At the Gate – Thursday

Don’t forget we have a 3:05 p.m. ET post time this afternoon at Belmont Park.

My favorite wager in the Big Apple is the early Pick 5 and Thursday’s five race sequence unfortunately has a few too may short fields but we may be able to beat a couple of the chalks.

The fields sizes are six-six-five-six and seven.

There is Playthatfunnymusic at 7-5 in the opener, Met Me in L A at 6-5 in the third race and Behind the Couch at 1-1 in the fourth race at short morning line prices, and we need to beat a couple of them.

In the five-race sequence the only morning line favorite I have as my top pick is Exceed the Goal (9-5) in the second race. The morning line favorite is my second choice in the four other races in the sequence.

We have seen if we can beat a couple of even money or less chalks in the five-race sequence, we can still get a generous payoff even with short fields.

The Late Pick 4 may actually get more of my action. I have no morning line favorites among my top picks, and we have five live longshots in the last three races of the day including three that are my top picks.

If we are correct on a couple of those races the late Pick 4 could pay more than the early Pick 5.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package for just $99.95. It gives you a month of Belmont Park/Saratoga 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 $25,000 (3:05 ET)
#5 Analyze the Odds 5-2
#4 Playthatfunnymusic 7-5
#1 Blame the Thief 5-1
#2 Ten Twenty Nine 8-1

Analysis: Analyze the Odds was claimed for this tag back in March by the Kantarmaci barn that does good work with recent claimed but this guy has racked up a 0 for 4 mark for the new barn. He has faced mostly tougher and drops out of a state bred Alw-2 optional claimers last out on the stretch out where he was no match for an 8 1/2 length winner in against open $40,000 foes. He drops back in for $25,000 and against state breds.

Playthatfunnymusic was a game winner by a nose last out at this level in his first start off the claim by the Gullo barn. The bug Hernandez who aboard and also rode our top pick who he sticks with which is interesting. The Gullo trainee stretches back out to a mile after his win last out at seven furlongs. He passed his first state bred condition going a one turn mile at the Big A last December. He figures to be tough here but hoping our top pick offers a bit more value for the top spot.

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

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

BEL Race 8 OClm $40,000N2X (6:46 ET)
#7 San Juan Diego 12-1
#5 J J's Dreaming 4-1
#4 Storm Prophet 2-1
#2 Real Dan 9-2

Analysis: San Juan Diego beat Alw-2L foes two back at Oaklawn Park in his second trip over the main track there. He returned last out here at this level where he dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish fifth at 13-1. He broke his maiden against state breds here last fall in his ninth career start. The Moquette trainee makes just his fourth start this year and goes a route for just the third time. He was third here going a mile in the maiden ranks and looks as if he has enough pedigree wise to handle the extra ground. Decent value if he goes off near his 12-1 morning line.

J J's Dreaming makes his first start since December where he caught slop, prompting the early pace and tiring to finish sixth. The Hennig barn is 11% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. He was good enough to pass his first state bred condition going nine furlongs at the Spa last summer. This is not a real tough looking group of state breds he runs into off the bench.

WIN: #7 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 5,7 / 2,4,5,7
TRI: 5,7 / 2,4,5,7 / 1,2,4,5,7

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
R1: #2 Ten Twenty Nine 8-1
R6: #8 Appletini 12-1
R7: #9 Thaterintheround 8-1
R7: #8 Factoring 8-1
R8: #7 San Juan Diego 12-1
R9: #6 Singular Sensation 12-1
R9: #2 Barton Hall 8-1

Good luck today!