Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM

At the Gate - Friday

State breds take center stage on Saturday, with New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park and Maryland Million Day at Laurel Park with a combined $2 million in purses up for grabs.

At Laurel Park, Maryland breds will compete in 11 stakes with the feature the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic for older runners that drew a full field of 10 along with three also-eligibles.

Hammerin Aamer is the 9-5 morning line favorite for the Rudy Rodriguez barn, but needs a scratch to get in off the AE list.

There are large fields throughout the card including a full field in the $125,000 Maryland Million Turf.

The marquee event at Belmont Park on Saturday is the $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap, which drew a field of 11 that will go nine furlongs on the main track.

Pat On the Back is the 5-2 morning line favorite for trainer Hit It Once More, who came up just a neck in the state bred Evan Shipman.

The co-feature is the $250,000 Empire Distaff Handicap which drew a field of 12 fillies and mares that will travel 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Bonita Bianca is the 4-1 morning line favorite and drew the outside 12 post.

The Jason Servis trainee did not fire on turf last out and is much better on the main track. The filly won the state bred Union Ave in two back in her last go on dirt at Saratoga.

My Best Plays on Saturday will include my strongest plays from Laurel Park and Belmont Park.

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 Friday 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)

3 Overtime Olivia 7-5

4 Parlapiano 4-1

5 Ice Maneuvers 3-1

6 Miss Juno 15-1

Analysis: Overtime Olivia chased the early pace and weakened to finish fifth last out as the beaten favorite in the slop going seven furlongs in a race washed off the turf. The filly was making her first start off a six-month layoff. The Englehart barn is 28% winners with runners making their second start off a +180-day layoff. She ran well earlier this year over a fast track, two back a good third behind repeat winner Blank Paige who beat $50,000 starter allowance foes in her next outing. She should move forward off her return effort and catches a soft spot. She is the first foal to race out of a Freud mare.

Parlapiano tracked the early pace and weakened to finish sixth last out at the Spa. She has been third or fourth in five of her six starts and this is just her second start against maiden special foes but this is not a tough looking group. She is out of Eddington mare that has dropped one other foals to race, stakes winner Maiden Beauty ($102,250). She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and Irad can have her o or near the led here if he chooses to.

WIN: #3 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 3,4,5
TRI: no play

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:

BEL Race 8 OClm $80,000C (5:16 ET)

6 Profiteer 7-2

5 Frostmourne 7-5

4 Zennor 5-2

3 Village King 5-1

Analysis: Profiteer caught yielding ground last out at this level, prompting the early pace and finishing evenly in a third-place finish as the beaten favorite. The winner Blacktype came back to win the Knickerbocker (G2) in his next outing on Oct. 8. The Shug trainee has won twice over the turf here and figures to move forward in his second start off a three-month break. He was beaten just a head four back at Keeneland, so he has shown he can handle ground with some give to it.

Frostmourne set the early fractions and weakened in the stretch to finish fourth, beaten 1 3/4 lengths as the chalk in the Monmouth (G2). Two back he checked in fifth in the Makers 46 Mile (G1) at Keeneland going a mile, earning a career top speed fig. His last win came three back at Gulfstream Park where he tracked the early pace and finished gamely to beat Alw-3 or non-winners of a race on turf in six months. Decent works for his return here for Clement who is 14% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff.

WIN: #6 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 5,6 / 4,5,6
TRI: no play

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 Miss Juno 15-1
R3: #6 Swivvel 8-1
R4: #8 Tricked Up 12-1
R6: #8 Bow Town Cat 12-1
R7: #1 Encryption Key 8-1
R7: #2 Proletariat 10-1

Good luck today!

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