Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:52 AM

Saturday's Action & Picks

Preakness Day is finally here, better late than never. Originally scheduled for May 16, we had to wait 4 ½ months to finish off the final jewel of the Triple Crown.

There is no Triple Crown hanging in the balance, and Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tiz the Law is skipping the race to await the Breeders’ Cup Classic next month, but we still have a very competitive field.

In addition, Pimlico put together an outstanding card, moving some of their other stakes like the Frank DeFrancis Dash and Black Eyed Susan to Preakness Day.

While the racing world is usually focused on Baltimore on Preakness Day, horseplayers have a wide variety of action today, with major Breeders’ Cup prep races at Keeneland and Belmont Park.

Keeneland is offering up four Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races this afternoon. Belmont Park has one “Win and You’re ‘In” but four other stakes on the card likely will have Breeders’ Cup ramifications.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 14 strongest plays from Belmont Park, Keeneland and Pimlico.

You can catch the action from Belmont Park today from 12:30 to 6:00 ET on FS2. NBC will broadcast the Preakness Stakes from 4:30 to 6:00 ET.  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, Best Plays, and my Preakness Stakes Day Report for Saturday 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 Clm $30,000N2L

  • #2 Classy Sadie   6-1
  • #9 Left Leaning Lucy   4-1
  • #4 Girl of Tosconova   5-1
  • #7 La Negrita   5-1

Analysis: Classy Sadie raced last early and finished evenly in a sixth-place finish last out against $16,000 non-winners of two. She was claimed out of the race by the Arriaga barn that is 29% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. Two back this gal finished evenly in a decent third place finish against $25,000 non-winners of two. She steps up for $30,000 for her first go for the barn but these are still non-winners of tow. She gets in light with the bug who has already picked up a couple of wins at the meeting. With the blinkers added she should be closer to the pace as well.

Left Leaning Lucy chased the early pace and was no match for a 5 1/2 length winner in a runner up finish versus $25,000 non-winners of two. She was making her first start off a 5 1/2-month break for the Donk barn. The barn had a good Spa meeting but has started off here going 0 for 26. The filly owns solid early and mid pace numbers and should be tighter for her second start off the layoff. She broke her maiden at the Big A back in February in her second career start taking the field gate to wire.


Race 7 The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic G1

  • #4 Rockemperor   2-1
  • #3 Channel Maker   5-2
  • #5 Cross Border   9-2
  • #1 Sadler's Joy   7-2

Analysis: Channel Maker handled the soft ground really well last out taking the field gate to wire to win the Sword Dancer (G1) at the Spa at this distance. He has landed in the exacta in 5 of his 9 starts at 1 1/2 miles. It was his first win since taking the 2019 Man O War (G1) last May. The six-year-old gelding earned a career top speed fig in what was his 35th career start. He catches a field her without much early speed signed up and he should again have things his own way early. He looks capable of winning right back in this spot.

Rockemperor is now 0 for 6 since landing in the U.S. with the Brown barn. He has run well, earning triple digit Beyers in his last three starts and he was only beaten a neck two back in the Manhattan (G1) and a nose three back in the Charlie Whittingham (G2) but got DQ'd from second to third. Last out he made a mild late run to finish third in the Old Forrester (G1) at Churchill Downs, beaten three lengths. Brown has won this race in two of the past five years it sure looks if he should be able to handle his first trip at 1 1/2 miles.


Race 8 The First Lady G1

  • #5 Uni    5-2
  • #4 Newspaperofrecord   8-5
  • #1 Beau Recall   2-1
  • #3 Daddy Is a Legend   6-1

Analysis: Uni makes her third start of the year and is back in with her own sex here after a disappointing seventh in the Fourstardave 'Cap (G1). She was the beaten favorite, racing at the back of the pack in a race without much pace and she could not make up much ground late. She put in a decent effort off the bench two back in a third in the Just a Game (G1) where her stablemate Newspaperofrecord ran huge. She was really good last year, beating the boys in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1). Looking for a better effort here.

Newspaperofrecord ran big off the bench winning the Intercontinental (G3) at seven furlongs on yielding ground and even better taking the Just a Game. She set the early fractions last out in the Distaff Turf Mile (G2) and could not hold off Beau Recall late. She likely gets some pace pressure here but it seems more likely she bounces back with a better effort. 


Race 9 The James W. Murphy

  • #7 Vanzzy   8-1
  • #12 Andesite   10-1
  • #13 Bye Bye Melvin   6-1
  • #10 Don Juan Kitten   9-2

Analysis: Vanzzy was not a threat last out in the Saranac (G3) which was over soft ground. Two back this colt was a sharp winner of the Jersey Derby. Three back he prompted the early pace, grabbed a short lead and weakened late to finish third in the Kent (G3) at Delaware Park. The winner of that race was Gufo who missed in the Saratoga Derby in his next start by ahead and the runner up Pixelite won the Del Mar Derby (G2) in his next outing. Paco picks up the call for Pino and looking for this guy to bounce back with a much better effort over firmer footing.

Andesite tracked the early pace and finished gamely to beat Alw-2 foes last out at Ellis park. He looks headed in the right direction for the Cox barn. Last year this colt was third in the With Anticipation (G3) in his first start against winners and was beaten just a head in a runner up finish in the Pilgrim (G3), finishing off his year with a 10th beaten three lengths in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). He looks capable of moving forward off his last win and the 10-1 morning line looks more than fair.


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: #8 Mun Luv   8-1
  • R3: #5 Thorny Tale   8-1
  • R3: #3 More Graytful   12-1
  • R4: # Hurricane Florence   15-1
  • R5: #3 Bertranda    15-1
  • R6: #2 It’s a Gamble   8-1
  • R8: #2 Stan the Man   8-1
  • R10: #9 Mondeuse   10-1
  • R10: #10 Theatrical Dancer  10-1 

Good luck today!

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