At the Gate – Wednesday

With Belmont Park running an abbreviated Friday-Sunday schedule this week I had the choice of spending the time off at the mall with the girlfriend or find some work to do.

I did what any sane horseplayer in love would do—I gave my girlfriend my credit card and sent her to the mall and downloaded the past performances for Wednesday’s Kentucky Downs card.

In my defense I already had half the card handicapped, as the track added the day after Sunday got wiped out due to rain. The six-day meeting at the Franklin, Ky. track ends Thursday, and it is one of the most horseplayer friendly racetracks in the U.S.

We have Pick 4’s and Pick 5’s with a takeout of just 14%, and large fields in all 10 races, something we rarely see these days. Large purses have attracted some of the top barns including Mike Maker, Wesley Ward, Steve Asmussen and Christophe Clement.

Maker is on a roll at the meeting, winning with 7 of his 22 starts and he has runners in 9 of the 10 races this afternoon.

We have a couple of stakes on the card—the $300,000 Dueling Grounds Oaks and the $400,000 Dueling Grounds Derby, and there are three starter allowance races that serve as Win and You’re In races for the Claiming Crown this December at Gulfstream Park.

The opening race on the card is a maiden special weight race with a purse of $130,000. No, not $13,000, it is really $130,000.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package for just $99.95. It gives you a month of Belmont Park daily and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday.

To purchase my Kentucky Downs Report for Wednesday click here.

Here is the opener from Kentucky Downs to get the day off to a good start:

KD Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:25 CT)
#1 Tin Soldier 15-1
#5 Bizzee Channel 3-1
#3 Rotation 6-1
#12 Tohubohu 12-1

Analysis: Tin Soldier is a $360,000 Keeneland purchase making his debut for the Jones barn that is 19% winners with first time starters. This guy is by Giant's Causeway out of a FuPeg mare that has dropped four foals to race with three winners, two turf winners, top earner We Miss Artie ($738,843). The works are not jumping off the page, but this barn can have them ready to go early and we should catch a decent price.

Bizzee Channel dueled for the early lead and battled on gamely in the stretch to miss by just a neck last out on the fake stuff at Arlington Park. He has worked sharply since that outing and is bred to like grass. He is by English Channel out of a Mizzen Mast mare that has dropped one other foal to race, turf winner Bizzee Mischief, a two-time winner on the lawn. He makes his first start here for Rivelli barn that excels with juvies and hits at a 24% clip with newcomers to the barn.

WIN: #1 to win at 8-1 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,3,5,12
TRI: 1,5 / 1,3,5,12 / 1,3,5,6,12

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Kentucky Downs:

KD Race 9 The Dueling Grounds Derby (5:33 CT)
#6 Bandua 4-1
#7 Captivating Moon 3-1
#9 Channel Cat 7-2
#4 Reride 5-1

Analysis: Bandua stalked the early pace and finished up well in a third-place finish in the Secretariat (G1) over good ground at Arlington Park in his U.S. debut. This guy won his first two starts on heavy ground at Cork in Ireland and likely will relish the conditions and course layout here. The colt looks dangerous in this spot and likely gets bet down from his 4-1 morning line.

Captivating Moon also exits the Secretariat where he saved ground early and finished evenly in a fifth-place finish, beaten 3 1/4 lengths for the top spot. The colt made a good late rally two back to finish in the runner up spot in the American Derby (G3). He ran well earlier this spring on yielding ground in Kentucky in a couple of runner up finishes in graded stakes company. Block is live sending out runners here, winning with 5 of 21 starters here dating back five years.

WIN: #6 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 6,7 / 4,6,7,9
TRI: 6,7 / 4,6,7,9 / 4,6,7,9,10

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.

Kentucky Downs
R1: #1 Tin Soldier 15-1
R1: #12 Tohubohu 12-1
R2: #12 Focused 8-1
R2: #8 Girl’s Night 8-1
R3: #4 Fish Trappe Road 8-1
R5: #4 Roussalka 10-1
R6: #1 Loves On Tides 12-1
R7: #8 Stave 12-1
R7: #6 Starving Artist 15-1
R8: #1 Osare 8-1
R10: #12 St. Denman 10-1
R10: #6 Art Collection 8-1

Good luck today!