Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

At the Gate - Sunday

The Belmont Stakes (G1) was a tale of two trips, as Sir Winston got the perfect one and Tacitus not so much.
 
Jockey Joel Rosario rode the winner perfectly while saving ground much of the trip over a racing strip where the inside paths seemed better.
 
Jose Ortiz aboard favorite Tacitus raced three wide early, was out in the four and five path and made up some ground but came up short.
 
I thought Tacitus was the obvious one to beat but went with Spinoff as my top pick at a much better price. The colt had no real excuse, sitting in the perfect spot early and coming up empty in the stretch.
 
The race getting a ton of hype was the Met Mile (G1) and it lived up to it. Mitole prompted the early pace, took over the lead and held off a deep field of challengers to win by ¾ of a length, returning $9.00 as my top pick.
 
McKinzie rallied for second having to overcome some traffic along the way or he may have run the winner down. The $2 exacta paid $23.40.
 
It has been a wild Triple Crown season, and with no clear division leader, it will make the Haskell Invitational (G1) and Travers (G1) all that more intriguing over this summer.
 
Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package for just $99.95. It gives you a month of Belmont Park daily and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday.
 
To purchase my Belmont Park Report for Sunday click here.
 
Here is the opening race from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
 
BEL Race 1 Clm $16,000N2L (1:30 ET)
#6 Midnitesalright   8-5
#5 Third Card Down   3-1
#4 She's a Lumberjane   5-1
#1 Ok Honey   4-1
 
Analysis: Midnitesalright dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish fourth last out at this level for the Servis barn. The runner up and third place finisher came out of the race to win next out. I don't usually like to back runners exiting the Servis barn, but she was claimed by a sharp outfit in Kantarmaci who is 24% winners first off the claim. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and it sure looks as if the first part of this card is going to be on the chalky side.
 
Third Card Down exits the same race where she s last early and was not a threat in the stretch in a sixth-place finish. She was sixth two back on turf versus Alw-1 foes and three back at seven furlongs on the main track she made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot. If she runs back to that effort here, she can be in the mix although our top pick appears to have a bit more upside.
 
Wagering
WIN: #6 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 5,6 / 4,5,6
TRI: no play
 
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
 
BEL Race 8 Alw $60,000N1X (5:18 ET)
#9 New Jersey John   9-2
#10 Mr. Massena   7-2
#1 Everyonelovesjames   2-1
#3 News Anchor   8-1
 
Analysis: New Jersey John stalked the early pace, came with a wide bid and made a mild late rally to finish third last out at this level here over good ground. He makes his third start of his current form cycle and gets a jock upgrade to Lezcano who is having a strong meeting. This gelding was competitive versus open Alw-1 foes at Tampa Bay Downs, three back checking in third while beaten two lengths in a decent effort and five back he was a game second. He fits with his best in this spot and the 9-2 morning line looks more than fair.
 
Mr. Massena tracked the early pace and took over in upper stretch and held on to win by a half-length over $40,000 non-winners of two. The effort was off a four-month layoff for the Micelli barn that has won with 7 of his 20 starters this year. This gelding has landed in the exacta in four of his five trips on the grass here. A repeat of his last looks good enough to win here.
 
Wagering
WIN: #9 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX:  9,10 / 1,3,9,10
TRI: 9,10 / 1,3,9,10 / 1,3,7,9,10
 
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
R2: #3 Opt   8-1
R3: #5 Moonlight Romance   10-1
R3: #1 Miss Imperial   8-1
R4: #4 Freud’s Secret   8-1
R6: #6 Spring to the Sky   8-1
R7: #2 Who’s Driving   8-1
R8: #3 News Anchor   8-1
R9: #6 Joyful Heart   10-1
 
Good luck today!

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