Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:52 AM

Saturday's Picks from Churchill Downs, Belmont

We have three stakes on the 10-race card at Belmont Park on Saturday afternoon, a couple of excellent betting races on turf, and one dirt stake that might be a pass.

The $100,000 Bold Ruler Handicap (G3) drew a field of six, but Wendell Fog ran on Thursday, and word is Phat Man may scratch, which would reduce the field to just four.

Share the Ride (5-2) appears to be the one to beat, but in such a short field, the only way I use him is in the Pick 4 and Pick 5.

The $80,000 Zagora earlier on the card drew a competitive field of nine fillies and mares that will travel 1 ½ miles on the turf. The European import Mutamakina is the 5-2 morning-line favorite.

The Christophe Clement trainee ran well in a runner-up finish in a Group 2 in France and has handled ground with some give to it, which likely will be the case today.


A filly that may end up offering more bang for the buck is Luck Money, who is 8-1 on the morning line. The Arnaud Delacour trainee exits a couple of solid races, and she may be up to the task.

The $80,000 Awad for two-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on turf drew a solid field of 12 and is one of the better wagering races in the afternoon. My selections and analysis are below.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my eight strongest plays from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.

You can catch the action from Belmont Park today from 12:30 to 6:00 ET on FS2. Also, you can stream the action on YouTube or by using the TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. offers a risk-free bet up to $300 for new players.

To purchase my Belmont Park and Best Plays Reports for Saturday, click here.

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


BEL Race 1 Clm $16,000N2L

  • #6 Adios Amigos 9-2
  • #3 Kabob 5-1
  • #4 Shandian 2-1
  • #7 Starshiup Bubba 8-1

Analysis: Adios Amigos exits a $30,000 non-winners of two races on turf where the gelding was not a threat in an eighth-place finish. He broke his maiden on turf, but both of his trips on the main track were solid seconds, the most recent here in June against state-bred $30,000 maiden claimers. The Terranova barn is 17% winners (with a +ROI), moving runners from turf to dirt. He catches a more manageable group here and reunites with Castellano, aboard for his maiden breaker.

Kabob tracked the early pace and was no match for a runaway winner last out in a runner up finish at this level at the Spa. The gelding was 10th in his debut and came back to break his maiden second out for a $25,000 tag. The Handal trainee has moved forward with each outing and fits well in this spot, appearing to have more upside than most of these.


BEL Race 8 The Awad (4:27 ET)

  • #7 Space Launch 5-1
  • #1 Shawdyshawdyshawdy 5-1
  • #12 Wootton Asset 4-1
  • #8 Step Dancer 8-1

Analysis: Space Launch stalked the early pace, came with five-wide rallies and took over in the stretch to break his maiden in his debut in a sharp effort. The runner-up Scarlett Sky came back to graduate in his next start, and two others have come back to run, both running second in their next outings. This guy is bred to be a good one, by Bernardini out of the stakes winner Spacy Tracy ($249,690), who won twice on turf and has dropped four other winners, and three are stakes winners, top earner High North ($437,169). The Clement trainee looks as if he still has a ton of upside, and the 5-1 morning line looks fair enough.

Shawdyshawdyshawdy was away a beat slow last out in the Pilgrim (G2) here. The colt was last early behind a slow pace and finished evenly in a fourth-place finish. He broke his maiden in his debut going long o turf at Saratoga and then came with an excellent late rally to finish fourth in the Juvenile at Kentucky Downs in his stakes debut. The Abreu trainee is going to get an honest pace in front of him here. He is out of a stakes-placed Street Sense mare that has dropped two other winners, and they have both also won on turf.

Wootton Asset was not away cleanly last out in the Laurel Futurity in his U.S. debut. He tracked a slow pace over yielding ground at Pimlico and finished gamely to miss by just a nose. He won his first two starts in France before coming up short in a stakes pair at Longchamp and Deauville. He has shown he likes some give to the ground and looks capable of moving forward off his last effort.


CD Race 8 Md Sp Wt

  • #8 Amusing Antics 2-1
  • #6 Happy Success 8-1
  • #10 Milana 5-1
  • #4 Easy to Bless 6-1

Analysis: Amusing Antics put in a solid debut for the Mott barn here on Sept. 4. The filly was sent off at 9-2, where she pressed the early pace and battled on gamely to lose by just a head. Three she finished ahead of in that outing have come back to break their maidens in their next starts. The Mott barn is 17% winners with second out maidens. She was a $235,000 Keeneland purchase by Super Saver out of a Discreet Cat mare, her first foal to race. She has worked sharply since her debut outing.

Happy Success makes her debut for Asmusssen, who has been live with juvies this year, winning at a 22% clip with two-year-old first-timers. This gal is by Bernardini out of a Gone West mare that has dropped six foals to race with five winners, and two are stakes winners, top earner $1.2 million earner Brilliant Speed. Doubt this filly goes off at her 8-1 morning line; likely going to be lighter.


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: #7 Starship Bubba 8-1
  • R2: #2 Candy Flower 8-1
  • R6: #6 Luck Money 8-1
  • R7: #1 Notorious Flirt 10-1
  • R8: #8 Step Dancer 8-1
  • R9: #4 Arch Cat 10-1
  • R10: #4 Silent Empress 8-1
  • R10: #8 Belleza 8-1

Good luck today!

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