Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:58 AM

At the Gate - Sunday

Maximum Security is back in action on Sunday afternoon, the 1-2 morning line favorite for the $150,000 Pegasus, a 1 1/16-mile test on the main track that drew a field of six.

The Jason Servis trainee is using the race as a steppingstone to the Haskell Invitational (G1) next month.

The colt has not raced since crossing the wire first in the Kentucky Derby (G1) only to get disqualified and placed 17th for causing interference nearing the 5/16’s mark.

It was the first disqualification for interference in the history of the first jewel of the Triple Crown. His connections elected to skip the Preakness with no Triple Crown bid up for grabs, and the 1 ½ miles of the Belmont Stakes (G1) was probably outside of his scope as far as pedigree goes.

The colt has earned three straight triple digit Beyers and it is tough to make a case he gets beat. Servis was not overly enthusiastic about his colt last week and did some bloodwork, stating he might just train up to the Haskell.

“Maybe I was over-reading things a little too much, trying to be overly cautious,” Servis said. “He’s acting really good and training good and his bloodwork came back good. So maybe I just over-reacted a little bit.”

I did not put the race in my Best Plays as it looks as if he will be tough at puny odds. His biggest threat may come from King for a Day (4-1), winner of the Sir Barton at Pimlico on May 18. The colt is trained by Todd Pletcher.

Pletcher also sends out Last Judgement (6-1), who was ninth in the Pat Day Mile (G3) on Derby Day.

Servis will saddle Direct Order (12-1), who ran second in a first level optional claimer in his last outing at Belmont Park.

Completing the field are Identifier (6-1), a Jorge Navarro trainee who ran second against first level optional claimers last out and the Anthony Pecoraro trained Caladan (15-1), who beat first level allowance company at Delaware Park in his last start on May 8 off the layoff.

I don’t see any reason to bet the race, but it will be interesting to watch how this colt comes back in his first start since the Derby.

My Best Plays for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Belmont Park and Monmouth Park.

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

BEL Race 1 Clm $14,000N3L (1:30 ET)

3 Unsullied 9-5

5 Laura's Posse 6-5

2 Flatexcel 3-1

4 Equal the Score 8-1

Analysis: Unsullied returns off a three month break here while cutting back to six furlongs. Last out at a mile at this level he dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish fourth. His last win came against $25,000 non-winners of two going seven panels. The Brown barn claimed this guy and is 17% winners first off the claim. Looks like he catches a soft spot for his return and will appreciate the cut back in distance.

Laura's Posse took the field gate to wire to beat $16,000 non-winners of two last out and he earned the top last out speed fig in the effort. He steps up a notch here and is going to be alight price. Gullo has had some success riding this bug, who was aboard this gelding in his last two starts.

WIN: #3 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 3 / 2,5
TRI: no play

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

BEL Race 8 The Poker G3 (5:18 ET)

1 Clyde's Image 7-2

4 Gucci Factor 5-1

6 Ticonderoga 5-1

9 Dr. Edgar 3-1

Analysis: Clyde's Image drops into a better spot after outrunning his odds in a couple of Grade 1's. He was solid second in the Makers 46 Mile at Keeneland at 46-1 and then came back to run a good third in the Old Forrester Turf Classic last out at Churchill Downs, beaten 1 3/4 lengths by Bricks and Morat. The winner came back to win the Manhattan (G1) here on June 8. Castellano picks up the call for Bush and a repeat of his last two efforts look good enough to handle this group.

Gucci Factor tracked the early pace and drew clear in the stretch to win the state bred Kingston last out earning a career top speed fig. It was his fifth win on turf in seven career trips and he won last out off a five-month layoff. he steps outside of the stet bred ranks but Clement has this guy heading in the right direction and looks capable of moving forward off his last effort.

WIN: #1 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 1,4 / 1,4,6,9
TRI: 1,4 / 1,4,6,9 / 1,4,6,8,9

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

MTH Race 7 Alw $45,000N1X (3:33 ET)

3 Dull Knife 9-5

2 Rock the Causeway 6-1

4 Desperado 4-1

1 Gearhead 8-1

Analysis: Dull Knife tracked the early pace and came with a four wide bid to get into the mix but did not have enough punch in the stretch in a fourth-place finish on yielding ground at Keeneland. The winner Crafty Daddy came back to beat non-winners of three optional claimers in his next outing on June 2 at Churchill Downs. He returns a gelding here and this guy has now tried this condition three times and has run into repeat winners in each outing. The Pletcher trainee looks really tough in this spot.

Rock the Causeway is one of two in here that has beaten winners, taking a restricted $30,000 claimer last out her on turf in his third career start. He rallied to break his maiden in his debut for a $16,000 tag, then was fifth against Alw-1 optional claimers in his first go against winners. He has shown improvement in each outing and another move forward puts him in the hunt here.

WIN: #3 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 1,2,3,4
TRI: 2,3 / 1,2,3,4 / 1,2,3,4,6

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 Equal the Score 8-1
R2: #4 G.T. Sonia 15-1
R7: #6 Roaming Union 8-1
R9: #12 Fortune’s Boy 12-1

Good luck today!

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