Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM

At the Gate - Sunday

The feature at Belmont Park on Sunday is the $200,000 Athenia (G3) which drew a field of nine fillies and mares that will travel 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf course.

Trainer Neil Drysdale ships in Simply Breathless, who is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The filly was third in the Ladies Turf (G3) at Kentucky Downs in her last outing.

She was being pointed toward the First Lady (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 5, but her connections scratched her out of that race looking for an easier spot. She found one but I am going to try and beat her with Xeonbia.

At Keeneland the feature is the $125,000 Dowager (G3) for fillies and mares going 1 ½ miles on turf. Gentle Ruler is the 3-1 morning line favorite for trainer Ian Wilkes.

It took her 12 tries to break her maiden, but in the five starts since she earned her diploma, she has won four including three stakes.

Next week is closing week at both Keeneland and Belmont Park. We will have a couple of days off and then Aqueduct opens on Friday Nov. 1, which is also the first day of the Breeders’ Cup.

My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Belmont Park and Laurel Park.

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 and Best Plays Reports for Sunday click here .

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

BEL Race 1 Clm $20,000N3L (12:45 ET)
#5 Danny California 1-1
#3 Blue Skies Forever 8-1
#1 Purchasing Power 5-2
#2 Dooley 4-1

Analysis: Danny California tracked the early pace and finished gamely to beat $30,000 non-winners of two last out in the slop at the Spa in a race washed off the turf. Two back he checked in fifth at the same level in a race that has produced three next out winners. He steps up a notch to the non-winners of three level but catches a soft spot only having to take on four foes.

Blue Skies Forever made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot at Monmouth Park against $14,000 non-winners of three at 15-1. He passed his non-winners of two condition at Finger Lakes three back but did break his maiden here over the main track back in June at 6 1/2 furlongs. He may appreciate the cut back to one turn.

WIN: #5 to win at 6-5 or better.
EX: 5 / 1,3
TRI: no play

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

BEL Race 9 The Athenia G3 (5:13 ET)
#9 Xenobia 5-1
#1 Simply Breathless 5-2
#3 Sweet Bye and Bye 7-2
#4 Andina Del Sur 9-2

Analysis: Xenobia has come up short in her two starts since landing in the U.S. but looks primed for a good effort here third off the bench. She was fourth in her U.S. debut and then last out had a clear lead heading for home but got run down. She won a Group 3 at Fairyhouse in Ireland last summer. She has been forwardly placed in most of her outings and should get a good tracking trip here. Johnny V. picks up the call for the sharp Thomas barn.

Simply Breathless ships in from Keeneland via SoCal for the Drysdale barn. She was scratched out of the First Lady (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 5 and lands in an easier spot here. She was third last out in the Ladies Turf (G3) at Kentucky Downs. She won her first two starts in the U.S. including the Wilshire (G3) three back at Santa Anita. She rarely fails to fire and looks like the obvious one to beat in this spot.

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

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Keeneland:

KEE Race 9 The Dowager G3 (4:57 ET)
#6 Beach Flower 10-1
#10 Elysea's World 4-1
#9 Pantsonfire 6-1
#3 Gentle Ruler 3-1

Analysis: Beach Flower took the field gate to wire to cross the wire a neck in front in this race last year but was DQ'd and placed third after veering in and interfering with a foe in the stretch. Last out the mare tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fifth on the main track and is back on turf. She won the Minnesota HBPA Distaff o turf two back at Canterbury. There is no early pace signed up to go here and this gal may be able to shake lose early. She was 8-1 in this race last year and should be a similar price here.

Elysea's World tracked the early pace while saving ground and came out in the stretch in eh Rodeo Drive (G1) last out, checking in third and losing a photo for the runner up spot. Her last win came at 1 1/4 miles in the Santa Ana (G3) back in March. This is he first trip at 1 1/2 miles but pedigree wise she should be able to handle it. The Baltas trainee is by Champs Elysees (Danehill) out of a Singspiel mare.

Pantsonfire is also sent out by Baltas. The mare stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish in the CTT and TOC Takes at Del Mar. Her last win came at Santa Anita three back at 1 1/2 miles, winning the Astra (G3) by 5 1/2 lengths. She should get a good tracking trip sitting not too far off the pace and she may still have some upside making just her third start since January.

WIN: #6 to win at 6-1 or better.
EX: 6,10 / 3,6,9,10
TRI: 6,10 / 3,6,9,10 / 2,3,6,9,10

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: #3 Blue Skies Forever 8-1
R2: #3 Count Down 8-1
R5: #2 Big Muddy 8-1
R6: #1 jaylan 8-1
R7: #1 Morrison 8-1
R7: #4 Lucky Ramsey 8-1
R8: #2 Bells of War 8-1
R8: #3 Fashion Rules 10-1
R10: #2 Rousey 8-1
R10: #1 Trumpit 15-1

Good luck today!

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