Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

At the Gate - Thursday

It looks as if we won’t know if Maximum Security will enter the $150,000 Pegasus on Sunday until Thursday afternoon according to his trainer Jason Servis.

The barn did bloodwork on the colt which came back good, and the plan was to use the Pegasus as a prep for the Haskell Invitational (G1) next month at Monmouth Park.

The colt has not run since getting disqualified from the victory in the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 4.

“He’s fit,” Servis told Jim Dunleavy of The Daily Racing Form. “It’s just that I am looking at three races – the Pegasus, the Haskell, and then you have the Travers. The spacing is good. From the Kentucky Derby to this [the Pegasus] is six weeks. Then you get 34 days [until the Haskell] and then you get 35 days [until the Travers]. That’s a lot.”

We do have plenty of stakes action on Saturday where Churchill Downs hosts “Downs After Dark” which features six graded stakes including the $600,000 Stephen Foster (G1) and the $250,000 Fleur de Lis (G2).

The Foster is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) while the Fleur de Lis winner stamps a free ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).

As of Wednesday evening, the past performances were still not up. The Foster drew a field of 12 led by Grade 1 winners Yoshida, Gift Box and Seeking the Soul.

The Fleur de Lis drew a field of six led by Grade 1 winners Elate and She’s a Julie.

More on these races tomorrow and I will include my analysis in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.

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 Thursday 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 (3:05 ET)
#5 Quest for Fire 5-2
#1 Air On Fire / 1a Bourbon Did It 3-5
#3 Remstin 7-2
#4 Great Going 10-1

Analysis: Quest for Fire prompted the early pace and finished gamely in a close up third last out at this level, beaten 3/4 of a length at 8-1 here. The Summers barn claimed this guy three back out of a 10th place finish, and he rebounded with a third in his first go for the barn over a sloppy track. This gelding earned a 92 Beyer breaking his maiden in his debut last March but has not come close to running back to that effort. His last points to the fact he may be heading back in the right direction and he catches a pretty soft spot here. He is bred to handle a wet track.

Air On Fire tracked the early pace from the outside and weakened to finish third last out against $40,000 non-winners of two. This guy broke his maiden three back in the mud for a $20,000 tag, drawing off to win by 14 3/4 lengths. Entrymate Bourbon Did It was a game second last out at this level for Servis and now has Englehart as the trainer. He looks headed in the right direction form wise and completes a strong entry.

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

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

BEL Race 7 Alw $82,000N1X (6:14 ET)
#3 Panther Hit 5-1
#1 English Soul 6-1
#2 Goodbye Brockley 4-1
#7 Go Rose 4-1

Analysis: Panther Hit took the field gate to wire to break her maiden at Gulfstream Park going a mile in her second career outing. She came back two months later in the Honey Ryder where she had to steady heading into the first turn and came with a wide bid to check in sixth. Two runners have come out of that race to win stakes next out. She looks like a good fit here dropping into the Alw-1 ranks for the Albertrani barn. She has a solid turf pedigree, by Giant's Causeway out of a stakes placed Galileo mare, her first foal to race.

English Soul makes her first start since last October for the underrated Handal barn that is 30% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. She is a two-time stakes winner against NY breds on the main track. She has made just two starts on turf, a neck loss in her debut and a sixth in the Chelsea Flower which was her only start outside of the state bred ranks.

WIN: #3 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,2,3,7
TRI: 1,3 / 1,2,3,7 / 1,2,3,5,7

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
R1: #4 Great Going 10-1
R2: #9 Sterling Beauty 10-1
R2: #7 Running On Empty 8-1
R4: #5 San Saria 8-1
R5: #1 Whyisshesoolucky / 1a Sheza Diva 8-1
R6: #5 Exchequer 8-1
R9: #11 Daddysneverready 10-1

Good luck today!

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