Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

Sunday's Picks from Belmont Park and Pimlico

Honor Way was a disappointment in yesterday’s featured race at Belmont Park, tiring to finish fifth in the Vagrancy Handicap (G3). My fourth choice Victim of Love got the job done, returning $6.30 for the win.

The feature at Churchill Downs worked out much better for us. My top pick Gam’s Mission was 5-1 on the morning line but drifted up to nearly 8-1. She held on gamely at the wire to win by a neck and returned a generous $17.80.

My fourth choice Flown completed a nice exacta that paid $87.80 and if you used my top pick with my other four contenders in the trifecta the windfall was $355.80 for $1.

The feature today at Belmont Park is the $100,000 Gold Fever which drew a field of six three-year-olds led by the 8-5 morning line favorite Candy Man Rocket.

The Bill Mott trainee looked like a major Kentucky Derby contender after winning the Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs in February. However, the colt did not fire as the beaten favorite in the Tampa Bay Derby (G2), checking in 11th and beaten nearly 26 lengths.

He did not fare any better in the Wood Memorial (G2) where he was ninth and beaten 19 ½ lengths. Now he is back sprinting but as you can see below, I am going to try and beat him at a short price this afternoon.

“America’s Day at the Races” on FS2 will be televised today from 12:30 to 6:00 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 Sunday includes my nine strongest plays from Belmont Park and Pimlico

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:


Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #5 Speak Unity 3-1
  • #2 Lucci 9-5
  • #8 Riot House 7-5
  • #4 Staretz 12-1

Analysis: Speak Unity needs to beat not one but two Ward firsters in here to pick up his diploma. He does have an advantage of having a race under his belt. He was sent off at 7-1 in his debut where he pressed the early pace and weakened to finish fourth, beaten a neck for third. The Thomas barn is 31% winners (with a +ROI) with second out maidens and does solid work with juvies. The colt should move forward off his debut effort.

Lucci is one of the two firsters sent out by ward who has hit with 1 of his 20 (with a +ROI) juvenile first timers this year. This colt was a $290,000 purchase, by Not This Time out of a Lookin At Lucky mare, this he first foal to race. Solid works on the morning tab at Keeneland and among the duo Ward sends out this guy likely is going to be the higher price.


Race 6 OClm $35,000N2X

  • #8 Cat's Pajamas 5-2
  • #6 Fed Up Fire Up 6-1
  • #2 In a Hurry 7-2
  • #3 La Babia 6-1

Analysis: Cat's Pajamas makes her first start since last summer at the Spa where she finished 10th in the Lake George (G3). She broke her maiden at Churchill Downs off the bench and was a good looking winner versus Alw-1 foes at Belmont Park. She was fifth in the Lake Placid (G32) in her stakes debut, only beaten three lengths. She finds a good spot for her return for the Motion barn that is 18% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. She should be fit and ready off works at Fair Hill and takes the class drop.

Fed Up Fire Up was outrun early and not much of a threat in a fifth-place finish in the Dahlia here in her first start off a 7 1/2-month layoff. She beat Alw-1 foes two back at Laurel Park last September over good ground. The eight-year-old catches a better spot here in facing Alw-2 foes and looks capable of moving forward off her last effort here for the Barr barn.


Race 8 The Gold Fever

  • #3 Roderick 9-5
  • #2 The Wolfman 5-1
  • #6 Candy Man Rocket 8-5
  • #1 Beren 7-2

Analysis: Roderick pressed a sharp early pace in the Hutcheson in the slop at Gulfstream Park last out and tired to finish sixth. It was his first go off a three-month break at 4-5. Two back in an open allowance race at Churchill Downs going five furlongs he pressed the early pace, took command and drew off smartly to win by 3 3/4 lengths. The fifth-place finisher in that race was Lookin for Loki who came back to beat Alw-1 optional claimers at Fair Grounds in his next start. The Ward trainee owns solid early and mid pace numbers and should bounce back with a much better effort here. He broke his maiden over the main track here in his debut last June by 8 1/4 lengths.

The Wolfman beat Alw-1 optional claimers at Laurel Park last out in the slop going 5 1/2 furlongs. The runner up Doubleoseven came back to beat Alw-1 optional claimers in his next start at Laurel park on March 20 and is in here. He returns off a 2 1/2-month break and should be fit off works at Fair Hill. He is quick enough to be forwardly placed and should have the jump on the favorite heading for home at a fair price.


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: #4 Staretz 12-1
  • R4: #5 Action Potential 10-1
  • R5: #1 Micromillion 8-1
  • R6: #12 It’s Gravy 8-1
  • R9: #6 Kreesa La Wrote 8-1

Good luck today!

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