Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:52 AM

Sunday's Picks from Belmont and Churchill Downs

We have reached closing day at Belmont Park on Sunday and we have a mandatory payout of the Empire 6, the only time I mess with a jackpot wager.

Aqueduct opens for its fall meeting next Friday, No. 6 and runs until Dec. 6 and will offer up 11 graded stakes during the meet.

The break between the meets gives me ample time to handicap the Breeders’ Cup which comes up next Friday and Saturday at Keeneland.

The closing day feature at Belmont Park this afternoon is a good one A field of 11 two-year-old fillies will go 1 1/16 miles on turf in the $80,000 Chelsey Flower.

The Brad Cox trained Caldee is the 5-2 morning line favorite. The filly is coming off a runner up finish in the Miss Grillo (G2) over the turf here on Oct. 4.

I am going to look for more value and landed on Oyster Box (8-1) from the Graham Motion barn. The filly was a good looking maiden winner and should only get better with more ground.

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

I should have Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Report up by Wednesday afternoon and Saturday’s Report will be posted no later than Thursday evening.

We have a strong contingent of 39 runners coming from overseas and 201 horses were entered over the 14 races. Most of the races will have full fields giving us plenty of great betting opportunities over the two days of action.

You can catch the action from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs today from 12:00 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 and Best Plays Reports for Sunday click here .

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Belmont Park Reports daily, my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday and my two-day Breeders’ Cup Reports.

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


Race 1 Md $50,000

  • #5 Black 'n Tan   8-5
  • #7 Ghost Stalker   9-2
  • #2 Sinashack   5-2
  • #4 K T's Jilted Groom  4-1

Analysis: Black 'n Tan drops in for a tag for his second start here for Asmussen. In his debut at Monmouth Park he was sent off at 5-1 in a field of 12. He chased the early pace and faded to finish a well beaten ninth. He catches a weak looking group here and the barn has been very live with juvies this year. The colt is by Elusive Quality out of a Songandaprayer mare that has dropped four other foals to race with three winners. The barn is 22% winners (with a +ROI) with second out maidens. He should be forwardly placed and picks up Irad.

Ghost Stalker is also dropping in for a tag and switches from turf to dirt. In his debut he tracked the early pace and faded badly to check in ninth. Blinkers are added and pedigree wise he seems more suited to dirt. He is by Exaggerator out of a stakes placed Ghostzapper mare that has dropped two winners. Saez sticks for Weaver who is having a good meet and is 16% winners dropping runners form maiden special to maiden claiming. 


Race 7 Md Sp Wt

  • #2 Convention   4-1
  • #9 Unitedandresolute   2-1
  • #7 Skip Intro   5-1
  • #3 Test of Will   6-1

Analysis: Convention debuts for the Asmussen barn that is 18% winners overall with first timers. This year with juveniles the trainer has won at a 22% clip. The colt was a $230,000 Keeneland purchase, by Constitution out of a Shamardal mare, her first foal to race. A couple of good gate drills on the morning tab and should be ready to go.

Unitedandresolute pressed the early pace and just did not have enough punch left late in a close up third last out at Keeneland, beaten a half-length. He has already made four starts, landing in the money in all four outings, two of those on turf. He breaks from the outside and owns solidi early and mid pace numbers. He may be tough to run down but his price may end up on the short side. The $165,000 Keeneland purchase is out of a Curlin mare that has dropped one winner.  


Race 8 The Chelsey Flower

  • #2 Oyster Box   8-1
  • #4 Ingrassia   4-1
  • #7 Caldee   5-2
  • #8 Fluffy Socks   6-1

Analysis: Oyster Box was a good looking maiden winner in her debut for the Motion barn. She made her first start at six furlongs on the grass here. She stalked the early pace and came with a good four wide rally to get the job done by a length at 5-1. The effort was flattered when both the third and fourth place finishers came back to graduate in their next starts. This gal should only get better with more ground. She is by Tapit out of the multiple graded stakes winner Starformer ($543,126) who ash dropped two other foals to race, both turf winners including stakes winner Flavius ($541,151). The extra ground will suit and her mare and her sis both handled ground less than form which may be the case again today.

Ingrassia is one of two in here sent out by the Brown barn that won this race in 2015, 2016 and 2018. The filly graduated in her debut, stalked the early pace and getting up late to win by a nose over good ground at the Spa. She shipped to Keeneland for the Jessamine (G2) where she as keen early while racing in between foes, came with a five wide run and finished up well for third. He looks like a good fit in this spot and does not need to move forward much to be in the mix. She is by Medaglia d'Oro out of a stakes placed Henrythenavigtor. her first foal to race.

Caldee wired the field to break her maiden at the Spa in her turf debut in her second career start. last out in the Miss Grillo (G2) she set moderate early fractions and could not hold off Plum Ali and settled for the runner up spot. Plum Ali is a Christophe Clement trainee who is perfect in three starts. There are a couple of foes in here with some early zip which could keep this Cox trainee from having it easy up front. 


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

  • R3: #9 Irish Crush   8-1
  • R7: #2 Pacific Gale   8-1
  • R8: #2 Oyster Box   8-1
  • R9: #3 City Temper   12-1 

Good luck today!

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