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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:58 PM

At the Gate - Saturday

We have a really good card at Belmont Park today, 11 races with five stakes on tap including the $300,000 Peter Pan (G3) which likely will produce a starter or two for the Belmont Stakes four weeks from today.

The favorite for the Peter Pan is the Todd Pletcher trained Intrepid Heart, who is perfect in two starts. The colt broke his maiden in his debut at Oaklawn Park and beat first level optional claimers at Keeneland in his last outing.

He is by Tapit out of the stakes winner Flaming Heart ($245,961) who has dropped six other winners including a pair of stakes winners, top earner Commissioner ($962,237), who was my top pick in the 2014 Belmont and lost by a head at 28-1 and I can still feel that sting.

Also on the card is the $700,000 Man O’ War (G1) at 1 3/8 miles on turf. A field of nine line up including the overseas duo from the Aiden O’Brien barn—the filly Magic Wand and Hunting Horn.

The other stakes on the card are the $150,000 Runhappy, $200,000 Beaugay (G3) and the opening race on the card is the $200,000 Vagrancy Handicap (G3).

My Best Plays for Saturday includes my nine strongest plays from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.

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

BEL Race 1 The Vagrancy Hcp G3 (1:30 ET)
#4 Separationofpowers 7-5
#3 Dawn the Destroyer 2-1
#1 Pacific Gale 5-2
#5 Holiday Disguise 8-1

Analysis: Separationofpowers makes her first start since running fourth in the Cotillion (G1) at Philly. She only made three starts last year, her best effort a win in the Test (G1) two back. She won the Frizette (G1) in her juvenile season. The cut back to one turn will suit her and she catches a light field taking on just four foes in her return. The Brown barn is 29% winners with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff.

Dawn the Destroyer is one of three in here exiting the Distaff 'Cap (G3) at Aqueduct going seven furlongs. She was a disappointing third at 2-1. The winner Come Dancing came back to win the Ruffian (G20 in her next start on May 5. She needs some pace and I am not sure she is going to get it but looks capable of moving forward off her last effort.

WIN: #4 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 4 / 1,3
TRI: no play

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

BEL Race 9 The Runhappy (5:51 ET)
#3 Firenze Fire 7-2
#2 Skyler's Scramjet 2-1
#5 Recruiting Ready 8-5
#4 Kullybegs Captain 9-2

Analysis: Firenze Fire was the beaten chalk last out in the Florida bred Sprint at Tampa Bay Downs last out off a five-month layoff. The colt tracked the early pace and had no real excuse in the stretch, just coming up short. He won three times last year including the Gallant Bob (G3) at Philly and the Dwyer (G3) here at a mile where he earned a career top speed fig. The Servis barn is 34% winners with runners making their second start off a 61-180-day layoff. This guy should be tighter second off the bench.

Skyler's Scramjet dueled for the early lead and battled on gamely in the stretch in a runner up finish in the Carter 'Cap (G1), beaten a half-length by Word of Trouble. The winner came back to win the Turf Sprint (G2) at Churchill Downs in his next outing on May 3. The cut back to six furlongs should suit this guy. His last trip over the main track here was a game second in the Runhappy here last May.

Recruiting Ready had plenty of trouble last out in the Commonwealth (G3) at Keeneland, checking in fourth and beaten 2 3/4 lengths. he ran big winning the Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) two back and his career top came in the slop over the main track here. A clean trip makes him tough, but his price may end up on the light side.

WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,5
TRI: no play

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

CD Race 10 The Mamzelle (5:26 ET)
#5 Chelsea Cloisters 7-2
#10 Midnight Fantasy 8-1
#9 Abyssinian 3-1
#12 Play On 9-2

Analysis: Chelsea Cloisters may have needed her last off a five-month break. She stalked the early pace after getting bumped coming out of the gate and finished evenly in a third-place finish at Keeneland over good ground. She was a good second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf against the boys two back. The winner Bulletin came back to win the William Walker here on April 27. The Ward barn is 23% winners with runners making their second start off a 45-180-day layoff. She has not yet won on turf, but she has run second four time in her six trips. She is overdue.

Midnight Fantasy tries grass for the first time here after a sharp win last out in the Austintown Filly Sprint at Mohoning Valley, her fourth win in six starts. She adds blinkers and has a decent enough turf pedigree, by Midnight Lute out of a Macho Uno mare that has dropped one turf winner. The Sharp barn is 32% winners (with a +ROI) overall in turf sprints. She should end up a decent price in this spot.

WIN: #5 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 5,10 / 5,9,10,12
TRI: 5,10 / 5,9,10,12 / 5,9,10,11,12

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: #5 Holiday Disguise 8-1
R3: #6 Adara Belle 12-1
R4: #2 Federal Case 8-1
R5: #2 Whiskey Is Me Wine 8-1
R8: #10 Mrs. Got Rocks 10-1
R8: #9 Tip At Tapit 12-1
R11: #10 Dove Shoot 8-1

Good luck today!

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