Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM

At the Gate - Saturday

We have three stakes on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park and there is one very familiar face who is the even money favorite on the morning line in the $200,000 Bold Ruler Handicap (G3).
Maximum Security makes his much anticipated return after a three-month break. The only Kentucky Derby (G1) winner to get disqualified for interference in the history of the race is making his first start since winning the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park on July 20.
The colt was pointing toward the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) but a bout with colic took him out of action and his connections decided on the Bold Ruler instead of taking on the big boys (and big girl Elate) in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) next Saturday.
A good performance would send him to Clark Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs on November 29 or the Cigar Mile (G1) on Dec. 7.
First he must win the Bold Ruler and he faces a pretty good group. The colt likely is going to be 3-5 so I’ll try to beat him with Prince Lucky, who was a good second in the Kelso Handicap (G2) in his last outing.
The other stakes on a good card at Belmont Park are the $100,000 Awad which drew a field of 11 juveniles and the $100,000 English Channel which drew a field of eight led by the 6-5 morning line favorite Front Run the Fed.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday 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 Md Sp Wt (12:45 ET)
#1 Forza Di Oro   1-1
#4 Bourbon Rising   4-1
#6 Mandatory   7-2
#5 Brother Brad   3-1
Analysis: Forza Di Oro was off poorly in his debut at 31-1 and after trailing the field came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot going a mile over the main track here. The Mott trainee figures to move forward with a better start. He is by Speightstown out of the stakes winner Filare l'Oro ($185,100) who has dropped one other foal to race, stakes winner Silver Dust ($642,277). Four solid works since his debut effort.
Bourbon Rising stretches out to a route after stalking the early pace and making a mild late rally to finish fourth going six furlongs. The $150,000 purchase has enough pedigree to handle two turns, by Uncle Mo out of a Mr. Greeley mare that has dropped one winner. Hennig hits at a 12% clip with second out maidens. He picks up Saez and figures to move forward with the stretch out.
WIN: #1 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 1,4 / 1,4,6
TRI: no play
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 9 The Awad (5:13 ET)
#3 Tiesto   7-2
#2 Irish Mias   6-1
#8 Get Smokin   9-2
#5 Talking   8-1
Analysis: Tiesto stalked the early pace and made a good move to take over the lead and extended it in the stretch to graduate in his debut by 3 1/2 lengths here going long in a good looking effort. The Mott trainee was a $600,000 Ocala purchase and is a half to a pair of stakes winners, top earner Promises Fulfilled ($1.4 million). The colt has worked smartly since his debut and still has a ton of upside.
Irish Mias ran second in a couple of trips over the Spa main track and then broke his maiden by winning the Laurel Futurity last out in his first start on turf and first at a route. The Motion trainee is by Sky Mesa out of an Even the Score mare that has dropped one other foal to race, stakes winner Regally Irish ($135,184). Last out he saved ground early and did drift out in the stretch but made up ground in a race without much early pace. He should move forward off his last effort.
WIN: #3 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,5,8
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,5,8 / 2,3,5,8,9,10
Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Santa Anita:
SA Race 7 The Autumn Miss G3 (3:45 PT)
#3 Hidden Message   5-2
#9 Mucho Unusual   6-1
#5 Keeper Ofthe Stars   5-1
#1 Apache Princess   4-1
Analysis: Hidden Message made her U.S. debut in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) where she came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot at 9-1. The winners Cambier Parc came back to win the QEII Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland in her next outing. This gal won the Coral Distaff two back and three back was only beaten 1 1/2 lengths when fourth in a Group 2 at Chantilly. She fits well in this spot and is going to get a good pace set up.
Mucho Unusual also exits the Del Mar Oaks where she tracked the early pace and weakened to finish seventh. She regressed off her win two back in the San Clemente (G2) at a mile here she came with a good late rally to get up late. She cuts back to a mile and is perfect in her two trips over the turf here.
WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,9 / 1,3,5,9
TRI:  3,9 / 1,3,5,9 / 1,3,5,9,13
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
R2: #12 Cold Hard Cash   8-1
R2: #8 Neuro   15-1
R4: #6 Big Boy Mo   10-1
R5: #1 Power Player   10-1
R5: #3 Call Me Harry   8-1
R7: #1 On the Town   8-1
R8: #4 True Timber   8-1
R9: #5 Talking   8-1
Good luck today!

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