Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM

Horse Races Today: Thursday's Belmont Park and Churchill Downs Analysis & Odds

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We escaped the opening day card at Belmont Park in great shape with four winners on top, listing all 10 winners among my top three choices and several nice exacta payoffs.

We hit the exacta cold in yesterday’s feature, Value Proposition getting the job done as my top pick in the eighth race, returning $11.20. My second choice Cross Border completed a $2 exacta that returned a generous $60.50.

I did not finish Wednesday’s opening day card until late in the night on Tuesday, and with no racing in New York for over two months, it was a challenging card to handicap.

Toss in an impending thunderstorm, and I ended up wagering lighter than I normally would, but still happy with some nice payoffs, and the rain ended up not nearly as bad as originally forecast. It shows sometimes even without a strong opinion you can end up with a good day, and sometimes the exact opposite can happen.

The weather will improve this afternoon for another tough 10-race card. The feature is the $100,000 Tiller, a 1 3/8-mile turf race that drew a solid field of 13 runners.

We have a couple of Grade 1 winners in the field, Sadler’s Joy and Channel Maker. Sadler’s Joy is the 5-2 morning line favorite but he has won just one of his last 12 starts. Channel Maker drew the 13 post.

I gave the nod to Standard Deviation, who makes his first start since a runner up finish in a Group 1 race in Qatar for trainer Graham Motion.

You can catch the action from Churchill Downs and Belmont Park today from 1:00 to 6:30 ET on FS2. Horseplayers can also stream all the horse racing action using the Watch TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. is offering a risk free bet up to $300 for new players.

My Best Plays Report for Thursday includes my eight strongest plays from Churchill Downs and Belmont Park.

To purchase my Belmont Park and Best Plays Reports for Thursday click here .

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

Belmont Park Race 1 Analysis - 6/4 (1:15 ET)

7 So Aristocratic 15-1

6 Smiles From Sadie 5-2

2 First Dawn 3-1

5 Super Twenty Seven 5-1

Analysis: So Aristocratic gets the call here in a wide open start to the day. The mare broke inward and was bumped coming out of the gate, stalked the early pace from mid pack and weakened to finish seventh last out against $10,000 non-winners of two at Churchill Downs. She has not won since her maiden score way back in her debut at Fair Grounds in February of '18. She a competitive versus tougher in '18 and only managed two starts last year. She stretches out to a mile and should be forwardly placed against a slow group. The Chapman barn is 18% winners moving runners from sprint to route.

Smiles From Sadie was outrun last out against $25,000 non-winners of two over a wet track. This mare has made 17 starts and has landed in the bottom half of the exacta nine times. She was a decent third two back against $25,000 foes and drops in for $16,000 and gets a jock upgrade to Franco. She fits here but the 5-2 morning line is on the light side.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:

Churchill Downs Race 7 Analysis - 6/4 (4:14 ET)

2 Scabbard 5-1

9 Mantra 5-1

10 Sea of Hope 7-2

5 Moon Over Miami 6-1

Analysis: Scabbard stalked the early pace and tired to finish seventh last out on the main track at Oaklawn Park and now tries turf for the first timers he races as a gelding for the first time as well. This guy broke his maiden in his debut and his next five starts came in graded stakes company including runner up finishers in the Saratoga Special (G2) and Iroquois (G3) as a juvenile. The Kenneally barn is 24% winners (with a +ROI) with runners trying grass for the first time. he is bred to handle it. by More Than Ready out of a stakes placed Gone West mare that ash dropped two other winners including one turf winner. Geroux picks up the call and the 5-1 morning line looks more than fair.

Mantra prompted the early pace and weakened to finish in a deadheat for third last out here in a race taken off the turf. He has done his best work on turf, beating $40,000 starter allowance foes on the lawn two back at Gulfstream Park. He makes his second start off a 2 1/2 month break and he will appreciate the surface switch.

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

Belmont Park Race 9 Analysis - 6/4 (5:36 ET)

1 Standard Deviation 4-1

8 Sadler's Joy 5-2

13 Channel Maker 9-2

2 Petit Fils 15-1

Analysis: Standard Deviation made his last start in Qatar where he ran second in the Amir Trophy (G1) and his trainer said he did not handle the turns over the right handed turf course at Doha. The colt was making his first start since landing with the Motion barn. With Brown last year he won 2 of 7 starts, the most recent the Jersey Derby last summer at Monmouth Park. Two back he was a game third in the Hollywood Derby (G1) at Del mar behind repeat winner Mo Forza, who won the Mathis Brothers Mile (G2) in his next outing on Dec. 28. He drops out of graded stakes company but catches a really tough field here running for just $80,000. Motion hits at a 20% clip with runners coming back off a 61-180-day break and the 1 3/8 miles looks as if it should suit him.

Sadler's Joy is coming off a third at Gulfstream Park in the Mac Diarmida (G2). The seven-year-old saved ground early while racing mid pack and had to steady which lacking room at the quarterpole just got the third spot over Channel Maker who is in here. This guy is a multiple Grade 1 winner but is just 1 for 10 over the turf here and needs some pace in front of him which he should get here. Her has handled ground with some give to it which he may see today.

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: #7 So Aristocratic 15-1
R2: #7 Go Rudy Go 12-1
R2: #6 Wardenofthenorth 10-1
R2: #2 Street Dance 12-1
R4: #11 Barleewon 8-1
R7: #7 Take It to Scale 8-1
R7: #12 Northern Haze 12-1
R9: # Petit Fils 15-1
R10: #1 Towering Gaze 8-1

Good luck today!

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