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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:57 PM

At the Gate - Thursday

We have a big weekend coming up with seven Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races on tap, five at Santa Anita and two at Belmont Park.

It is hard to believe we are just over a month away from the Breeders’ Cup which will be held at Santa Anita on Nov. 1-2.

The Santa Anita fall meeting opens on Friday and fingers will be crossed after a very tough spring meeting that saw a spate of equine deaths that garnered national media attention.

Things went much better at Del Mar over the summer, but if we have any spills or fatalities in the weeks before the Breeders’ Cup, it will certainly turn up the heat on the entire industry.

We have two Breeders’ Cup Challenge races at Santa Anita on Friday, and I’ll cover both in tomorrow’s column.

The $300,000 Chandelier (G1) drew a field of six and is a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). The Bob Baffert trained Bast is the 3-5 morning line favorite.

She ran second in her debut and then broke her maiden by winning the Del Mar Debutante (G1) by 8 ¾ lengths going seven furlongs.

The $300,000 American Pharoah (G1) is a much better wagering race, drawing a field of nine. Baffert again has the morning line favorite in Eight Rings at 9-5.

The colt was sent off as the chalk in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) but was bumped and ducked out sharply dropping his jockey.

Don’t forget we are back to a 1:00 ET post time at Belmont Park this week.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Belmont Park Reports 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 Md $50,000 (1:00 ET)
#2 Days of Spring 6-5
#6 Wild North 8-1
#3 Princess Fawzia 5-2
#4 Melisande 9-2

Analysis: Days of Spring drops in for a tag for the first time here for the Pletcher barn that is 40% winners (with a +ROI) dropping runners from maiden special to maiden claiming. She went a route of ground for the first time last out in her third career start, getting bumped coming out of the gate and checking in fifth. The runner up and third place finished came back to graduate in their next starts. She returns off a 2 1/2-month break and catches a weak small group of foes. She is out of an Empire Maker mare that has dropped one other foals to race, a dirt winner. Just not much else in here to get excited about.

Wild North finished evenly in a sixth-place finish in her debut at 42-1 for the Contessa barn that does not win first out very often. She switches to turf here and is out of the turf stakes winner Go Forth North ($296,488) who has dropped three other foals to race including one turf winner. She may show more with the surface switch and the softer spot.

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

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

BEL Race 6 Md $50,000 (3:39 ET)
#8 Spanish Point 7-2
#4 Stunning Munnings 5-2
#6 Speed Talks 6-1
#3 Kemba 6-1

Analysis: Spanish Point debuts for the Abreu barn that is 24% winners (with a +ROI) with first time starters. The filly has a steady string of good looking works on the morning tab. She is by Creative Cause (11% winner with debut runners) out of a Mineshaft mare, her first foal to race. Johnny V. takes the call and this looks like a good spot making her debut for a $50,000 tag.

Stunning Munnings returns off a two month break here after setting the early fractions and weakening to finish third, beaten a length last out for this tag at the Spa, and takes the blinkers off here and is 31% winners (with a +ROI) when taking off the hood. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and has a couple of good breezes over the main track since her last start.

Wagering
WIN: #8 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 4,8 / 3,4,6,8
TRI: 4,8 / 3,4,6,8 / 3,4,5,6,8

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: #6 Wild North 8-1
R3: 32 Donegal Aces 12-1
R3: #6 Foti 8-1
R4: #3 Talespin 10-1
R5: #2 Conforto 12-1
R7: #1 Proud O’Paddy 8-1
R8: #9 Spectator Sport 12-1
R8: #1 Ninja Dust 12-1

Good luck today!

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