Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:53 AM

Saturday's Picks from Belmont Park and Keeneland

A tropical storm blew through Belmont Park on Friday, washing the racing off the turf and leading to plenty of scratches. We have more rain in the forecast this afternoon and we likely will be off the turf.

The weather looks much more promising at Keeneland for the fourth day of the five-day meeting and we have a blockbuster card that includes three Grade 1 races and a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race.

The Grade 1 action starts with the $250,000 Madison for fillies and mares going seven furlongs on the main track. The race is a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) which will be held at Keeneland in November.

The Chad Brown trained Guarana is the even money favorite. She won the CCA Oaks (G1) last year at Saratoga going nine furlongs and her target more likely is the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).

The $400,000 Ashland (G1) is a prep race for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) which is now just 54 days away. Venetian Harbor is the 6-5 morning line favorite. She ran second to Swiss Skydiver in the Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn Park in her last outing.

Rushing Fall is the 6-5 morning line favorite for the $350,000 Jenny Wiley (G1) at 1 1/16 miles on turf. The race serves as a steppingstone to the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).

Then three-year-olds will take center stage in the $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2). The race is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race. It is a competitive field of 13 and a wide open race.

Swiss Skydiver is the 3-1 morning line favorite and she is taking on the boys after running second in the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) in her last outing.

I went looking for a bit more value and as you can see below, I landed on the Michael McCarthy trained Rushie.

You can catch the action from Belmont Park from 1:00 to 6:30 ET on FS2. In addition, you can stream the action from Keeneland on YouTube or by using the TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. is offering a risk free bet up to $300 for new players.

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Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Belmont Park Reports daily, Keeneland this week and my Best Plays Report which will include all the major Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races.

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

Belmont Race 1 Analysis - 7/11 (1:15 p.m. ET)

BEL Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:15 ET)

2 Classic Colors 2-1

3 Highway Queen 6-1

6 Shesadirtydancer 4-1

1 Shaker Shack / 1a Bustin Shuffle 3-1


Analysis: Classic Colors
is a $170,000 Spa purchase making her debut for the Clement barn that is 27% winners (with a +ROI) with first time starters. This gal is by Street Sense out of a Tale of the Cat mare that has dropped one foal to race, City Never Sleeps who was a maiden winner in his debut. Solid works and this gal is bred to handle a wet track.

Highway Queen is by Super Saver out of an Empire Maker mare that has dropped one foal to race, no winners to date. The Klesaris barn is 13% winners (with a +ROI) with first timers. She has worked quickly in the mornings and gets in light with the capable bug Cardenas. She is bred to like a wet track which we may see again today. Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:

Belmont Race 8 Analysis - 7/11 (5:04 p.m. ET)

BEL Race 8 Clm $40,000 (5:04 ET)

7 Heavy Roller 3-1

6 Super Dude 5-1

3 McErin 6-1

1 Kumar / 1a Leitone 5-2


Analysis: Heavy Roller
came off a three month break last out at Churchill Downs here he was a game second against $50,000 claimers as the beaten favorite. Atras claimed this guy for $62,500 last November and he beat $50,000 foes in his first go for the barn. He drops in for $40,000 here and this guy has done some of his best running on wet tracks where he has won 4 of 10. The barn has been a bit chilly here, just 2 for 21 with six seconds. This gelding does looks well spotted and a wet track would be a plus.

Super Dude exits the same race as our top pick. He prompted the early pace and did not have enough punch left late in a third-place finish, beaten 1 3/4 lengths by our to pick. Maker claimed this guy for $50,000 last fall here out of a runner up finish, his lone trip here. He has run well on off tracks, winning two of his three trips. He owns a solid pace profile throughout and fits well here.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Keeneland:

Keeneland Race 9 Analysis - 7/11 (5:30 p.m. ET)

KEE Race 9 The Toyota Blue Grass G2 (5:30 ET)

10 Rushie 5-1

8 Basin 8-1

7 Swiss Skydiver 3-1

1 Shivaree 8-1


Analysis: Rushie
put in a solid effort in his stakes debut last out in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). The colt stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish behind a couple of very talented colts in Honor A.P. and Authentic, two of the leading Kentucky Derby contenders. The colt was a sharp winner versus Alw-1 foes two back at Oaklawn Park after running into Charlatan in his first start against winners, checking in a distant second. That foe won one of the divisions of the Arkansas Derby (G1) but is now off the Derby Trail with an injury. The colt owns solid early and mid pace numbers and should be forwardly placed with Castellano likely to send him early with his outside post. The $70,000 Ocala purchase is by Liam’s Map out of a Colonel John mare and should be able to handle nine furlongs.

Basin has come up short in three starts this year after capping off his juvenile campaign by winning the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga last September going seven furlongs in the slop. His last effort was his best, chasing Charlatan throughout in the Arkansas Derby where he had to settle for the runner up spot, beaten six lengths. He caught slop in his first two starts this year, a third behind Nadal in the Rebel (G2) and a fourth in the Oaklawn Stakes. He looks as if he still may have some upside and the 8-1 morning line looks fair enough. He is out of a Johannesburg mare that has dropped six other winners including $1.2 million earner Rise Up.

Swiss Skydiver takes on the boys here and has won three in a row. Last out she took the field gate to wire to win the Santa Anita Oaks (G2). She has won over four different racing surfaces and owns a solid pace profile throughout. Her last pair of numbers fit well here, and she is getting a five-pound break in the weights. She has given every indication she can handle the extra ground here. She is by Daredevil out of a Johannesburg mare. Smith is in to ride and she fits but her price may end up on the light side.

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: #5 Larceny 10-1
R3: #9 More Than Striking 8-1
R4: #4 Always Shopping 15-1
R9: #2 More Graytful 8-1
R10: #2 Drop of Bourbon 8-1
R10: #6 Apex Predator 8-1

Good luck today!

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