Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:02 PM
At the Gate - Saturday
We have three Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In races on tap this afternoon including the $800,000 Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1). The race drew nine with the winner earning a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
Juveniles take center stage at Churchill Downs with a pair of stakes—the $150,000 Iroquois (G3) and the $200,000 Pocahontas (G2), with the winners earning an automatic starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and Juvenile Fillies (G1) respectively.
Last year’s Woodbine Mile winner was World Approval, who went on to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar. Tepin was the winner in 2016 and other recent winners include Wise Dan, who won it in back to back years in 2012 and 2013 and Court Vision, who won the race in 2010 and was the upset winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile a year later.
Euro invaders won the race in 2014 and 2015, Mondialiste and Trade Storm getting the job done, and I am looking for another Euro invader this year with Lord Glitters.
Woodbine has put together an outstanding card and four of the stakes are included in today’s Best Plays Report including the Woodbine Mile which kicks off an all stakes Pick 4.
The juvenile stakes at Churchill Downs both drew full fields of 12. The Iroquois morning line favorite is the Steve Asmussen trained Tight Ten (2-1), but the colt raced over a speed friendly racing strip at Saratoga last out and there is more value to be found.
The Pocahontas 5-2 morning line favorite is Serengeti Empress, who won the Ellis Park Debutante by better than 13 lengths. The Tom Amoss trainee goes two turns for the first-time as does most of the field, but she looked super in her last win and sure looks as if she will be able to handle the extra ground.
The $400,000 Sands Point (G2) is the feature at Belmont Park this afternoon with a field of eight going 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf. Of course, trainer Chad Brown is well represented with three of the eight runners.
Two are making their U.S. debuts—Barkaa (3-1) and Shadan (12-1) and Reversethedecision (5-1) beat first level optional claimers in her most recent outing.
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My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 10 strongest plays from Belmont Park, Churchill Downs and Woodbine.
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Here is the opener from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 Clm $12,500 (1:30 ET)
#2 Its All Relevant 9-2
#5 Etruscan 2-1
#4 Swivel 9-5
#1 Sparty Boy 3-1
Analysis: Its All Relevant came off an 11-month layoff last out, chasing the early pace and fading to finish a well beaten ninth against $32,000 foes. He drops into a softer spot here tagged for $12,500 while stretching out to a route. This guy beat Alw-1 foes over the main track here at a mile, so he can handle the extra ground. The barn is 17% winners moving runners from sprint to route and he has shown some serious early speed in his younger days. Two works since his last outing and he should be right in the mix early here.
Etruscan tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth last out for this tag. He was claimed out of the race by the RRod barn that is 30% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. The gelding was good enough to beat $20,000 claimers at the spring Keeneland meeting at a mile. The stretch back out to a route will suit him. The barn is 25% winners (with a +ROI) moving runners from sprint to route.
WIN: #2 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 2,5 / 2,4,5
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 9 The Sands Point G2 (5:53 ET)
#4 Reversethedecision 5-1
#7 Californiagoldrush 6-1
#1 Barkaa 3-1
#3 Capla Temptress 7-2
Analysis: Reversethedecision is one of three in here sent out by the Brown barn. The filly caught yielding footing last out at the Spa where she drew off late to beat Alw-1 optional claimers in her fourth career start. Her stakes debut came two back at Monmouth Park in the Boiling Springs where she made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot. The winner Dark Artist came back to win the Open Mind in her next outing on June 23 and then was fourth in the Pucker Up (G3) in her most recent outing. She is bred to handle nine furlongs, by Scat Daddy out of a Dynaformer mare and the 5-1 morning line looks fair enough.
Californiagoldrush ships in from the west coast for the Drysdale barn. The filly won her first two starts on turf at Santa Anita, then got a 6 1/2-month break. She returned in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) where she made a good late rally to finish third, beaten 2 1/4 lengths for the top spot. She should move forward off that effort and is another that is bred to get nine furlongs, by Cape Blanco out of the stakes winner Qaraaba ($171,119). The barn has had three starters in NY this year, winning a pair of stakes races with La Sardane.
WIN: #4 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 4,7 / 1,3,4,7
TRI: 4,7 / 1,3,4,7 / 1,3,4,6,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Woodbine:
WO Race 8 The Woodbine Mile (4:48 ET)
#6 Lord Glitters 4-1
#3 Delta Prince 5-2
#7 Oscar Performance 7-2
#9 Stormy Antarctic 8-1
Analysis: Lord Glitters is one of two Euro shippers in here, the gelding coming in off a victory in the Strensall Stakes (G3) at York in his last outing. Two back he ran third in the Sussex Stakes (G1) at Goodwood behind Lighting Spear, who was fifth in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (G1) at Longchamp on Sept 9 in his next start and Expert Eye, who won the Sky Bet City of York Stakes (G3) in his next start at York and then was third in the Prix du Moulin. The David O’Meara trainee has landed in the exacta in 14 of his 17 career starts and was beaten just a half-length at Royal Ascot back in June in the Queen Anne Stakes (G1). He looks like a good fit here and gets the call despite my arch nemesis Jamie Spencer coming over for the ride.
Delta Prince was a smart looking winner in the King Edward (G2) over the turf here two back off a 10-month layoff. He then just missed in the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) where he came up just a neck short of getting to the loose on the lead gate to wire winner Voodoo Song over good ground. The Jerkens trainee earned a career top speed fig last out, but I still think he likes a bit firmer ground which it appears he gets here. The five-year-old appears to be sitting on a big one here in his third start off the bench here but his price may end up on the light side.
Oscar Performance exits the Arlington Million (G1) at 1 ¼ miles where he tracked the early pace and was pulled up with the jock thinking he felt something amiss. He was vanned off but scoped out well and has posted three works since his last outing and Ortiz is back on board today. He was a smart looking winner of the Poker (G3) at Belmont Park two back coming off a 7 ½ month layoff. The colt won seven of his first dozen trips on turf including the ’16 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and a pair of Grade 1 ‘s last year.
WIN: #6 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 3,6,7,9
TRI: 3,6 / 3,6,7,9 / 3,6,7,8,9
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.
R2: #6 Take Ten 10-1
R3: #2 Freddymo Factor 10-1
R4: #4 Cathy Naz 10-1
R5: #1 On the Town 10-1
R6: #7 Steelersfanforlife 8-1
R7: #4 Volodina 10-1
R10: #4 Shanghai Glory 15-1
Good luck today!