Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:59 AM

At the Gate - Friday

The Belmont Park spring/summer meeting kicks off on Friday afternoon with the opening day feature the $100,000 Affirmed Success for New York breds going six furlongs on the main track.

The 48-day spring/summer meet features 59 stakes races worth $18.4 million, with closing day Sunday, July 7.

The highlight of course is the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) on Saturday June 8, the third jewel of the Triple Crown, which has been swept in two of the past four years.

The Belmont Stakes caps off an outstanding three days of racing that starts on June 6. The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival features 18 stakes, kicking off on Thursday of Belmont Stakes week.

We will be racing Thursday through Sunday in May and expand to five days a week in June.

We have some rain in the forecast for opening day, so we could have a wet track but I am hoping the turf racing can be saved.

The Affirmed Success is on the main track and drew a field of eight state breds led by Pat On the Back, the 2-1 morning line favorite.

The five-year-old makes his first start since running fifth in the Cigar Mile (G1) on Dec. 1 at Aqueduct. He was the runner up in the race last year.

The defending champ is Eye Luv Lulu (4-1), who is coming off a third-place finish in the state bred Hollies Hughes in his last outing.

I need some more bang for my buck and as you can see below, I am going with Celtic Chaos (9-2), who rallied for the runner up spot in the Hollie Hughes and will appreciate it if the track comes up wet.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package for just $99.95. It gives you a month of Aqueduct daily and Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday.

To purchase my Belmont Park Reports for Friday click here .

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

BEL Race 1 Clm $10,000 (1:30 ET)
#1 T Loves a Fight 7-2
#5 Professor Snape 8-5
#2 Equal the Score 5-2
#6 Nolinski 6-1

Analysis: T Loves a Fight stalked the early pace and tired to finish 11th last out against $2,500 claimers in his second start off the claim by the Contessa barn. The gelding was claimed out of the race by the Cox barn that is 29% winners first off the claim. Three back while with Rice this guy was a sharp winner versus $10,000 claimers. He has won 3 of his 6 starts on wet tracks and looking for him to bounce back with a better effort here dropping in for $10,000 and cutting back to six panels.

Professor Snape dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish sixth last out in the Kelly Kip a starter stake. He was making his first start for the RRod barn that claimed him for $12,500 out of a third-place finish. The winner of that race was Malibu Action, who came back to beat $16,000 claimers and was one of four to exit that race to win next out. He is back in for a tag and has run well over wet tracks, a pair of wins and four in the money finishes in six trips on the wet stuff.

WIN: #1 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,2,5,6
TRI: 1,5 / 1,2,5,6 / 1,2,5,6,7

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

BEL Race 8 The Affirmed Success (5:18 ET)
#2 Celtic Chaos 9-2
#4 Pat On the Back 2-1
#6 Eye Luv Lulu 4-1
#8 Syndergaard 3-1

Analysis: Celtic Chaos stalked the early pace and came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot in the state bred Hollies Hughes last out at six furlongs. He has won just once in his last 13 starts, beating state bred non-conditioned allowance company the Spa last summer. He returns off a two month break here for the Cox barn and if track comes up wet today that should be a plus as he sports a 10-3-1-4 record on the off going. He needs some pace and it looks as if he should get it.

Pat On the Back makes his first start since a fifth in the Cigar Mile (G1) last December. He ran second in this race last year behind our third choice in here and has landed in the exacta in 6 of 8 trips over the Big A main track. He won a couple of state bred stakes last year going long, winning the nine-furlong Empire Classic two back. He can handle the cut back to six furlongs and likely would not mind seeing a wet track.

WIN: #2 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 2,4 / 2,4,6,8
TRI: 2,4 / 2,4,6,8 / 2,3,4,6,8

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
R5: #4 Brass King 8-1
R6: #1 Athary 8-1
R9: #8 She’s Dreamin 12-1
R9: #6 Ailish 8-1

Good luck today!

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