Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:59 PM
At the Gate - Sunday
There is just one graded stakes race on Sunday, the $300,000 Steve Sexton Mile (G3) at Lone Star, so we will take a trip to the Lone Star state. I included four of the races along with my strongest plays from Aqueduct in today’s Best Plays Report.
A field of 10 line up in the Steve Sexton with Title Ready the 5-2 morning line favorite for trainer Steve Asmussen, who also will saddle longshot Forevamo (20-1) in the race.
Title Ready is coming off a solid runner up finish at Aqueduct going a mile in the Stymie, beaten three-quarters of length by the Todd Pletcher trained Vino Rosso, who ran fourth in the Carter Handicap (G1) in his next start.
Trainer Phil D’Amato sends out a pair including my top pick King Abner (3-1), who was a good second in the California bred Tiznow in his last outing on March 3.
The feature at Belmont Park this afternoon is the $125,000 License Fee at six furlongs on turf which drew a field of seven.
We were off the turf again on Saturday and there are some showers in the forecast for the morning, but I am hoping we are back on the turf today.
The countdown is on, just five days until the Kentucky Oaks and six days to the Run for the Roses.
My Best Plays for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Belmont Park and Lone Star 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 Kentucky Oaks, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes Day Reports.
To purchase my Belmont Park and Best Plays Reports for Sunday click here.
Here is the opening race from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 Md $25,000 (1:30 ET)
#7 Mission Statement 2-1
#6 Mr Wonderful 9-5
#4 Everything Pazible 4-1
#3 Clonedsimmard 6-1
Analysis: Mission Statement was not much of a threat in a sixth-place finish in his debut, sent off at 6-1 in a field of eight maiden special weight foes at Tampa Bay Downs. The gelding drops in for a tag here for his second career start for Jonathan Thomas, a former Todd Pletcher assistant. He gets a jock upgrade here to Castellano and has the pedigree to handle a mile. He is by Mission Impazible out of the stakes winner Jehan ($302,683) who has dropped two winners, top earner stakes winner Pure Silver ($290,326). The barn is 3 for 10 dropping runners from maiden special to maiden claiming. A decent off track pedigree if the rains come.
Mr Wonderful stalked the early pace, made a good middle move and got to the lead but weakened in the stretch to finish fifth on good turf. The blinkers come off as he drops in for $25,000 here for the Weaver barn that is 19% winners moving runners from turf to dirt. Two back on dirt at a mile at the Big A he tracked thee early pace, took over the lead and weakened in the final furlong to finish fourth. He should be forwardly placed in this spot and catches a pretty weak group.
WIN: #7 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 6,7 / 3,4,6,7
TRI: 6,7 / 3,4,6,7 / 2,3,4,6,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 9 The License Fee (5:51 ET)
#6 Fire Key 8-5
#1 Goldwood 8-1
#5 Broadway Run 3-1
#4 Mrs. Romana G. 7-2
Analysis: Fire Key was not off cleanly last out tossing her head at the break, found herself last early in a field of eight and came with a mild late rally to finish fourth beaten two lengths in the Sand Springs at Gulfstream Park going one mile on the grass. The mare cuts back to six furlongs which is her best distance, landing in the exacta in 9 of 10 trips and she has three wins over the turf here. She lands with Ryerson who is 20% winners (with a +ROI) with newcomers to the barn. She won the Floral park here last fall at six furlongs on yielding ground and there will be some give to the turf this afternoon.
Goldwood tracked the early pace and finished gamely in a third place finish in the Captiva Island last out at five furlongs on turf at Gulfstream Park. The runner up Morticia came back to win the Giant's Causeway at Keeneland in her next start while the fourth-place finisher Mominou beat Alw-2 foes in her next outing on April 20 at Keeneland. This is just her third start since last July and she has handled less than firm footing. Castellano picks up the call and the 8-1 morning line looks generous.
WIN: #6 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,4,5,6
TRI: 1,6 / 1,4,5,6 / 1,3,4,5,6
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Lone Star Park:
LS Race 7 The Steve Sexton Mile G3 (4:40 CT)
#4 King Abner 3-1
#1 Title Ready 5-2
#9 Monitor Tojo 9-2
#6 Air Strike 10-1
Analysis: King Abner ships in from Santa Anita for the D'Amato barn and this gelding is coming in off a career top speed fig earned in a game runner up finish over a wet track in the Cal bred Tiznow. The gelding was 8 1/2 lengths clear of the rest of the field in the effort. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and after two losses on turf two and three back sticking dirt looks like the right move.
Title Ready stalked the early pace, came with a five wide bid and could not get by the winner late in a runner up finish in the Stymie at Aqueduct last out. This guy was seven lengths clear of the third-place finisher. His last win came at a one turn mile three back in the slop where he beat Alw-2 optional claimers. This guy was in the mix in graded stakes company last year, a fourth in the Ohio Derby (G3) and a third in the Indiana Derby (G3). He owns solid late pace numbers and the turn two mile here looks like it may suit him.
WIN: #4 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,4 / 1,4,6,9
TRI: 1,4 / 1,4,6,9 / 1,4,6,8,9
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.
R2: #3 Tiz a Chance 8-1
R3: #3 Ninja Dust 8-1
R5: #5 Third Card Down 8-1
R6: #6 Dream Passage 8-1
R6: #7 Pinchbeck 10-1
R7: #8 Lookin At Roses 10-1
R8: #2 Exceed the Goal 10-1
R9: #1 Goldwood 8-1
R10: #1 Crescent Lady 12-1
Good luck today!