Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM

At the Gate - Saturday

We are three weeks out from the Breeders’ Cup, but we still have some outstanding stakes action this afternoon including a pair of Grade 1 races at Woodbine and one at Keeneland.

The feature at Keeneland today is the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) for three-year-old fillies going 1 ¼ miles on turf. It is possible a runner could exit this race and come back in three weeks and run in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).

Of course, the race goes through trainer Chad Brown, who sends out three runners including the 8-5 morning line favorite Cambier Parc.

The $800,000 Pattison Canadian International (G1) is the feature this afternoon at Woodbine but the race drew a small field of six. The race has been dominated by Euro invaders and four of the six have made their way from across the pond.

Among those is Zityas who is the imposing even money favorite on the morning line. He won a Group 2 at Deauville in his last outing.

The $600,000 E.P. Taylor (G1) is the co-feature and drew a field of 10 fillies and mares that will travel 1 ¼ miles over the turf course.

Red Tea is the one to beat coming in from overseas for trainer Joseph O’Brien.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 10 strongest plays from Belmont Park, Woodbine and Keeneland.

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

BEL Race 1 Md $30,000 (12:45 ET)

2 Bow Maker 4-1

7 Tiz Epic 1-1

3 Super Twenty Seven 6-1

1 Annoula 7-2

Analysis: Bow Maker was bumped around and pinched back coming out of the gate and was not a threat in an eighth-place finish in her debut going 5 1/2 furlongs on turf, sent off at 9-1 in a field of 10. She returns with a class drop in for a $30,000 tag and switches to the main track. The Rice barn is 29% winners (with a +ROI) with second out maidens. By Oxbow and the first foal to race out of a Tapit mare, she seems more suited to dirt.

Tiz Epic tracked the early pace and finished gamey in a runner up finish for a $40,000 tag going five furlongs on the main track at Monmouth Park. She put in a good breeze on Oct. 6 but that was her only published work since her debut last month. She is in good hands with the Weaver barn but hard to get too excited about her at even money. She is by Tiznow and the first foal to race out of an Indian Charlie mare.

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

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

BEL Race 9 The Sands Point G2 (5:13 ET)

2 Olendon 5-1

7 Souper Escape 8-1

5 New and Improved 5-2

1 Dyna Passer 7-2

Analysis: Olendon returns off a two-month break after coming up short in her first two starts in the U.S. She was eighth in the Belmont Oaks (G1) and then did improve in a fifth in the Saratoga Oaks. The blinkers come off here for the Brown bar. This gal was second in the Prix Saint Alary (G1) at Longchamp three back, beaten a length at 1 1/4 miles. She has worked steadily for her return and looking for more out of this gal here and it looks as if we should catch a fair price.

Souper Escape is coming off a win in the La Lorgnette at Woodbine over the fake stuff. She pressed the early pace, took over eh led on the far turn and finished up well to win by 3 1/4 lengths. She was third in the Just Jenda two back on turf going a mile. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and it looks as if she may be able to shake loose here on the stretch out to nine furlongs. She has the pedigree to handle more ground, by Medaglia d'Oro out of the stakes winner Cry and Catch Me ($226,480).

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

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Keeneland:

KEE Race 9 The QEII Challenge Cup G1 (5:30 ET)

9 Regal Glory 6-1

5 Castle Lady 7-2

3 Cambier Parc 8-5

6 Cafe Americano 6-1

Analysis: Regal Glory is one of three in here sent out by Chad Brown, the filly tracked the early pace and finished gamely to end up in a deadheat with Varenka in the Lake Placid (G2) over good ground last out at Saratoga. The filly has now won five of her seven starts with a pair of seconds. This is her first test at nine furlongs, but she looks up to it and has enough pedigree, by Animal Kingdom out of a More Than Ready mare. She has handled ground with some give to it and there is some rain in the forecast overnight on Friday. She ran well in a runner up finish in the Appalachian (G2) on soft ground here in April.

Castle Lady invades the U.S. for the Pantall barn and was fifth in the Coronation Stakes (G1) ls out at Royal Ascot in June. She won the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (G1) on soft ground at Longchamp two back at a mile. She adds Lasix and Barzalona makes the trip across the pond for the ride. She has enough pedigree to handle nine furlongs and the prospect of less than firm round suits her as well.

Cambier Parc is the 8-5 morning line favorite. The filly made a good late rally to get up and win the Del Mar Oaks (G1) last out at nine furlongs, her fourth win in seven career starts. The $1.25 million Keeneland purchase won the Wonder Again (G3) three back at nine furlongs. She has been better on firm ground, a fourth in the Edgewood (G3) at Churchill Downs on good ground in her lone trip on less than firm ground. She is a logical threat to win here for Brown who won this race last year with Rushing Fall, but her price is going to be on the light side.

WIN: #9 to win at 4-1 or better.
EX: 5,9 / 3,5,6,9
TRI: 5,9 / 3,5,6,9 / 3,5,6,8,9

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Woodbine:

WO Race 8 The E. P. Taylor G1 (5:05 ET)

2 Red Tea 3-1

5 Holy Helena 10-1

8 Starship Jubilee 7-2

1 Gaining 10-1

Analysis: Red Tea invades from overseas and is coming off a good effort in a third-place finish in the Prix Jean Romanet (G1) at Deauville over soft ground at 1 ¼ miles. She was beaten by 2 ½ lengths by Coronet, who came into that race off a win in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint Cloud. Our top pick won the Kilboy Estate Stakes (G2) two back at the Curragh going nine furlongs. She adds lasix to the mix, and we have seen Euro shippers with lesser credentials be very competitive in North America this year. She has enough pedigree to get the 1 ¼ miles. By Sakhee out of a Pivotal mare. She has run well on ground with some give to it and there is some rain in the forecast leading up to the race.

Holy Helena is better than her fourth in the Canadian (G2) last out at nine furlongs over yielding ground. The mare won the Dance Smartly (G2) over the turf here at this distance two back and has won three times at 1 ¼ miles in her career on turf. She has not had success in Grade 1 company, but this race did not come up as tough as in recent years and she looks capable of moving forward off her last effort which was off a 2 ½ month break. Decent value if she goes off near her 10-1 morning line.

Starship Jubilee earned a near career top speed fig in her gate to wire score in the Canadian last out, her fifth win in a dozen trips over the turf here. Her career top came in the Canadian last year and she then regressed in a fourth-place finish in this race, beaten 1 ½ lengths. She does not need the lead and showed some late run two back in a runner up finish in the Dance Smartly (G2) three back and a u third in the Ballston Spa (G2) two back. She fits here with her best but not sure she is going to offer much value for the top spot.

WIN: #2 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 2,5 / 1,2,5,8
TRI: 2,5 / 1,2,5,8 / 1,2,5,8,10

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: 2: #2 Retro Street 8-1
R6: #2 Misericodia 12-1
R8: #3 Turnagain Tide 8-1
R9: #7 Souper Escape 8-1

Good luck today!

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