Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:52 AM

Thursday's Picks from Belmont

We have a huge week on tap which kicks off on Thursday with a solid nine race card at Belmont Park. The feature is the $100,000 Joseph A. Gimma, a seven-furlong test for two-year-old fillies going seven furlongs on the main track.

From Friday to Sunday we have 11 Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races including the $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1), the winner earning a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

There are 11 stakes on the Preakness Day card at Pimlico including the $250,000 Black Eyed Susan (G2), which is normally run on Friday.

Keeneland opens its fall meeting on Friday with a pair of Breeders’ Cup Challenge races—the $350,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) and the $200,000 Phoenix (G2).

There are five stakes at Belmont Park on Saturday including the $250,000 Belmont Derby (G1) and the $250,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1), the latter surprisingly not a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race this year but is a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).

There are four Breeders’ Cup Challenge races at Keeneland on Saturday including the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).

There are three more Breeders’ Cup Challenge races at Keeneland on Sunday including the $400,000 Spinster (G1), a key prep for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1).

I will have selections for all of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge races in my Best Plays Report this weekend.

Here is your field for Saturday’s Preakness: 

  1. Excession (30-1) - Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Jockey: Sheldon Russell
  2. Mr. Big News (12-1)  Trainer: Bret Calhoun, Jockey: Gabriel Saez
  3. Art Collector (5-2)  Trainer: Tom Drury, Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.
  4. Swiss Skydiver (6-1)  Trainer: Kenny McPeek, Jockey: Robby Albarado
  5. Thousand Words (6-1)  Trainer: Bob Baffert, Jockey: Florent Geroux
  6. Jesus’ Team (30-1)  Trainer: Jose D’Angelo, Jockey: Jevian Toledo
  7. Ny Traffic (15-1)  Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr., Jockey: Horacio Karamanos
  8. Max Player (15-1)  Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Jockey: Paco Lopez
  9. Authentic (9-5)  Trainer: Bob Baffert, Jockey: John Velazquez
  10. Pneumatic (20-1)  Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Jockey: Joe Bravo
  11. Liveyourbeastlife (30-1)  Trainer: Jorge Abreu, Jockey: Junior Alvarado 

You can catch the action from Belmont Park today from 12:30 to 5:30 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: 


Race 1 Md $40,000

  • #3 Made My Day   8-1
  • #10 Forward Curve   8-5
  • #5 Vicarage   7-2
  • #9 Royale   10-1

Analysis: Made My Day makes his first starts since February after landing in the Stidham barn. The colt made to starts for Brisset after coming to the U.S., a decent fourth off the bench in January and then regressing in a seventh-place finish in February. He returns dropping in for a tag here for a barn that is 37% winners (with a +ROI) dropping runners from maiden special to maiden claiming and has solid numbers with layoff types as well. The colt is out of a Perfect Soul mare that has dropped two winners and they have both won on turf.

Forward Curve was the weaker half of an entry that was 4-5, the other half trained by Brown. he made a good late run from last to finish third going a mile at the Spa for this tag. The barn is 17% winners with second out maidens. Ortiz picks up the call for the former Brown assistant. The gelding was a $130,000 purchase, by Tiznow out of a Pioneerof the Nile mare that has dropped two winners including one turf winner. Not a great draw and his price may be light but he fits well in this spot. 


Race 8 The Joe Gimma

  • #2 Irish Constitution    8-5
  • #6 Stimulus Check   7-2
  • #4 No Mo' Spending    2-1
  • #1 Infringement   5-1

Analysis: Irish Constitution is back with state breds here after a well beaten fourth last out in the Spinaway (G1) in a six-horse field in her stakes debut. She dueled for the early lead and finished gamely to break her maiden in her debut by a nose at 7-2 at the Spa. The runner up in her debut was Party At Page's who graduated in her next outing and the third-place finisher Samborella graduated in her next start by winning the state bred Seeking the Ante on Sept. 4 at the Spa. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and will appreciate the softer spot here. She is out of the stakes winner D'wild Ride ($622,481).

Stimulus Check was off a beat slow in her debut, sat just off a contested pace and finished up well to break her maiden by 4 3/4 lengths in a good looking effort. She has worked sharply since her last outing for the low profile Matties barn. She owns the top last out speed fig and looks capable of moving forward off her promising debut.  


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: #3 Made My Day   8-1
  • R1: #9 Royale   10-1
  • R3: #1 Pier Forty   8-1
  • R6: #1 Market Impact   8-1
  • R7: #8 Cobble Hill   81
  • R9: #7 Never Hold Back  20-1 

Good luck today!

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