Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM

At the Gate - Thursday

The pre-entries are now out for the Breeders’ Cup coming up next Friday and Saturday and a total of 188 horse were entered for the two-day championship event. There will be five championship races on Friday and nine more on Saturday.

The marquee event is the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) which drew a field of 11 led by the Bob Baffert trained McKinzie and the talented three-year-old Code of Honor. The mare Elate, a multiple Grade 1 winner who was perfect in her three trips at 1 ¼ miles will take on the boys in the Classic.

There were 47 horses pre-entered that are based overseas including 17 by trainer Aiden O’Brien.

Normally the Horse of the Year comes down to the Classic, but the handicap division is weaker than normal, meaning several other Breeders’ Cup races could decide year end honors.

Bricks and Mortar is perfect in five starts this year, four Grade 1 races and one Grade 2 and was cross entered in the Turf and Mile. His trainer Chad Brown seems to be leaning toward the Turf.

Midnight Bisou has won all seven of her starts including three Garde 1 races and will be the headliner in the Distaff. She ran third in last year’s edition of the Distaff at Churchill Downs.

Mitole has won five of his six starts this year including three Grade 1 races and will be the one to beat in the Sprint.

Sistercharlie has won all three of her starts this year, each a Grade 1 and will attempt to defend her title in the Filly & Mare Turf.

If Code of Honor wins the Classic, it would be his third Grade 1 of the year. He won the Travers and the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the latter thanks to a disqualification of Vino Rosso for interference in the stretch.

My head is spinning over all the different scenarios figuring out the Horse of the Year race. But more importantly, we have about a week to come up with 14 winners and a strategy to make some serious cash.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Belmont Park and Aqueduct 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 Md $30,000 (1:15 ET)
#7 Jamflowman 5-2
#4 Hewhomustnotbenamed 8-1
#1 Victory Boulevard 9-5
#2 Aleph 8-1

Analysis: Jamflowman drops in for a tag for his second career start after a fifth in his debut against restricted maidens who were purchased for $45,000 or less. The runner up Beyond Gone came back to graduate in his next outing on Aug. 14. He returns off a 3 1/2-month break here for the Terranova barn that is 20% winners with second out maidens.

Hewhomustnotbenamed debuts for the Gullo barn that is 13% winners (with a +ROI) with first timers. The gelding is by Heavy Breathing out of a Langfuhr mare that has dropped three winners. The gelding has a god string of works with a fast gate drill on Oct. 20 over the training track here. He looks ready to go and figures to be a decent price in this spot.

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

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

BEL Race 6 Alw $66,000N1X (4:05 ET)
#3 El Hermano 8-1
#6 Bebe Banker 3-1
#7 Six Percent 5-2
#8 Dreamzapper 5-1

Analysis: El Hermano was outrun early and came with a mild late run to finish fourth last out at this level going a mile on grass. The third and ninth place finishes came out of the race to win next out. He made his first two starts on the main track before switching to grass and pedigree wise he seems more suited to dirt. He popped a bullet work on Oct. 13 over the main track here. Looks as if he was facing a bit tougher on turf and fits here and will be a decent price.

Bebe Banker set the early fractions and could not hold off the winner late in a runner up finish at this level last out. He was better than six lengths clear of the rest of the field in the effort. The gelding owns the top last out speed fig and owns a solid pace profile throughout. he was 19-1 last out and his price is going to be much lighter in this spot.

WIN: #3 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 3,6,7,8
TRI: 3,6 / 3,6,7,8 / 3,5,6,7,8

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: #4 Hewhomustnotbenamed 8-1
R6: #3 El Hermano 8-1
R8: #1 Octava 8-1

Good luck today!

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