Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM

At the Gate - Friday

I honestly did not think much of Thursday’s card at Belmont Park, but we were able to beat several chalks along with the way, and had five winners on top on the eight race card.

My third choice won the opener, then either my top pick or second choice won the final seven races and we had the recommended exacta in all of those races, returning $8.50, $55.50, $23.40, $177.50, $27.40, $7.20, and $19.40.

If you used my top two picks in the Pick 4’s you scored payoffs of $502.00 and $128.74 and the late Pick 5 which paid $679.00.

The early pick 5 with my third choice with three top picks followed by my second choice to close out the sequence paid $2,058.50. Not too shabby if you had it.

In addition to today’s eight race card at Belmont Park I venture out to Santa Anita for opening day and have a Best Plays Report available this afternoon.

We have two Grade 1 races on the opening day card, the $300,000 Chandelier and the $300,000 American Pharoah.

Both races are “Win and You’re In” races for the Breeders’ Cup.

On Saturday we have two more Breeders’ Cup Challenge races each at Belmont Park and Santa Anita and another at Santa Anita on Sunday.

I will have selections for all of the key preps in my Best Plays Report on Saturday and Sunday.

My Best Plays Report for Friday includes my eight strongest plays from Belmont Park and Santa Anita.

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 and Best Plays Reports for Friday click here .

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

BEL Race 1 Md $20,000 (1:00 ET)
#3 Dream'n Demon 4-1
#4 Oso Negro 5-2
#1 Dealin' Stelen / 1a Burn and Turn 5-2
#5 Roller Rolls On 9-5

Analysis: Dream'n Demon was sent off at 22-1 in his debut for this tag in the slop at the Spa. The gelding tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth. The third-place finisher Skywriting came back to graduate against maiden special weight company at Finger Lakes on Sept. 18. He returns with lasix added for the underrated Kantarmaci barn. He has enough pedigree to handle the stretch out to a route. He is by Overanalyze out of a Woke Up Dreamin mar that ash dropped two other foals to race, both winners.

Oso Negro was no match for a 14 3/4 length winner two back for this tag and was claimed out of the race by the Guillot barn. he stepped up for $40,000 and was not a threat in an eighth-place finish. The blinkers come off and he is now listed as a gelding as he drops back in for $20,000. Brown dropped him in for a tag for his third start, not exactly a good sign for a $440,000 Keeneland purchase. He faces a weak group here and cuts back in distance.

WIN: #3 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 1,3,4
TRI: no play

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

BEL Race 5 Md Sp Wt (3:07 ET)
#9 Leading Factor 10-1
#5 Turned Aside 5-2
#8 Now Is 8-1
#3 Tizme Bobby McGee 6-1

Analysis: Leading Factor is a $300,000 Ocala purchase that makes his debut for the Hills barn that is 14% winners (with a +ROI) with first time starters. The colt is by The Factor out of a stakes placed Green Desert mare that has dropped four winners and three have won on turf. The colt sports solid works at Monmouth Park and this guy may end up getting overlooked on the tote. Turned Aside prompted the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish in his debut, beaten a length for the top spot. Rice is much better second out than with firsters, hitting at a 30% clip (with a +ROI). Looks as if he will catcher former footing here and this colt has an appealing pedigree, by American Pharoah out of a stakes placed War Front mare, her first foal to race. Wagering
WIN: #9 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 5,9 / 3,5,8,9
TRI: 5,9 / 3,5,8,9 / 3,4,5,8,9

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Santa Anita:

SA Race 8 The American Pharoah G1 (4:40 PT)
#1 American Theorem 5-1
#3 Eight Rings 9-5
#4 Empress Train 4-1
#9 Collusion Illusion 5-1

Analysis: American Theorem was a smart looking maiden winner in his debut going 5 ½ furlongs at Del Mar. The ridgling stalked the early pace, had to wait behind foes on the far turn, angled toward the outside and finished up well under a hand ride while drifting in slightly in the stretch to win by 1 ½ lengths. The blinkers come off here as he stretches out to a route. He has plenty of pedigree to handle two turns, out of a Maria’s Mon mare that has dropped five other winners and three are stakes winners, top earner Cyclogenesis ($198,750). The Papaprodromou barn is 19% winners moving runners from sprint to route. His guy acted professionally in his debut and should only get better on the stretch out.

Eight Rings earned a solid number breaking his maiden in his debut by 6 ¼ lengths and was sent off as the chalk in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) last out. The colt was in between foes, got bumped, ducked out badly and lost the jock. He returns with blinkers added for Baffert who has won this race eight times including last year with Game Winner. The $520,000 Keeneland purchase is by Empire Maker out of the stakes winner Purely Hot ($426,905). He is bred to go long and the trainer is 32% winners moving runners from sprint to route. Johnny V. gets the call with the main knock the likely short price.

Express Train was no match for Eight Rings in his debut in a runner up finish and came back with a big effort second out, breaking his maiden at Del Mar going a mile by 14 ¼ lengths. The Shirreffs trainee is the lone runner in the field that has gone two turns. The $500,000 Keeneland purchase is by Union Rags out of a Mineshaft mare that has dropped two other winners. Shirreffs won this race in 2016 with Gormley. Smith sticks on this colt who should get a good tracking trip behind what likely will be an honest early pace.

WIN: #1 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,4,9
TRI: 1,3 / 1,3,4,9 / 1,3,4,6,9

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
R5: #9 Leading Factor 10-1
R5: #8 Now Is 8-1
R6: #5 Irish Valor 8-1
R8: #4 Valmont 10-1

Good luck today!

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