Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
At the Gate - Sunday
Yes, another big race was decided in the steward’s booth yesterday as Vino Rosso was disqualified from the win in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), and we benefited as Code of Honor was elevated to the win as our top pick and paid $6.00.
Vino Rosso with Irad Ortiz aboard brushed with Code of Honor and jockey John Velazquez twice in the stretch while drifting out, leading to the disqualification. It was a tough call, and while we benefited from it, I think the winner should have been left up.
"Honestly, he came out and bumped my horse on me, “Velazquez said. “I had put the head in front of him and he bumped him. It kind of got my horse off balance for the second time when he bumped him. And now he puts the head in front of me and I'm trying to get back in front of him and he beats me by a head or a nose or whatever it is.”
Perhaps bigger news was the breakdown of the three-year-old Emtech in the eighth race at Santa Anita. The track has been under intense scrutiny since a rash of fatalities from Dec. 26 until June where there were 30 fatalities.
The Breeders’ Cup is just over a month away, and the last thing Santa Anita needs is more injuries or equine deaths leading up to the championship event.
I thought the Breeders’ Cup should have moved the event to Churchill Downs months ago, and now we have to keep our fingers crossed we go injury free over the next month of racing in Southern California.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my eight 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 Clm $32,000 (1:00 ET)
#3 Hoponthebusgus 8-1
#5 Bareeqa 5-2
#7 A Dixie Twister 2-1
#2 Awesome Quick 8-1
Analysis: Hoponthebusgus adds blinkers and drops back in for a tag for her second start off the claim by the Kantarmaci barn. The mare caught slop last out in a race taken off the turf against restricted $50,000 foes where she came with a mild late run while wide to check in fourth. She was claimed two back for a $32,000 on six furlongs on grass. She has won 3 of nine starts over the turf here. The barn does good work with recent claimers and this mare should end up a decent price in this spot.
Bareeqa stalked the early pace and came with a five wide rally and took over the lead heading for home, holding on by a half-length to beat $25,000 claimers. The mare cuts back to seven furlongs here for the Gargan barn that is 28% wieners (with a +ROI) moving runners from route to sprint.
WIN: #3 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 3,5 / 2,3,5,7
TRI: 3,5 / 2,3,5,7 / 1,2,3,5,7
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 The Ms Grillo G2 (4:43 ET)
#6 Sparkling Sky 7-2
#4 Crystalle 8-5
#2 Jazzique 8-1
#8 Selflessly 6-1
Analysis: Sparkling Sky was a good looking maiden winner going long at Saratoga last out in her second career start. She tracked the early pace, took over the led heading home and finished up well to win by 2 1/2 lengths. In her debut she was bumped coming out of the gate, came with a five-wide bid, was bumped by a foe at the 3/16's then got brushed and had to steady when our second choice in here came in on her. She was placed second thanks to a DQ of the winner. The $650,000 purchase is bred for turf, by More Than Ready out of a Pulpit mare that has dropped two other winners including turf sprint stakes winner Justa Lady ($353,745). She looks capable of moving forward off her maiden score.
Crystalle was DQ'd from her debut where she was sent off at 41-1. She returned in the P.G. Johnson where she was sent off as the favorite and got up late to win by a neck in a game effort. In that outing she as off poorly when she had her head turned and leapt up at the break, leaving her last early spotting the field a few lengths. A cleaner break and she will be tough in here as the favorite. She should get an honest pace in front of her. She is out of a Flatter mare that has dropped two other foals to race, both turf winners.
Jazzique is one of two in here sent out by eh brown barn that ash won this race in six of the last seven years including the last three. She stalked the early pace and finished gamely while bumping with her stablemate late to prevail by a half-length. She should get better going long, by Kingman out of a stakes placed Sadler's Wells mare that has dropped two other turf winners. The Brown barn is 35% winners moving runners from sprint to route. Her speed figure in her maiden win is coming up light but tough to toss Brown from this race entirely.
WIN: #6 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 4,6 / 2,4,6,8
TRI: 4,6 / 2,4,6,8 / 2,4,5,6,8
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Santa Anita:
SA Race 5 The Zenyatta G2 (2:30 PT)
#1 Secret Spice 8-5
#3 Paradise Woods 5-2
#4 Ollie's Candy 9-5
#5 La Force 5-1
Analysis: Secret Spice was beaten ahead last out in the Clement L. Hirsch (G1) while 5 1/4 lengths clear of the third-place finisher last out and the top four from that race all return here. The Baltas trainee has done her best work over the main track here, all three of her wins over the main track including the Beholder Mile (G1) three back. She was giving four pounds to Ollie's Candy last out and it is even weights today. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and looks capable of turning the tables.
Paradise Woods was a disappointing fourth in the Hirsch, beaten 7 3/4 lengths. The Shirreffs trainee also has run much better over the main track here, all four of her wins here including taking the Santa Margarita (G2) by 10 1/2 lengths three back. Among the top three in this short field she may end up offering the best value.
WIN: #1 to win at 8-5 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,4
TRI: no play
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: #3 Hoponthebusgus 8-1
R1: #2 Awesome Quick 8-1
R7: #6 Supreme Aura 15-1
R8: #2 Jazzique 8-1
R9: #6 Good Solution 8-1
Good luck today!