At the Gate – Sunday

War of Will took the worst of it in the Kentucky Derby (G1) two weeks ago, but the colt could not have received a better trip and ride in the Preakness Stakes (G1) yesterday.

Under jockey Tyler Gaffalione, the colt saved ground in the early going while down along the inside, the best part of the racing surface. The colt was able to come right up the rail to take over the lead at the three-sixteenths and edged clear to win by 1 ¼ lengths.

War of Will returned $14.20 as our top pick, his price drifting upward from his 4-1 morning line. Improbable was sent off as the 5-2 betting choice but he checked in a disappointing sixth.

We just missed out on a nice exacta as Owendale came up a nose short at 8-1 for the place spot by Everfast, who was sent off at 29-1 and completed a $2 exacta that paid a hefty $947.00. The $1 trifecta returned $4,699.80.

Everfast was the real surprise. The Dale Romans trainee had run second in the Holy Bull (G2) at Gulfstream Park back in February. But he then was beaten 18 ½ lengths in the Fountain of Youth (G2), 15 lengths in the Florida Derby (G1) and was 10 ¼ lengths behind the winner in the Pat Day Mile (G3) at Churchill Downs on Derby Day.

No rest for the weary this afternoon., We have a good nine race card at Belmont Park, and we will make a stop along the Jersey Shore. My Best Plays for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Belmont Park and Monmouth Park.

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

BEL Race 1 Clm $12,500 (1:30 ET)
#1 Call Me 3-1
#2 Planet Trailblazer 4-5
#6 Papa Zulu 6-1
#4 Orpheus 6-1

Analysis: Call Me
prompted the early pace, came with a four wide run and finished gamely to beat $14,000 non-winners of three last out in the slop here. The gelding steps into open company here but his last pair of figures are good enough to win at this level. He owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and with the rail draw figures to be sent.

Planet Trailblazer stalked the early pace and finished strongly, drawing away to win at this tag last out by 5 3/4 lengths. Servis claimed this guy for $14,00 and he has won four of five starts for the barn with a second. He is going to be tough here but hoping our top pick gets the jump on him as they head for home.

WIN: #1 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,4,6
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,4,6 / 1,2,4,5,6

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

BEL Race 8 Alw $82,000N1X (5:18 ET)
#7 Sinwaan 6-1
#4 Bingwa 7-5
#2 Knarsdale 5-1
#3 Cache 4-1

Analysis: Simwaan
takes on winners for the first time after a smart looking maiden win in the slop last at Keeneland in her second career start. The filly pressed the early pace and drew off late to win by 2 1/4 lengths. She checked in third in her debut two back at Gulfstream Park, with the winner Royal Charlotte coming back to beat Alw-1 foes in her next outing on April 19 at Keeneland while the runner up Ready to Tango came back to graduate in her next outing on April 28. another move forward here and she can get the job done at a decent price.

Bingwa dueled for the early lead and battled on gamely to miss by just a neck last out at Keeneland in the mud. It was her first go off a six-month layoff. She graduated on turf in her debut and then ran a good second at Keeneland last fall in her first start against winners. The winner of that race was Preamble, a next out winner versus Alw-3L optional claimers on April 6. The Ward barn is 26% winners with runners making their second start off a +180-day layoff. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and if she gets loose early, she may prove tough to catch.

WIN: #7 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 4,7 / 2,3,4,7
TRI: 4,7 / 2,3,4,7 / 2,3,4,6,7

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

MTH Race 9 The Get Serious (4:45 ET)
#7 Vision Perfect 2-1
#8 Rocket Heat 9-2
#9 Eastern Bay 15-1
#1 Pool Winner 3-1

Analysis: Vision Perfect
prompted the early pace and could not go with the winner late in a runner up finish in the Silks Run last out at Gulfstream Park. The winner Imprimus came back to win the Shakertown (G2) at Keeneland in his next outing on April 6. Two back this guy earned a career top winning the Janus taking the field gate to wire and earning a 106 Beyer. The seven-year-old returns off a 2 1/2-month break and this guy has run well fresh in the past.

Rocket Heat makes his first start since winning the Claiming Crown Canterbury at Gulfstream Park back in December. The Tannuzzo barn claimed this guy for $62,500 and after a couple of sixth place finishes put in a solid effort last out. He has been working quickly at Palm Meadows for his return and has one local drill over the main track here.

WIN: #7 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 7,8 / 1,7,8,9
TRI: 7,8 / 1,7,8,9 / 1,7,8,9,10

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 Crescent Lady 10-1
R5: #5 Narton Hall 12-1
R7: #1 Shalako 8-1
R9: #1 Diaquiet 10-1

Good luck today!