In addition to a 10-race card at Belmont Park with a pair of stakes races we will head north of the border this afternoon for a little stakes at Woodbine in Canada.
There are four stakes on the card at Woodbine today including the prestigious $600,000 E.P. Taylor (G1) for fillies and mares going 1 ¼ miles on the turf.
Trainer Chad Brown sends out Etoile who is the 9-5 morning line favorite. She renews her rivalry with Theodora B. who got the best of her last out when they were separated by three-quarters of a length in the Dance Smartly (G2) at Woodbine.
Brown has won just about every major turf race in North America but has not won the E.P. Taylor.
Theodora B. (2-1) came out of the Dance Smartly to take the field gate to wire to win the TVG at Kentucky Downs in her last outing on Sept. 15. She is trained by the great Michael Dickinson, who has been flying mostly under the radar since coming out of retirement.
Also on the card is the $300,000 Northern Dancer Turf (G1) for three-year-olds and upward going 1 ½ miles on turf. Singspiel (G3) winner Count Again is the 2-1 morning line favorite but looks beatable.
The four stakes from Woodbine are in today’s Best Plays Report
We have two stakes at Belmont Park, the $150,000 Knickerbocker (G2) which drew just five runners and the $150,000 Hill Prince (G2) which drew eight along with one main track only entrant.
The turf was soft on Saturday and four races were moved to the main track. The sun will be out on Sunday but expect to still see less than firm ground.
My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Belmont Park and Woodbine.
You can catch the action from Belmont Park today from 12:00 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 and Best Plays Reports for Sunday click here.
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Here is the opener from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BELMONT PARK RACE 1 ANALYSIS (12:20 P.M. ET)
Race 1 Clm $12,500
#4 Cotton Candy Cutie 6-5
#5 Whyisshesolucky 5-2
#1 Miss Loyalty 4-1
#6 Ruvies in Time 6-1
Analysis: Cotton Candy Cutie prompted the early pace and could not get past the gate to wire winner last out in a runner up finish, the winner taking full advantage of a racing strip that was kind to inside speed. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers in a race where there is not much early zip signed up. She has a few to many seconds and thirds but she catches a field here she should be able to handle at a short price.
Whtisshesolucky exits the same race where she came with a five wide rally to finish third, beaten 2 3/4 lengths for the top spot racing against the bias that day. She is rounding into good form but the cut back to six furlongs won't help her chances of catching our top pick. Either way looks like a chalky exacta to kick off the day.
BELMONT PARK RACE 9 ANALYSIS (4:47 P.M. ET)
Race 9 The Hill Prince G2
#9 Assiduously 8-1
#3 Decorated Invader 1-1
#4 Bodecream 8-1
#1 Get Smokin 5-1
Analysis: Assiduously returns off a 3 1/2-month break and makes his stakes debut here for the Brown barn that won this race in 2015 and 2016. Last out against Alw-1 optional claimers he dueled for the early lead, took over the lead and weakened late to finish third going nine furlongs. The winner No Word came back to run third in the Saratoga Derby and second in the Belmont Derby (G1) and the runner up Shamrocket was third in the Dueling Grounds Derby on Sept. 10 at Kentucky Downs in his most recent start. The colt has worked sharply since his last effort and appears to still have some upside. Not often we catch a price like this on a Brown trainee in a turf stakes.
Decorated Invader tracked the early pace while saving ground early while under a hold and bate don gamely in between foes and was only beaten 3/4 of a length in a fifth-place finish in the Saratoga Derby. The runner up Gufo came back to win the Belmont Derby (G1) in his next outing on Oct. 3. The Clement trainee won his three previous starts, taking the Hall of Fame (G2) two back at nine furlongs. He has won three of his four trips at today's one-mile distance including winning the Summer (G1) at Woodbine last September over yielding ground. The cut back to a mile here should suit this guy.
Bodecream makes his second start off a three-month break here for the Maker barn. Last out in the Saranac (G3) over soft ground the gelding tracked the early pace, as bumped and forced out by a foe nearing the 3 1/6's and finished evenly in a third-place finish. The runner up Don Juan Kitten won the James Murphy at Pimlico on Oct. 3 in his next start. This guy has shown he handled ground less than firm which likely will be the case today and his 8-1 morning line looks more than fair.
WOODBINE RACE 7 ANALYSIS (4:37 P.M. ET)
WO Race 7 The E.P. Taylor G1
#4 Theodora B. 2-1
#3 Etoile 9-5
#1 Rideforthecause 4-1
#6 Secret Message 6-1
Analysis: Theodora B. has never been better for the Mad Genius. The mare beat the Brown runner in here tow back when winning the Dance Smartly (G2) here and then shipped to Kentucky Downs where she won the TVG both of her last pair of wins coming in gate to wire fashion. She earned a career top speed fig last out over good ground. She has shown she does not need the lead but there is not much early speed in here and she should be on the lead or sitting just off what likely will be a moderate pace. She looks capable of making it three in a row here in her first start in a G1.
Etoile tracked the early pace and could not get past our top pick last out in the Dance Smarty as the beaten favorite. She was the beaten favorite two back in her U.S> debut in the Gamely (G1) at Santa Anita back in May. That outing was off a 7 1/2-month layoff. She won a Group 3 in France over soft ground. Surprised to see Brown has not won this G1 fixture but this gal gives him a really good shot.
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.
R4: #4 Mr. Fidget 10-1
R5: #6 Sky Kitten 10-1
R6: #2 Daithi 12-1
R7: #5 Bad Beat Brian 8-1
R9: #9 Assiduously 8-1
R9: #4 Bodecream 8-1
Good luck today!