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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:50 PM

Saturday's Picks from Belmont and Churchill Downs

We have an 11-race card on tap at Belmont Park this afternoon and while a couple of the stakes came up with short fields overall it is a pretty good card.

Five will go in the $200,000 Peter Pan (G3) which serves as a local prep race for the Belmont Stakes (G1) in four weeks. The 7-5 morning line favorite Risk Taking wass taken out by trainer Chad Brown and will go in the Preakness Stakes (G1) next Saturday.

Sir Winston in 2019 and Tonalist in 2014 used the Peter Pan as a prep before winning the final jewel of the Triple Crown.

The highlight of the day is the $700,000 Man O’ War (G1), a 1 3/8 miles test on turf that drew a field of eight. The European invader Sovereign is the 8-5 morning line favorite.

The Chad Brown trainee won the 2019 Irish Derby (G1) at the Curragh but has lost his last five starts. His main foe will be the Christophe Clement trained Gufo (2-1), who was beaten just a neck in a third-place finish in the Hollywood Derby (G1) at Del Mar last November in his last outing.

Clement picked up four wins on Friday’s card at Belmont Park. He is now 9 for 27 (33%) at the meet. Chad Brown leads al trainers with 11 winners from 41 starters (27%).

“America’s Day at the Races” on FS2 will be televised today from 2:00 to 6:30 ET with the action from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.  TVG is offering new players  up to a $300 Risk Free wager.  In addition, AmWager is offering up to a $500 bonus for new horseplayers.

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

To purchase my Belmont Park and Best Plays Reports 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 Stakes Day report.

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


Clm $25,000

  • #1 Automate   4-1
  • #4 Flowers for Lisa   4-1
  • #5 Potantico   5-2
  • #2 Villainous   2-1               

Analysis: Automate tracked the early pace and was no match for a 7 1/4 length winner last out in a runner up finish versus $25,000 starter optional claimers in the slop. He was making his first start off the claim by the Trombetta barn. He ships in from Maryland and looks well spotted here in for a straight $25,000 tag. His last two starts came at seven furlongs and three of his five career wins have come at today's 1 1/16 miles distance. he gets a jock upgrade to Saez and should be tough in this spot.

Flowers for Lisa set the early factions and got nailed at the wire to miss by a nose last out against $20,000 foes going a mile. He was claimed out of the race by the Levine barn that is 16% winners first off the claim dating back three years. This gelding has been popular at the claim box, taken five times in his last nine starts. Levine lost him for $12,500 and dipped right back in to take him back for $20,000. Carmouche was aboard this guy two back when he took the field gate to wire to beat $12,500 foes. 


The Vagrancy Hcp G3

  • #5 Honor Way   3-1
  • #6 Pacific Gale   5-2
  • #2 Sadie Lady   6-1
  • #3 Victim of Love   4-1

Analysis: Honor Way makes her second start off a for month break here for the Baker barn. last out in the Distaff Handicap (G3) she was last early and came with a good late rally while wide to finish third, beaten 3/4 of a length while catching a racing strip that was kind to inside speed. The mare has does some of her best running over the main track here, landing in the exacta in 8 of 10 starts. She should move forward second off the bench and should get a good pace set up in this spot.

Pacific Gale is coming off back to back wins at Gulfstream Park. She won the Inside Info (G2) two back at seven furlongs and then won the Hurricane Bertie (G3) last out at today's 6 1/2-furlong distance. She ran third in his race last year and does have a couple of wins on the main track here. The mare went 0 for 9 last year but Kimmel has her in very sharp form right now and the barn is having a solid 2021. The mare owns a solid pace profile throughout and she fits well in here.  


Alw $102,000N1X

  • #10 Gam's Mission   5-1
  • #13 World Tour   3-1
  • #11 Director's Cut   5-1
  • #12 Flown   4-1

Analysis: Gam's Mission broke her maiden last out at Fair Grounds in her second career start and first off a 6 1/2-month layoff. The runner up Speed Lane is the lone runner she beat that has run back and she graduated at Keeneland on April 18. In her debut our top pick ran second over good ground here last September in a highly graded race. The winner Aunt Pearl came back to win the Jessamine (G2) and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). The fourth-place finisher was a next out grad. She is in good hands with the underrated DeVaux barn and looks capable of moving forward second off the layoff.

World Tour will need a scratch to get in off the AE list. She broke her maiden in her debut over good ground at Gulfstream Park in February. She came back with a solid second in the Sanibel Island, beaten a half-length as the 2-1 betting favorite. The Mott trainee looks as if she still has plenty of upside and if she gets in, she will have a tough post, but she certainly fits here with her best. 


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: #10 Strongerthanuknow   8-1
  • R3: #6 Ob La Di   10-1
  • R4: #2 Town Classic   12-1
  • R8: #6 Colombe D’Oro   8-1
  • R10: #2 Moon Over Miami   8-1
  • R11: #3 Scarabea   10-1 

Good luck today!

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