Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM

At the Gate - Friday

There 19 pre-entries for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and with just room for 14 in the starting gate, there are a few horses that are on the outside looking in.

One of those is the D. Wayne Lukas trained Bravazo and it was announced on Thursday that he will head to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) which was his first preference. City of Light, who drew into the body of the field for the Classic also has the Dirt Mile listed as his first preference.

If those two do indeed head to the Dirt Mile that means Gunnevera will make it into the field, with Seeking the Soul sitting on the bubble and needing another defection to get into the field.

Accelerate remains the early betting favorite for the classic at [...] at +350, and despite having won three Grade 1 races win a row, it looks as if he may end up a lukewarm favorite.





Lurking just behind him in the betting is the duo from the Bob Baffert barn, McKinzie the second choice at +500 and West Coast the fourth choice at +750. Baffert has won three of the last four Classics.

In between those two Baffert runners is Catholic Boy, a Grade 1 winner on turf and dirt. The Jonathan Thomas trainee won the Travers (G1) at Saratoga in his last outing and will be facing his elders for the first time in the Classic.

The European invader Roaring Lion is at +1000. The colt has won four straight Group 1 races on turf and will be making his dirt debut and wheels back just two weeks after winning the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1) at Ascot.

How are the European punters looking at Roaring Lion? Right now, at most of the books overseas the colt is somewhere between +700 and +900.

Thankfully I have another four or five days before I have to decide where to land.

Breeders’ Cup Classic Early Odds via [...]:
Accelerate +350
McKinzie +500
Catholic Boy +700
West Coast +750
Mind Your Biscuits +1000
Roaring Lion +1000
Mendelssohn +1200
Yoshida +1200
Thunder Snow +1400
City Of Light +2500
Discreet Lover +3300
Axelrod +4000
Pavel +4000
Lone Sailor +6600

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 OClm $62,500N2X (1:30 ET)
#1 Imperatore 7-2
#4 Helooksthepart 5-1
#3 The Red Dude 3-1
#2 Win With Pride 5-2

Analysis: Imperatore is coming off a good effort in a runner up finish for a $32,000 tag behind our third choice in here. The gelding was claimed for the fourth straight time, today going to the Gullo barn that is 22% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. He steps him up into a tougher spot here but this guy seldom runs a bad one, landing in the exacta in 7 of his 10 starts this year.

Helooksthepart stumbled coming out of the gate last out for a $40,000 tag and made a mild late rally to finish third. He was claimed out of the race by the Diodoro barn that is 21% winners first off the claim. He is a 12-time winner and two back made a good late run to finish in the runner up spot for a $50,000 tag. He owns the top last pace numbers.

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

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

BEL Race 8 OClm $62,500N2X (5:13 ET)
#7 Rumble Doll 7-2
#11 Orecchiette 2-1
#3 Sister Sophia 4-1
#6 Quality Time 5-1

Analysis: Rumble Doll made a good late rally and had had to heck when running up the heels of a foe, recovered and re rallied for the runner up spot at this level going 5 1/2 on good turf. The mare was claimed out of the race by the Falcone barn that is 32% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. She makes her third start since coming back off a six-month layoff and goes first off a two month break here for a sharp outfit. A clean trip makes her tough and she has landed in the exacta in four of her six trips at this distance.

Orecchiette took the field gate to wire to beat Alw-1 foes last out over good turf here. It was her third win in four trips over the grass here. She beat $40,000 non-winners of two and $50,000 starter allowance foes in back to back efforts this summer. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and looks sharp enough to handle the step up in class here.

Wagering
WIN: #7 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 7,11 / 3,6,7,11
TRI: 7,11 / 3,6,7,11 / 3,6,7,8,11

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
R2: #1 Bourbon Currency 12-1
R4: #4 Speightful Kitten 10-1
R7: #5 Bring the Dough 8-1
R9: #7 Lil Commissioner 8-1

Good luck today!

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