Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

At the Gate - Thursday

The Japanese runner Master Fencer worked out on Wednesday for his upcoming date in the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) and things did not exactly go according to plan.

First his jockey Julien Leparoux had a flight delay. That left his regular exercise rider Yosuke Kono to do the work and the colt appeared to stumble slightly inside the eighth pole, causing Kono to pull the horse up shortly after the finish line.

I saw some reports that the colt might have bumped into the rail causing the trouble, but no matter how you look at it, it is not what his connections want to see just over a week away from the race.

"Up until the eighth pole, he was breezing really well, and I was so satisfied. All of a sudden, he stumbled, and gradually shifted to the left by the rail. I switched my whip to make him aware and focus to the end of the breeze," said Kono. "We then recovered but it was feeling a little weird so I tried to stop him as soon as possible.

"After the work he had a light jog and there were no problems. I don't think it's something that will cause a major issue."

At least we have over a week to watch the colt in the mornings and see if there are any more problems leading up to the race.

In the Kentucky Derby (G1) the colt crossed the wire seventh and was beaten four lengths. He was placed sixth after the disqualification of Maximum Security. He certainly outran his odds of 58-1.

The colt is the current fifth choice in early Belmont Stakes wagering  at +1200. Tacitus remains the early favorite at +150 while Preakness (G1) winner War of Will is the second choice at +200.

Latest Belmont Stakes Odds:
Tacitus +150
War of Will +200
Everfast +600
Intrepid Heart +1000
Master Fencer +1200
Sir Winston +1200
Joevia +2500
Spinoff +2500

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 Thursday click here .

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

BEL Race 1 Clm $10,000 (3:05 ET)
#1 Salty Smile 9-5
#2 Moondance Joy 7-5
#4 Elizabeth Nicole 6-1
#5 Soxy Ruby 3-1

Analysis: Salty Smile tracked the early pace and made a good late rally to get up late and beat $14,000 non-winners of three last out here at this distance. She steps into open company here but looks up to the task with the seven-pound bug aboard. She gets a seven-pound break over our second choice who is using a low % jock. The filly owns a solid pace profile throughout and looks capable of winning right back.

Moondance Joy tracked the early pace while saving ground and weakened to finish fourth last out against $25,000 state breds. Two back at the Big A this mare rolled over $12,500 claimers by seven lengths She will be tough if she runs back to that effort here. Looks like a chalky exacta to kick off the day.

Wagering
WIN: #1 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 1 / 2,4
TRI: no play

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

BEL Race 8 Alw $66,000N1X (6:46 ET)
#5 Show Prince 8-1
#4 Elios Milos 8-5
#3 Steam Engine 9-2
#2 Smokin Platinum 5-2

Analysis: Show Prince returns off a two-month break after checking in fifth and placed fourth via a DQ last out. In that outing the gelding was squeezed back and had to steady coming out of the gate, stalked the early pace and could not make up any ground late. He graduated in the slop three back in his fourth career start and then was a decent fourth in the state bred Rego Park, beaten 2 1/4 lengths in his first start against winners. He should move forward off his last effort with a cleaner break and the 8-1 morning line looks fair enough.

Elios Milos is making his first start since last July. The colt broke his maiden in his debut and then then ran second in his first start at this level, 4 1/2 lengths clear of the rest of the field in the effort. A bullet work on the morning tab for the Abreu barn that has won with just 1 of 19 coming back off a +180-day layoff. Those numbers should get better for the former Chad Brown assistant. Not a real tough looking spot for his return.

Wagering
WIN: #5 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 4,5 / 2,3,4,5
TRI: 4,5 / 2,3,4,5 / 2,3,4,5,7

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
R3: #1 Cap de Creus 10-1
R4: #1 Tote Board 8-1
R7: #2 Razzeena 10-1
R8: #5 Show Prince 8-1
R9: #6 Mz Seb Pat 12-1

Good luck today!

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