My nine-day “vacation” between the Saratoga and Belmont Park meetings got extended by a week as Hurricane Sally made a stop in my neighborhood.
I was already handicapping the Belmont Park opening day card for last Friday when Hurricane Sally decided to change course from New Orleans to Gulf Shores, Al., just about 25 miles west of me here in Pensacola Beach.
What was once forecast as landing as a tropical storm hit us as a Category 2 hurricane. Living just 100 yards from Bayou Grande, a large body of water, there were a few nervous hours, but we managed to make it through with just minor damage and power and internet wiped out for nearly a week.
Cell service was very limited, and I could not get a bet in or watch the first three days of the Belmont Park meeting on my phone or iPad.
So I mostly just drank beer.
We have a solid betting card this afternoon, 10 races with mostly competitive fields. Things get better heading into the weekend, with the highlight Saturday’s $150,000 Vosburgh (G2) which is a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).
There are five Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In races coming up on Saturday at Santa Anita including the $300,000 Awesome Again (G1) with a showdown between stablemates Maximum Security and Improbable from the Bob Baffert barn.
I will have the stakes action covered in Saturday’s Best Plays Report.
You can catch the action from Belmont Park today from 12:30 to 6:00 ET on FS2. In addition, you can stream the action 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.
To purchase my Belmont Park Report for Thursday click here.
Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Belmont Park Reports daily and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday as well as my Preakness Day Report.
Here is the opener from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BELMONT PARK RACE 1 ANALYSIS (1:00 P.M. ET)
Race 1 OClm $40,000N2X
#4 Vip Nation 7-2
#5 Pecatonica 2-1
#8 Out of Trouble 5-2
#2 Dancingwthdaffodls 9-2
Analysis: Vip Nation set the early fractions and weakened to finish sixth last out against $25,000 claimers at Saratoga in her second start off a six-month layoff. The winner Foxtail returned to beat Alw-2 optional claimers in her next start again in her most recent start on Sept. 3 where she won by 15 1/2 lengths. Our top pick was claimed out of her last outing by the RRod barn that is 18% winners first off the claim. She is back in with state breds and she was beaten just a nose at this level at Aqueduct last November. She looks primed for a top effort here in her third start off the bench.
Pecatonica tracked the early pace while saving ground over yielding ground at this level and could not catch the winner in the stretch in a runner up finish. The filly passed her first state bred condition three back at the Spa in a game effort by a nose. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and Rosario sticks for the Bush barn. She has been better on firmer ground and will get it today.
BELMONT PARK RACE 6 ANALYSIS (5:14 P.M. ET)
Race 9 OClm $80,000N1X
#5 Logic N Reason 7-2
#3 Crystalle 2-1
#4 Capital Structure 8-5
#2 Queens Embrace 4-1
Analysis: Logic N Reason prompted the early pace from the inside had to steady briefly and fell back, came again to take over the lead at the 1/4 pole and was outkicked late in a fourth place finish at this level, beaten two lengths for the top spot. It was a solid group, the winner Witez coming back to run third in the Lake George (G3), beaten a half-length in her next outing. The Clement barn is coming off a good Spa meet and has not slowed down, landing five of six runners in the exacta here last week. The filly makes her third start off the bench and among the top trio in here is likely going to offer the best value for the top spot.
Crystalle is making her first start off a 10-month layoff here for the Kimmel barn that is 12% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. She was outrun in her last outing in an 11th place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). She crossed the wire first in her debut but was DQ'd for interference at the Spa last August. She came back to win the P.G. Johnson for her first official win and then was a game second in the Ms. Grillo (G2). Solid looking works on the morning tab and Johnny V. picks up the call on this filly.
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.
R2: #3 Cosmic Kitten 10-1
R2: #11 Rosey’s Peach 12-1
R4: #3 Go Zappem 12-1
R6: 32 Chilly Choos 10-1
R8: #8 Quiet Out East 10-1
R8: #7 Bad Guy 8-1
R10: #10 Crick 8-1
Good luck today!
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