Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

At the Gate - Friday

We have another two weeks until the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) but there is plenty of betting action on this holiday weekend, and most tracks are open on Monday.

The feature at Belmont Park on Saturday is the $100,000 Paradise Creek, a seven-furlong dash for three-year-olds on turf. A field of eight go to the post led by the Chad Brown trained Fog of War.

The colt won both of his starts last year, breaking his maiden in his debut and then taking the Summer (G3) at Woodbine in his stakes debut.

The Bill Mott trained Mucho is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Bay Shore (G3) and makes his turf debut. He ran second in the Hopeful (G1) last year, beaten a half length by Mind Control.

The feature at Churchill Downs tomorrow is the $100,000 Winning Colors (G3) which drew a dozen fillies and mares that will go six furlongs on the main track.

The Rusty Arnold trained Awestruck is the 3-1 morning line favorite. She beat Alw-3 optional claimers in her last outing on the Kentucky Oaks Day undercard.

Coming up on Monday at Belmont Park we have six stakes races for New York breds. We also will take a trip out to Santa Anita for a trio of Grade 1 races—The Gold Cup at Santa Anita, the Gamely and the Shoemaker Mile.

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 Belmont Stakes Day Report.

To purchase my Belmont Park Report for Friday click here .

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

BEL Race 1 Md $40,000 (1:30 ET)
#1 El Fenomeno 10-1
#5 Clyde's Runner 2-1
#7 Blacktop Legend 8-5
#2 Thenorthremembers 5-1

Analysis: El Fenomeno returns off a 2 1/2-month break and makes his turf debut here in his third career start. Last out on the main track at Aqueduct he set the early fractions and weakened to finish fourth. This guy is out of a stakes placed Rahy mare that has dropped five winners and three have won on turf. The low profile barn and jock assure we should catch a decent price on this gelding.

Clyde's Runner makes his first start since last October where the gelding checked in fourth on good ground at six furlongs. His other turf sprint came in his debut where he rallied to finish a good second. The Bush barn is 4 for 9 (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff. He is out of a Cherokee Run mare that has dropped two winners including one turf winner.

Wagering
WIN: #1 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,2,5,7
TRI: 1,5 / 1,2,5,7 / 1,2,4,5,7

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

BEL Race 7 Alw $66,000N1X (4:45 ET)
#5 Merlins Muse 5-1
#7 Shady Shady Shady 6-1
#9 Chiclet's Dream 5-2
#6 Jaded Lady 10-1

Analysis: Merlins Muse came up the inside with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out at this level going six furlongs on good turf. She makes her third start of her current form cycle and gets an extra furlong here. She looks headed in the right direction and it looks as if she should get an honest pace to run at. She has handled ground with some give to it which may be the case today with rain falling yesterday.

Shady Shady Shady is cutting back from a route where she set the early fractions and held on until late in a third-place finish, beaten 1 1/4 lengths. The runner up Classic Lady came back to beat state bred Alw-1 foes in her next start on May 18 by 5 3/4 lengths. She graduated two back last summer at the Spa coming form off the pace. The Nevin barn is 22% winners moving runners from route to sprint and this gal should be tighter second off the sidelines. Decent value if she goes off near her 6-1 morning line.

Wagering
WIN: #5 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 5,7 / 5,6,7,9
TRI: 5,7 / 5,6,7,9 / 4,5,6,7,9

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: #1 El Fenomeno 10-1
R4: #5 Bad Guy 8-1
R7: #6 Jaded Lady 10-1
R9: #6 Flattering Eyes 12-1

Good luck today!

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