Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

At the Gate - Thursday

A field of 13 will line up in Saturday’s $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (G1) and while it lacks starpower it is going to be a great betting race.

The first four across the wire in the Kentucky Derby (G1) are missing, led by Country House, who was placed first thanks to the disqualification of Maximum Security. The colt developed a cough which has knocked him off the Triple Crown trail.

Maximum Security shipped to Monmouth Park and likely will not be seen until the summer, and Code of Honor and Tacitus will bypass the Preakness.

That leaves Improbable as the 5-2 morning line favorite. The Bob Baffert trainee crossed the wire fifth and was elevated to fourth in the Kentucky Derby. Mike Smith picks up the call and will break from the four post.

Three others that ran in the Derby will wheel back in two weeks—War of Will, Bodexpress and Win Win Win.

War of Will has been impressive in the mornings and was installed as the 4-1 second choice. The Mark Casse trainee took the worst of it in the Derby, weakening to finish eighth and placed seventh. The colt will break from the rail with Tyler Gaffalione back aboard.

Of the newcomers the shortest price on the morning line is Anothertwistofate at 6-1. The colt won the Lexington (G3) at Keeneland in his last outing. Jose Ortiz picks up the mount and will break from the 12 post.

My Thursday and Friday Belmont Park reports are now available. I will have Friday’s Black Eyed Susan Day card from Pimlico up by Thursday afternoon and my Preakness Day report will be posted no later than Friday morning.

Preakness Stakes:

  1. War of Will, Tyler Gaffalione, 4-1
  2. Bourbon War, Irad Ortiz Jr., 12-1
  3. Warrior's Charge, Javier Castellano, 12-1
  4. Improbable, Mike Smith, 5-2
  5. Owendale, Florent Geroux, 10-1
  6. Market King, Jon Court, 30-1
  7. Alwaysmining, Daniel Centeno, 8-1
  8. Signalman, Brian Hernandez Jr., 30-1
  9. Bodexpress, John Velazquez, 20-1
  10. Everfast, Joel Rosario, 50-1
  11. Laughing Fox, Ricardo Santana Jr., 20-1
  12. Anothertwistafate, Jose Ortiz, 6-1
  13. Win Win Win, Julian Pimentel, 15-1

    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 Preakness Stakes Day Report.

    To purchase my Belmont Park Report for Thursday click here .

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

    BEL Race 1 Md Sp Wt (3:05 ET)
    #3 Singular Sensation 7-2
    #2 Princess Pinky 5-1
    #1 Alphadora 5-2
    #6 Happy Sophia 5-1

    Analysis: Singular Sensation was brushed coming out of the gate, stalked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth in the mud in her debut, sent off at 6-1 in a field of eight. The winner Newly Minted came back to win a NY Stallion Series race in her next outing on April 20. She put in a good breeze over the main track here on April 13. The Hennig barn is 15% winners with second out maidens. She is bred to handle the extra ground, by Mineshaft out of a Smart Strike mare who has dropped five other foals to race, all winners, top earner stakes winner Summersault ($503,433).

    Princes Pinky prompted the early pace and tired to finish a well beaten fifth last out in the slop going a mile in a race taken off the turf. She makes her second start off a 3 1/2-month break and was a good second two and three back going a mile, both as the beaten chalk. She figures to move forward with a fast track and second off the short break.

    WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
    EX: 2,3 / 1,2,3
    TRI: no play

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

    BEL Race 8 Alw $66,000N1X (6:46 ET)
    #3 Lutsky 9-5
    #5 Freudnme 3-1
    #2 Ro Bear 5-2
    #1 Seed Money 15-1

    Analysis: Lutsky caught a sloppy track last out at a mile where the colt dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish third, no match for a 14 3/4 length winner. The colt graduated in his debut at 5 1/2 furlongs last summer and off the bench two back he set the early fractions and weakened late while veering outward to finish third against Alw-1 optional claimers at Gulfstream Park. Blinkers go on and the cut back to seven furlongs suits this guy. He came back with a bullet drill on May 7 over the main track here.

    Freudnme was off poorly in his debut when he lunged as he lunged and hit the gate a at the break. He tracked the early pace and took over heading for home, holding on to win by a length in a good looking outing at 16-1. The Englehart trainee appears to still have some upside and looks capable of moving forward off his debut effort with a beret break.

    WIN: #3 to win at 9-5 or better.
    EX: 3,5 / 1,2,3,5
    TRI: 3,5 / 1,2,3,5 / 1,2,3,4,5

    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 Passion Flower 12-1
    R3: #4 Change of Venue 8-1
    R4: #1 Wantaugh Queen 8-1
    R5: #2 Flatexcel 10-1
    R6: #10 Elfitz 12-1
    R6: #1 Field Patrol 8-1
    R7: #6 Sarrasin 12-1
    R8: #1 Seed Money 15-1

    Good luck today!

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