-5 morning line favorite and is coming off a sharp gate to wire win in the Quik Call.
I am going to give Gidu (5-2) one more shot. He let us down as my top pick in the H.A. Jerkens (G1) last out on the main track at the Spa and is back on his favorite surface.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 10 strongest plays from Belmont Park and Kentucky Downs including the stakes action.
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Here is the opener from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 Md $25,000 (1:30 ET)
#3 Promise Me Roses 3-1
#6 Thirsty Gal 7-5
#5 Party in the Sand 2-1
#1 Lutenanny 10-1
Analysis: Promise Me Roses prompted the early pace and could not stick with the top pair late in a third-place finish for this tag last out at the Spa in her first go off an eight-month layoff. She was not much of a threat in her first three starts last year, hitting the bench after her third start where she bolted and lost the rider. She catches a pretty weak looking group of state breds here. She is the first foal to race out of the stakes winner Promise Me a Cat ($320,820).
Thirsty Gal came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out in her second career start, beaten a half-length for the top spot while 3/4 of a length ahead of our top pick. She came back with a bullet drill on Sept. 2 over the Oklahoma training track at the Spa. She was a $12,000 Spa purchase out of a FuPeg mare, her first foal to race. She fits here but not sure she is going to see enough pace in front of her in this spot.
WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 1,3,5,6
TRI: 3,6 / 1,3,5,6 / 1,3,5,6,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 4 The Allied Forces (3:04 ET)
#4 Gidu 5-2
#5 World of Trouble 9-5
#6 Colonel Tom 8-1
#2 Dirty 7-2
Analysis: Gidu was my top pick in the Jerkens (G1) last out at 11-1 and that did not work out well as he picked it in readily after chasing the early pace. He is back on turf here and he has won three of seven including the Paradise Creek here at seven furlongs on turf back in May. Two back in the Hall of Fame (G2) at a mile he opened a big lead and weakened late to finish fourth. The winner was Racing Bull, who came back to win the Saranac (G2) while the third-place finisher Ride a Comet returned to win the Del Mar Derby (G2) in his next outing. Pletcher is 17% winners moving runners from dirt to turf.
World of Trouble wire the field to win the Quik Call last out in a sharp effort at the Spa going 5 1/2 over yielding turf in his first go over the surface. The Servis trainee was pretty good on dirt as well, winning the Pasco at Tampa Bay Downs back in January by 13 3/4 lengths. He is going to get some serious pace pressure here as the early fractions should be hot.
WIN: #4 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 4,5 / 2,4,5,6
TRI: 4,5 / 2,4,5,6 / 2,4,5,6,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Kentucky Downs:
KD Race 10 The Kentucky Turf Cup G3 (5:59 CT)
#6 Oscar Nominated 7-2
#3 Manitoulin 6-1
#4 Bigger Picture 9-2
#8 Arklow 12-1
Analysis: Oscar Nominated had to check in traffic on the first turn, stalked the early pace, came with a four wide bid and finished evenly in a sixth-place finish in the United Nations (G1) last out at Monmouth Park. The Maker trainee won this race last year by a head and won the William McKnight 'Cap (G3) at Gulfstream Park back in January, his last win. This guy has not racked a triple digit Beyer but sure runs consistent numbers earning between a 95 and a 99 Beyer in 11 of his last 12 starts. He has landed in the money in all five starts at the distance and is perfect in his two trips over the ground here, also winning the 2016 Dueling Grounds Derby.
Manitoulin tracked the early pace and faded to finish a well beaten seventh last out in the Bowling Green (G2) at the Spa over soft ground. He was beaten just 3/4 of a length two back in a fourth-place finish in the Manhattan (G1) at Belmont Park going 1 1/4 miles, earning a career top speed fig. He won the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) at 1 1/2 miles last November at Del Mar. is one trip here was an eighth in the 2016 Dueling Grounds Derby which was won by our top pick. The Toner trainee figures to bounce back with a bit firmer ground although there is a chance of some rain here on Friday and Saturday.
Bigger Picture did not fire his best last out in the Sword Dancer (G1) at the Spa where he tired to finish eighth. He was beaten a length when fourth in the Bowling Green two back on soft ground and was third beaten two lengths in the U.N. three back. He has earned triple digit Beyers in 7 of his last dozen starts and has a pair of wins at 1 1/2 miles, the last coming in the John Connolly (G3) at Sam Houston over good ground back in January. He is better than he showed last out and looking for a bounce back effort.
WIN: #6 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 3,4,6,8
TRI: 3,6 / 3,4,6,8 / 3,4,5,6,8
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: #1 Lutenanny 10-1
R2: #4 karma Delight 12-1
R4: #6 Colonel Tom 8-1
R9: #4 Majestic Won 8-1
Good luck today!