Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM
At the Gate - Thursday
We are now just over two weeks away from the Breeder’s Cup and the fields are coming together with pre-entries due on Monday and they will be announced on Wednesday.
The $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) is the marquee event and as of now it looks as if we could see a full field of 14 heading to the gate.
Accelerate remains the betting favorite at 11-5 at [...] and comes into the Classic riding a three race winning streak. The John Sadler trainee won the Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita last out, beating West Coast by 2 ¼ lengths.
West Coast was making his first start since his runner up finish in the Dubai World Cup (G1) in March. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will be looking for his fourth Classic win in the last five years with this colt, who as a three-year-old ran third in last year’s Classic. The colt is the fifth choice in the betting at 9-1
Baffert will also saddle McKinzie (6-1) who won the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) off a six-month layoff. All three of Baffert’s Classic wins have come with three-year-olds.
Catholic Boy is the co-second choice in early Classic betting at [...] at 5-1. The colt will be making his first start since winning the Travers (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 25.
Mendelssohn is at 5-1 and is coming off a solid third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park. The colt was part of a brutal early pace with the favorite Diversify and held on gamely to be third. The colt won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last fall at Del Mar.
Coming up on Saturday the state breds take center stage at Belmont Park for Empire Showcase Day and at Laurel Park for Maryland Million Day. I will look at both cards for the best value and will include my strongest races in my Best Plays.
Breeders’ Cup Classic Odds via [...] as of Oct. 17:
Catholic Boy 5-1
West Coast 9-1
Mind Your Biscuits 15-1
Thunder Snow 25-1
Discreet Lover 35-1
Lone Sailor 45-1
Roaring Lion 50-1
Seeking The Soul 50-1
Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package for just $99.95. It gives you a month of Belmont Park daily, my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday and my two-day Breeders’ Cup Report.
To purchase my Belmont Park Report for Thursday click here.
Here is the opener from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:30 ET)
#9 Wild William 4-1
#8 Chasindamoney 1-1
#3 Causforcelebration 5-1
#7 Constant Knight 5-2
Analysis: Wild William tracked the early pace and could not get to the winner in the stretch in a runner up finish last out going 5 1/2 on the turf at the Spa. His best fig came here three back in his second career start where he made a mild late bid to checked in third. He is out of a stakes placed Wild Again mare that has dropped five winners and two have won on turf and two are stakes winners, top earner Silent Waters ($156,813). A light work tab since his last outing but he is in good hands with the Abreu barn.
Chasindamoney pressed the early pace and weakened to finish third last out on the main track here in a race taken off the turf and off a four-month break. He set the early fractions and could not hold on two back in a third-place finish back in June which was off a 7 1/2-month layoff. He figures to move forward second off the break and with the switch back to turf but the price here is going to be very much on the short side.
WIN: #9 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 8,9 / 3,7,8,9
TRI: 8,9 / 3,7,8,9 / 3,4,7,8,9
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 OClm $40,000N2X (5:18 ET)
#7 Sudden Surprise 6-1
#5 Sicilia Mike 8-1
#3 Stoney Bennett 5-2
#1 Syndergaard 9-2
Analysis: Sudden Surprise took the field gate to wire to beat state bred $25,000 claimers last out over the main track here in a sharp effort. He was claimed out of the race by the Donk barn that does not visit the claim box often, showing a 0 for 10 mark firs toff the claim dating back five years. The gelding has won 4 of his 10 trips over the main track and among all the speed that is signed up to go in here this looks as if he can sit off the pace. He won at this level last fall coming from off the pace and he reunites with Johnny V. who has won aboard him a few times.
Sicilia Mike made a good late rally to get up and beat state bred Alw-1 foes. The runner up in his last outing was Barely Impazible, who came back to state bred Alw-1 foes in his next start by 4 1/2 lengths on Sept. 30. He looks like the logical closer to play in this spot that is top heavy with speed. However, it took him a while to pass that first state bred condition and is 2 for 28 lifetime with 11 seconds.
WIN: #7 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 5,7 / 1,3,5,7
TRI: 5,7 / 1,3,5,7 / 1,3,5,7,8
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.
R3: #2 Lazarus Project 12-1
R4: #7 Local Edition 8-1
R6: #11 Rappel 8-1
R8: #5 Sicilia Mike 8-1
R9: #1 Major Force 12-1
Good luck today!