Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM

At the Gate - Thursday

We almost made it through Wednesday’s card at Belmont Park before the skies opened up, but the rain started falling and the final race was taken off the turf.

We have rain in the forecast overnight and then things will clear up around 2:00am, but the winds are supposed to be between 25 and 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 50 today, which will put the card in jeopardy.

Once the system heads off we are going to have a great weekend with the weather perfect for Saturday’s Empire Classic Day, which features eight stakes for New York breds including the $300,000 Empire Classic.

A field of five will line up in the Empire Classic led by the defending champ Pat on the Back, who won the Kelso (G2) in his last start on Sept. 21 over the Belmont Park main track

The Jeremiah Englehart trainee has landed in the exacta in nine of his 11 trips over the main track at Belmont Park and looks tough.

Also attempting to defend her title is Bianca Bonita in the $250,000 Empire Distaff. She faces 10 foes in the one-mile test on the main track.

Bianca Bonita was the favorite last year and won by six lengths, but she has lost her six starts since including getting beaten by 14 ½ length last out against optional claimers.

I will have selections for the race in Saturday’s column and we will head out to Laurel Park as well for Maryland Million Day.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package . It gives you a month of Belmont Park Reports daily my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday and my two-day Breeders’ Cup Report.

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 Clm $25,000 (1:15 ET)
#2 Tour de Force 2-1
#4 Playthatfunnymusic 7-2
#3 Curlin Road 9-5
#5 Mills 3-1

Analysis: Tour de Force checked in fourth last out going nine furlongs against $50,000 foes. He tracked the early pace, had his heels clipped from behind on the first turn, came with a wide bid and did into have any punch left late in a fourth-place finish. He was claimed out of the race by the Cannizzo barn that is 8% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. The six-year-old drops in for a $25,000 tag here. Carmouche was aboard this guy in a couple of thirds in stakes company earlier this year. He looks like a good fit in this spot and the cut back in distance will suit him.

Playthatfunnymusic took the field gate to wire to win for this tag last out in a sharp effort. That outing came in the mud and he has done some of his best work on off tracks, landing in the exacta in 6 of 8 trips. We might still have a wet track early today but he has run well enough on fast tracks where he can still be a threat here.

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

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

BEL Race 5 Clm $32,000 (3:32 ET)
#11 Mobridge 12-1
#10 Siding Spring 5-2
#9 Morrison 8-1
#7 Lucky Ramsey 8-1

Analysis: Mobridge makes his second start off a 3 1/2-month break here for the Kantarmaci barn. The gelding finished evenly in his last outing in a fifth-place finish against $25,000 state breds. Two back in his first go for the barn off the claim he tracked the early pace and made a mild late rally to finish in the runner up spot against $40,000 claimers. His numbers two and three back where he beat state bred $25,000 foes on good ground make him competitive in this spot. He is in a sharp barn and looks as if the price will be right on this guy.

Siding Spring set the early fractions and weakened to finish third last out against $40,000 starter allowance foes in his first start off the claim by the Maker barn. He as claimed two back out of a win versus open $25,000 claimers. The gelding has been competitive versus tougher and looks well spotted here in for a $32,000 tag. There is plenty of speed in here, but this guy does not need to be on the lead and he beat Alw-2 optional claimers back in January at Gulfstream Park coming from off the pace.

WIN: #11 to win at 8-1 or better.
EX: 10,11 / 7,9,10,11
TRI: 10,11 / 7,9,10,11 / 5,7,9,10,11

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
R3: #1 Elite Mission 8-1
R5: #11 Mobridge 12-1
R5: #9 Morrison 8-1
R5: #7 Lucky Ramsey 8-1
R6: #1 Dull Knife 15-1
R7: #3 Jaylan 10-1
R8: #8 Get Directions 10-1

Good luck today!

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