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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:02 PM

At the Gate - Saturday

We have plenty of great turf stakes action this afternoon if Mother Nature cooperates and the biggest news of the week is that the sun may make an appearance at Belmont Park.
We have two stakes on turf at Belmont Park today and they both drew competitive fields and are good betting races—the $100,000 Floral Park drawing a full field and the $100,000 Pebbles drawing a dozen.
At Keeneland we have fillies and mares battling in the last Grade 1 of the fall meeting, the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) which drew a field of eight led by Rushing Fall, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner.
The Chad Brown trainee is not pointing toward this year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) as her trainer does not think the 1 3/8 miles is within her scope.
We also go north of the border today with four graded stakes on the Woodbine card including a pair of Grade 1 races on turf—the $800,000 Pattison Canadian International and the $500,000 E.P. Taylor.
It is possible we could see a few starters emerge and come back in three weeks for the Breeders’ Cup.
The Canadian International drew a good field of 11 led by Thundering Blue, who was a good third at 50-1 in the Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) at York behind two of the top turf horses in the world in Roaring Lion and Poet’s Word. We might see Roaring Lion in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf or possibly the Classic.
I have all of the stakes action in today’s Best Plays Report.
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My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my nine strongest plays from Belmont Park 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 Alw $50,000s (12:30 ET)
#3 Financial System   6-5
#6 Apartfromthecrowd   8-1
#1 Lemonist   2-1
#2 Herecomesyourman   5-1
Analysis: Financial System came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot at this level as the beaten chalk off a two-month break. He won his first two starts, beating $40,000 non-winners of two over the turf here. The gelding looks as if he still has some upside with the main knock being the light price here. He is out of a Jump Start mare that has dropped three other winners including stakes winner Conquest Top Gun ($226,759).
Apartfromthecrowd was a sharp winner last out against $16,000 non-winners of two in his second start off the bench. The colt was claimed out of the race by the RRod barn that is 30% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. He steps up in class here into a tougher spot but looks prime for a top effort third off the bench and the 8-1 morning line looks fair enough.
WIN: #3 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 1,3,6
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 9 The Pebbles (5:18 ET)
#8 Victorine   6-1
#11 Significant Form   7-2
#4 Cool Beans   10-1
#2 Stella di Camelot   8-1
Analysis: Victorine made her U.S. debut in the Sands Point (G2) on yielding ground where she was bumped coming out of the gate, came with a good move and then flattened out in the stretch in a fourth-place finish, beaten three lengths. Both of her wins were at 1 1/4 miles at Longchamp and she has handled ground with plenty of give to it which seems likely again today. Lasix is added by Clement who has been sending out live runners at the meeting. Rosario picks up the call and willing to give this gal another look here if we catch most of the 6-1 morning line.
Significant Form caught soft ground last out in the Lake Placid where she checked in fifth behind Rushing Fall, who goes in today's QEII at Keeneland. She stalked the early pace and did not have enough punch left late, beaten 7 3/4 lengths. She won the Memories of Silver in April to start her year and earned solid numbers in her second in the Wonder Again (G2) and fourth in the Belmont Oaks (G1). The Brown trainee appears likely to appreciate the cut back to a mile here and perhaps a bit former footing than she got last out when it was soft. Plenty of rain fell on Thursday so it's doubtful we will see firm turf today.
WIN: #8 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 8,11 / 2,4,8,11
TRI: 8,11 / 2,4,8,11 / 2,4,7,8,11
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Keeneland:
KEE Race 9 The QEII Challenge Cup G1 (5:30 ET)
#7 Capla Temptress   8-1
#8 Rushing Fall   7-5
#5 Mission Impassible   6-1
#3 Fatale Bere   5-1
Analysis: Capla Temptress is one of three Grade 1 winners in the field, taking the Natalma last September at Woodbine. She had trouble in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) where she checked in seventh while beaten 4 ¼ lengths. She was a solid fourth at Longchamp in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (G1) in her first start in ’18 off a five-month layoff. In her two starts since Mott has taken over she caught soft turf in the Lake Placid (G2) where she was a good second and then was seventh in the Sands Point (G2) which was over yielding ground. It looks as if she will catch firmer ground here which she seems to prefer. She was beaten 2 ¾ lengths by Rushing Fall two back on soft ground and may be able to turn the tables here over firmer footing and certainly is going to offer more bang for the buck.
For Rushing Fall this is her Breeders’ Cup as her trainer Chad Brown does not think the 1 3/8 miles of the Filly & Mare Turf (G1) is suitable for her. She has won five of six including both of her trips over the grass here. She won the Jessamine (G3) in her first start against winners here last fall and then at the spring meeting won the Appalachian (G3). She can handle any type of ground and is going to be imposing in here, but she is going to be a short price. Brown won this race in 2012 with Dayatthespa.
Mission Impassible invades from overseas for the Jean-Claude Rouget barn. The filly was fifth beaten seven lengths in the Prix Rothschild (G1) at Deauville in her last start. Two back she won the Prix de Sandringham (G2) at Chantilly. The runner up Crown Walk won the Prix Chloe (G3) in her next start and the third-place finisher Efaadah returned to win the Prix de la Porte Maillot (G3) at Longchamp in her next outing. Geroux picks up the call and she may end up a decent enough price to toss her in the mix. We have not seen a Euro invader win this race sine Aiden O’Brien saddled Together in 2011.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 7,8 / 3,5,7,8
TRI: 7,8 / 3,5,7,8 / 3,4,5,7,8
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: #6 Apartfromthecrowd   8-1
R2: #4 Sol the Freud   10-1
R4: #4 His Name is Sue   8-1
R4: #3 Regal Quality   8-1
R7: #3 Too Fast to Pass   8-1
R8: #5 Fire Key   8-1
R8: #7 Orecciette   12-1
R9: #4 Cool Beans   10-1
R9: #2 Stella di Camelot   8-1
Good luck today!

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