Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

At the Gate - Sunday

While Bourbon War was an addition to the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) to bring the prospective field to 10, we may end up back at nine as Tax may miss the final jewel of the Triple Crown.

Tax won the Withers (G3) I February and was second in the Wood Memorial (G2) in his final Derby prep. Sent off at 35-1 in the Run for the Roses, the gelding checked in 15th and was placed 14th.

His trainer Danny Gargan was not enthusiastic after yesterday’s morning workout and described his participation in the Belmont Stakes as “50-50.”

In yesterday’s feature our top pick Demarchelier got the job done in the $200,000 Pennine Ridge (G3) at Belmont Park to remain undefeated in three career starts.

The Chad Brown trainee returned $12.40 for the win with Javier Castellano aboard. The colt rallied to win by a neck over the late running Seismic Wave, who completed a $2 exacta that paid $55.00.

Sunday’s card at Belmont Park starts chalky as Mandatory Payout looks tough at 4-5, but the remainder of the card looks quite promising with plenty of live longshots.

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

BEL Race 1 Md $20,000 (1:30 ET)

2 Mandatory Payout 4-5

5 Dr. Devera's Way 3-1

3 Dr. Albert 6-1

1 Smidge 15-1

Analysis: Mandatory Payout is going to get the day off to a chalky start. Last out the gelding came with a good middle move, headed for home with the lead and got caught at the wire. He bounced back after getting beaten double digit lengths in his two previous starts. He should sit a good trip mid pack here and does not need to move forward much to beat this group. He is the first foal to race out of a Harlan's Holiday mare.

Dr. Devera's Way dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish fourth in the same race our top pick exits. He was making his first start since last fall. He is in a sharp barn that and figures to be tighter second off the bench. He is out of a Dixieland Band mare that has roped two other foals to race, both winners.

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

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

BEL Race 8 Clm $30,000N2L (5:18 ET)

8 Dispatcher 6-1

6 Much Trouble 2-1

3 Phone Funky Munky 9-2

11 River Knight 10-1

Analysis: Dispatcher drops back in for a tag here after a non-threatening eighth last out against Alw-1 optional claimers going nine furlongs on turf at Gulfstream Park. The gelding came from more than 20 lengths back to rally to get up late to break his maiden by a neck in her second career start. He finds a good spot here tagged for $30,000 and facing non-winners of two. He needs some pace in front of her and there is not a ton of early zip signed up. She does get a jock upgrade to Lezcano who has been on fire recently. Decent value if she goes off near her 6-1 morning line.

Much Trouble tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth beaten two lengths last out against $50,000 starter allowance foes. He was a game second two back against $50,000 non-winners of two in his turf debut. Blinkers go on and this guy is out of an Empire Maker mare that has dropped three other winners and two have won on turf.

WIN: #8 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 6,8 / 3,6,8,11
TRI: 6,8 / 3,6,8,11 / 2,3,6,8,11

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 Smidge 15-1
R2: #2 She’s Bluffing 8-1
R2: #6 Moyne Spun 10-1
R4: #2 Neper 8-1
R5: #3 Mom I Forgive You 8-1
R7: #5 Channel Island 12-1
R7: #4 Azzedine 8-1
R8: #11 River Knight 10-1
R10: #1 My Primo 20-1

Good luck today!

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