At the Gate – Saturday

We have four Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races this afternoon, two each at Belmont Park and Santa Anita, but they are not among the better wagering races.

The $300,000 Vosburgh (G1) at Belmont Park kicks things off. Six were entered but Call Paul and Promises Fulfilled will scratch leaving us with a field of four led by 3-5 morning line favorite Imperial Hint, who likely will be 1-5.

The six-year-old earned a career top speed figure winning the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1) at Saratoga in his last outing by four lengths. The winner earns a start in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

The $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) winner stamps a ticket to the Breeders’; Cup Classic (G1). The race drew just five runners including a pair of three-year-old taking on their elders for the first time.

Travers (G1) winner Code of Honor and Wood Memorial (G2) winner Tacitus take on Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) winner Vino Rosso and Woodward (G1) winner Preservationist.

At Santa Anita a field of six will line up in the $300,00 Rodeo Drive (G1) with the winner going on to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). Yellow Ribbon Handicap (G1) winner Beau Recall is the 9-5 morning line favorite but is 0 for 3 at the 1 ¼ mile distance.

McKinzie is the 4-5 morning line favorite for the $300,000 Awesome Again (G1). The winner earns a start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

The Bob Baffert trained McKinzie won the Whitney (G10 at Saratoga in his last outing. He faces Stephen Foster (G2) winner Seeking the Soul and Pacific Classic (G1) winner Higher Power.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 10 strongest plays from Belmont Park and Santa Anita.

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

BEL Race 1 OClm $40,00N2X (1:00 ET)
#1 My Roxy Girl 5-1
#2 Cash Offer 9-5
#5 Our Super Nova 4-1
#4 Flat Calm 3-1

Analysis: My Roxy Girlis back in with state breds for her second start off the claim by the Rice barn who took her out of a win versus $25,000 state breds. She faced open Alw-1 foes last out where he tracked the early pace and faded to finish seventh. She has not won in nine trips over the main track here but has run second five times. She will appreciate the return to the state bred ranks here and Rice does good work with recent claims. Likely to bounce back with a better effort and she has already won at this level back in April at the Big A.

Cash Offer took the field gate to wire to beat state bred Alw-1 foes last out here going six furlongs her third try at the level. She owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and she looks as if she may still have some upside for the Hennig barn. She is a danger to wire these if she shakes loose early.

WIN: #1 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 1,2 / 1,2,4,5
TRI: 1,2 / 1,2,4,5 / 1,2,3,4,5

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

BEL Race 10 The Jockey Club Gold Cup G1 (5:49 ET)
#2 Code of Honor 8-5
#4 Preservationist 9-5
#3 Vino Rosso 7-2
#1 Tacitus 5-2

Analysis: Code of Honor faces older for the first time off a career top effort winning the Travers (G1) last out at Saratoga as our top pick. Things went his way that day as he got some pace, was racing wide which seemed to be the best part of the racing surface that day and came with a good late rally, drawing off to win by three lengths. He won the Dwyer (G3) over the main track here going a mile and ran well at Belmont Park last year in a runner up finish in the Champagne (G1). The main questions are whether he gets some pace in front of him and taking what could be a short price against a pair of solid older runners. Johnny V. should be able to place him in a good spot not as far back and this colt looks like he has matured since the spring and capable of moving forward off his last effort. He is getting four pounds from his older foes.

Preservationist has made just 10 starts, winning six including a career top speed fig winning the Woodward (G1) last out. He won the Suburban (G2) three back over the main track here and then was fourth in the Whitney (G1) and he proved me wrong in the Woodward as I did not give him much of a chance in that race. The Jerkens trainee owns a solid pace rifle throughout and can be on or close to the lead. He will appreciate the return to 1 ¼ miles and has run ell in his three trips over the Belmont Park main track.

Vino Rosso won the Santa Anita Gold Cup (G1) as our top pick at 4-1 over Gift Box earning a career top speed fig. However, he regressed in a third-place finish last out in the Whitney (G1) behind McKenzie and Yoshida. The blinkers come off here and picks up Ortiz as Johnny V, who has ridden this guy in all 13 of his career starts hops off to stick with our top pick. The colt has just one start over the main track here, a fourth in the Belmont Stakes (G1) last year. With the hood off and Irad on this guy he may end up too far back early and might be at a tactical disadvantage.

WIN: #2 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 2,4 / 2,3,4
TRI: no play

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

SA Race 9 The Rodeo Drive G1 (4:41 PT)
#3 Elysea's World 6-1
#2 Beau Recall 9-5
#6 Paved 5-2
#5 Excellent Sunset 7-2

Analysis: Elysea’s World makes her third start of her current form cycle and may appreciate the extra ground here after a sixth last out in the John C. Mabee (G2) at nine furlongs. The mare stalked the early pace and did not have enough punch left late, beaten four lengths for the top spot behind Vasilika. Her last win came over the grass here in the Santa Ana (G3) I March which was at today’s 1 ¼ mile distance. That outing came in her second start for the barn after previously being in the Chad Brown barn where last year she won the Matchmaker (G3) and Violet (G3). She has been facing tougher and this race did not come up very strong for a Grade 1. Decent value if she goes off near her 6-1 morning line.

Beau Recall is coming off a game nose win in the Yellow Ribbon Handicap (G2) last out at 1 1/16 miles at Del Mar. The third-place finisher Vasilika came back to win the Mabee and would have been tough in here but with her trainer Jerry Hollendorfer banned from racing here she is headed to Kentucky. Beau Recall was fourth in the Rodeo Drive last year, beaten 3 ¼ lengths by Vasilika. The Cox trainee is now 0 for 3 at 1 ¼ miles and there is no doubt she is better going shorter. She won the Distaff Turf Mile (G3) three back at Churchill Downs and was a good second in the Just A Game (G1) two back at Belmont Park. While 1 ¼ miles is not her game she does catch a field here she seems capable of beating.

Paved checked in fourth in the Mabee last out, beaten 2 ¾ lengths for the top spot. She makes her third start off a 6 ½ month layoff after running third in the restricted Osunitas two back off the bench. She won the Honeymoon (G2) here last year at nine furlongs and her career top speed fig came in this race last year where she was the runner up, beaten a half-length. She looks headed in the right direction form wise and if she runs back to her effort here last year that looks good enough to be in the mix.

WIN: #3 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,6
TRI: no play

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
R4: #2 American Power 15-1
R4: #3 Brown Buckeye 30-1
R5: #2 Bramble Berry 12-1
R6: #5 Flatter Me 8-1
R6: #8 Modernist 10-1R6: #7 Trash Talker 12-1
R7: #2 Theaterintheround 12-1
R8: #3 Another Broad 20-1
R9: #5 Maxwell Esquire 8-1

Good luck today!