At the Gate – Wednesday

The holiday weekend is just about here, and while there is racing on the 4th of July, most of the stakes action will take place on Saturday.

At Belmont Park it is the Stars & Stripes Festival which features five stakes including the $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) and the $750,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1), both turf events for three-year-olds at 1 ¼ miles.

The supporting stakes on the card are the $250,000 Dwyer (G3) for three-year-olds on the main track at a mile, the $300,000 John A Nerud (G2) for three-year-olds and upward at seven furlongs and the $700,000 Suburban (G2) for older runners going 1 ¼ miles.

The Nerud is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

We may venture out to Delaware Park as well. There are five stakes on the card including the $300,000 Delaware Oaks (G3) and the $200,000 Kent (G3).

Entries for the races will come out this afternoon and I’ll include the stakes action in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.

We have another lackluster card at Belmont Park today with a few short fields and I had a tough time coming up with live longshots.

Closing day for the meeting is Sunday and then things will pick up next week with the opening of Saratoga on Thursday.

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 Wednesday click here.

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)
#2 Simona 7-5
#1 Midnitesalright / 1a Tayler's the Boss 9-5
#3 Mazmania 10-1
#4 Jazzy J 4-1

Analysis: Simona
stalked the early pace, came with a seven wide bid and cold not make up much ground in the stretch in a fourth-place finish last out against $20,000 non-winners of two. The filly caught a racing strip that was playing to inside speed that day. She returns with blinkers added and drops in for $14,000. She has a few too many seconds but I like the jock switch here to Saez and this is not a very tough looking spot.

Midnitesalright dueled for the early lead and tired to finish sixth ls out at this level in her second start off the claim by the Kantarmaci barn. She was a sharp winner two back against $16,000 non-winners of two in her first go off the claim. She is better than she showed last out. Entrymate Tayler's the Boss came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out. Looks the stronger of the duo and the bug is listed on both so only one will go.

WIN: #2 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,3
TRI: no play

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

BEL Race 8 Clm $16,000N2L (5:18 ET)
#7 Quest for Fire 9-2
#6 Talent Scout 5-2
#4 Remstin 7-2
#3 Bustin Mach Four 3-1

Analysis: Quest for Fire
set the early fractions in the slop and weakened to finish third last out for this tag. Two back here over a fast main track the gelding pressed the early pace and finished gamely in a third-place finish, beaten 3/4 of a length for the top spot. He earned a career top speed fig two back and owns a solid pace rifle throughout. Rosario sticks for Summers who claimed this guy for $16,000 back in February. He figures to move forward catching a fast track this afternoon.

Talent Scout broke his maiden in Oct. of '17 at Santa Anita and did not race again until April of this year at Keeneland. He prompted the early pace and weakened to finish third at 6-5 against $50,000 non-winners of two. He was claimed out of the race by the Rice barn that is 28% winners first off the claim. He returns here off a 2 1/2 month break jammed in for a $16,000 tag which does not exactly look like a good sign. There are four published works since his last effort. Tough call what we are going to see out of this guy but the price likely going to be lighter than the 5-2 morning line.

WIN: #7 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 6,7 / 3,4,6,7
TRI: 6,7 / 3,4,6,7 / 3,4,5,6,7

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: #3 Mazmania 10-1

Good luck today!