Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM

At the Gate - Sunday

Mother Nature squashed the racing at Belmont Park on Saturday, and for once I actually got it right as I skipped ‘capping the card to concentrate on Keeneland and Santa Anita.

We will be back in action at Belmont Park this afternoon for closing day of the meeting. It has been at tough meeting with tons of rain and races washed off the turf. I am looking forward to the four-day break in action before Aqueduct opens on Friday.

Speaking of Friday that is day one of the Breeders’ Cup, with the five juvenile races contested. I will have my full card report for both days of the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs up later next week.

Sunday is opening day at Churchill Downs and I included four of the races in my Best Plays Report. We have a couple of competitive stakes races on the card, the $300,000 Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion and the $100,000 Rags to Riches.

We have three stakes on the closing day card at Belmont Park, but two are scheduled for the turf and I am assuming the races will be moved to the main track.

The $125,000 Zagora drew 12 and four are main track only entrants so hopefully the field will not scratch down too much. Unfortunately, I landed on the even money favorite Indy Union who looks tough.

The $100,000 Pumpkin Pie drew a field of seven fillies and mares that will go seven furlongs on the main track. The 6-5 morning line favorite Sower is sent out by the Linda Rice barn off a third in the Charles Town Oaks (G3).

The first stake on the card is the $100,000 Chelsey Flower which drew 11 with three of those main track only runners. The Mark Hennig trained Take Ten is still a maiden, running second on yielding ground in her debut.

She is by Uncle Mo out of a El Corredor mare and I think should take nicely to the main track and the prospect of off going and may end up a decent enough price.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package for just $99.95. It gives you a month of Belmont Park & Aqueduct daily, my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday and my two-day Breeders’ Cup Report.

My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.

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Here is the opener from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:

BEL Race 1 Clm $25,000 (12:30 ET)
#5 Gypsy Janie 3-1
#6 Pure Praise 9-5
#4 Shanghai Glory 6-1
#1 Orchid Party 5-2

Analysis: Gypsy Janie stalked the early pace, had to steady briefly when a foe came in on her and she finished up well for third last out against $40,000 foes in her first start off the claim by the Englehart barn. She caught a racing strip that was kind to inside speed that day. She has done some of her best work on wet tracks (4-2-1-1) and might catch some moisture in the track again today. She looks well spotted here coming back off a 2 1/2-month break with a drop in for a $25,000 tag.

Pure Praise tracked the early pace and could not go with a five-length winner in a runner up finish last out against $20,000 foes. She was claimed out of the race by the Lerman barn who does not hit the claim box often. She beat $20,000 foes over a wet track two back at the Spa. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and looks headed in the right direction form wise.

WIN: #5 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX:5,6 / 4,5,6
TRI: no play

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

BEL Race 5 OClm $40,000N2X (2:56 ET)
#2 Fiery Opal 7-2
#8 Blewitt 5-2
#3 Barely Impazible 9-2
#1 Papa Shot 8-1

Analysis: Fiery Opal stalked the early pace and made a good late rally to come up just a neck short against Alw-1 foes last out at Philly. Th loss snapped a three-race winning streak, beating state bred Alw-1 foes two back over the main track here at a mile. The runner up in that race as J J's Dreaming who came back to beat state bred Alw-1 foes in his next start at the Spa and ran second at this level and is in here. The gelding has not been on a wet track but does have a solid enough off track pedigree.

Blewitt makes his first start since February for the Pletcher barn that is 32% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. The colt wired the field to beat state bred Alw-1 foes in his second try at Aqueduct. He was a smart looking maiden winner in his debut and then missed by just a neck in the slop in his first go against winners. He ships up from Palm Beach Downs where he has been working steadily for his return.

WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,8 / 1,2,3,8
TRI: 2,8 / 1,2,3,8 / 1,2,3,7,8

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:

CD Race 10 The Spendthrift Juvenile Stallion (5:36 ET)
#8 Into the South 6-1
#1 Achilles Warrior 9-2
#2 Distorted Jimmy 9-2
#5 B.B. Dude 7-2

Analysis: Into the South is back on dirt after coming with a good late run to finish fourth in the Matron (G3) going six furlongs over good ground on turf at Belmont Park in her first go against wines. She was a smart looking maiden winner two back in her third career start and the effort was flattered with the third and fourth place finishers coming back to graduate next out. She ran well over the main track here in her debut in a runner up finish and it looks as if the extra ground here will suit her. She is one of three fillies in the field taking on the boys.

Achilles Warrior earned a solid number breaking her maiden in his debut at the Spa in a race washed off the turf. She came back in the Champagne (G1) for she prompted the early pace and faded to finish 10th. If he runs back to his maiden effort that would be good enough to put him in the hunt in this spot and the cut back from a mile should suit him.

WIN: #8 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 1,8 / 1,2,5,8
TRI: 1,8 / 1,2,5,8 / 1,2,5,7,8

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
R3: #5 Theresa’s Boy 10-1
R5: #1 Papa Shot 8-1
R6: #1 Regalian 10-1
R7: #5 Bertranda 15-1
R8: #6 Matty’s Magnum 12-1

Good luck today!

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