Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
At the Gate - Sunday
I thought we might be able to make some sense of the three-year-old division after yesterday’s Pennsylvania Derby (G1), but it was not meant to be.
Math Wizard rallied from last to first to pull off the upset at 31-1, running down Mr. Money with the betting favorite Improbable checking in fourth after getting off a beat slow.
Improbable ended up my top pick but the tardy start changed the complexion of the race and he just did not have any punch in the stretch.
We fared better in the Cotillion (G1) where my top pick Street Band got the job done and returned $17.40. My second choice Guarana completed a nice exacta that paid $96.80.
The feature at Belmont Park yesterday was the Kelso Handicap (G2) and my top pick Pat On the Back rallied for the win and paid $9.00. Prince Lucky completed a $24.80 recommended exacta.
We have a good 10-race card at Belmont Park on Sunday featuring three stakes.
The $300,000 Gallant Bloom (G2) drew a compact field of five fillies and mares that will go 6 ½ furlongs on the main track. Come Dancing is the 1-5 morning line favorite and looks like a single for most in the early Pick 5 but I am going to try and beat her.
The $125,000 Ashley T. Cole drew seven New York breds going nine furlongs on the inner turf. Voodoo Song won the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) last year but looks like he may have lost a step or two after an eight and seven place finishes in his first two starts this year.
The $125,000 John Hettinger will have a field of 10 state breds going nine furlongs. The defending champ Fifty Five is the 6-5 morning line favorite and is coming off a close up fourth in the Ballston Spa (G2). She is going to be very tough to beat.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.
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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 $25,000 (1:00 ET)
#1 Playthatfunnymusic 10-1
#6 Five Star Bunt 5-2
#7 Blue Belt 6-1
#5 We Should Talk 3-1
Analysis: Playthatfunnymusic set the early fractions while down along a deep rail and weakened to finish third last out against state bred Alw-2 optional claimers and drops in for a straight tag here while cutting back to a sprint. The gelding's last win came over the main track here at seven furlongs at this level back in May. He makes his third start off the claim by the Kantarmaci barn that is 10% winners moving runners form route to sprint. Breaking from the rail the bug figures to send him so he will be forwardly placed and is going to be a decent price.
Five Star Bunt stalked the early pace, came with a fie wide bid and had no punch left in the stretch in a fourth-place finish against state bred Alw-2 optional claimers. The gelding drops into a softer spot here tagged for $25,000 for the Rice barn. This guy has not won since last fall where he beat state bred Alw-1 foes but has been facing tougher. The last time he was in for a tag he beat $32,000 claimers here last May. He makes his third start of his current form cycle for Rice who has started off the meeting on the slow side winning with just 1 of 7 starters.
WIN: #1 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,5,6,7
TRI: 1,6 / 1,5,6,7 / 1,3,5,6,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 7 The Ashley T. Cole (4:10 ET)
#5 Voodoo Song 6-1
#8 Gucci Factor 5-2
#7 Offering Plan 3-1
#6 Therapist 5-1
Analysis: Voodoo Song won 3 of 7 last year including the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) but his two starts this year have been subpar. He came off the bench prompting the early pace in the Forbidden Apple (G3) and faded to finish seventh. Last out in the restricted Lure he set the early fractions and tired to finish seventh, beaten seven lengths. He has not faced state breds since the summer of '17. The five-year-old has worked smartly since his last outing and perhaps Rice just did not have him fit and ready to go off the shelf. Willing to give him another look here as the 6-1 morning line looks fair enough although we likely will have to settle for slightly less.
Gucci Factor returns off a three-month break for the Clement barn. Last out in the Poker (G1) he raced near the back of the pack and came with a good late rally to get up at the wire. The gelding has won 4 of 6 over the turf here and was third in this race last year. His last start against state breds came two back in the Kingston at a mile here over good ground where he tracked the early pace and drew clear late to win by 1 1/4 lengths. The Clement barn is 13% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff.
Offering Plan stalked the early pace and came with a good four wide rally to get up at eh wire to win the state bred West Point last out at Saratoga over a couple of foes he faces again today. He came from far out if it here last year to rally for the runner up spot. He has done some of his best work over the turf here, landing in the money in 12 of 13 starts. He could use some pace in front of him and may get it. His best puts him in the mix in this spot.
WIN: #5 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 5,8 / 5,6,7,8
TRI: 5,8 / 5,6,7,8 / 3,5,6,7,8
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:
CD Race 7 Md Sp Wt (3:48 ET)
#7 Super Mamba 6-1
#10 Lady Jenneviere 8-5
#8 Jack Beanstalk 5-1
#9 Street Ready 8-1
Analysis: Super Mamba is a $130,000 Keeneland purchase making his debut for the Stall barn that is 21% winners (with a +ROI) with first time starters. The colt is y Super Saver out of the stakes winner Anabaa's Creation ($330,826) who has dropped three foals to race with one winner, stakes winner Create a Dream ($96,748). Steady works on the morning tab for his debut.
Lady Jenneviere stalked the early pace, opened up heading for home and kept his neck in front but was DQ'd for bumping a foe in the stretch and was placed second. The filly stretches out to a mile here for the Cox barn that is 24% winners moving runners form sprint to route. She is out of a Curlin mare that has dropped two other foals to race, both dirt winners. The price is short and he drew a tough post.
WIN: #7 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 7,10 / 7,8,9,10
TRI: 7,10 / 7,8,9,10 / 1,7,8,9,10
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.
R1: #1 Playthatfunnymusic 10-1
R2: #9 Ghostly Beauty 8-1
R3: #2Carrrera Cat 8-1
R3: #1 Majestic Reason 20-1
R8: #8 Alisio 8-1
R9: #3 Giant Zinger 12-1
R9: #7 Wegetsdamunnys 8-1
R10: #1 Steelersfanforlife 12-1
Good luck today!