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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:50 PM

Thursday's Picks from Belmont

It has been a crazy couple of days in the horse racing biz, but the dust is starting to settle, the field is drawn for the $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) on Saturday, and we have a big couple of days ahead of us.

The bombshell revelation on Sunday that Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit had a drug positive for an excess amount of the legal therapeutic drug betamethasone in his system has turned the sporting world upside down.

His trainer Bob Baffert first said he did not administer the drug to the Derby winner and does not use it on his horses. This is despite the fact that a horse under his care, Gamine, tested positive for the drug last year and he admitted his veterinarian had given it to her.

The story has now changed, and now it turns out his vet was treating the Derby winner for dermatitis with an ointment called Otomax, which surprise surprise has betamethasone in it.

The Maryland Jockey Club announced that since the split sample has not come back yet, they will allow Baffert to enter horses this weekend. His first comes in the Beautiful Gift in Friday’s $250,000 Black Eyed Susan (G2).

Medina Spirit was installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite for the Preakness. In addition, Baffert will send out Concert Tour, who is 5-2 second choice on the morning line.

Concert Tour won the Rebel (G2) on March 13 and was the beaten favorite in the Arkansas Derby (G1) in his last outing on April 10, checking in a disappointing third.

Baffert is not coming to Baltimore, leaving his assistant Jimmy Barnes in charge. Apparently, he did not want to be a distraction. Yeah, Bob that shipped has sailed.

As a condition of allowing hos horses to run, Baffert has provided his consent to the Maryland Jockey Club to allow for rigorous testing and monitoring in addition to that conducted by the Maryland Racing Commission.

Those additional tests and monitoring are to ensure the fairness and integrity of the races entered by horses trained by Baffert, according to the MJC.

If any of the three Baffert horses test positive for a banned substance, or at a level for a permitted therapeutic substance that is above the designated limit, or if after medical review, reasonable conditions warrant, Baffert or MJC on his behalf, will scratch the horse in question.

Those tests are reportedly going to come back on Friday.

Stay tuned, the drama may just be starting.

‘America’s Day at the Races” on FS2 will cover the action on Thursday from Aqueduct from 3:00 to 8:30 ET. You can also stream the action from Belmont Park today on YouTube or by using the TVG App. The horse betting company TVG is offering new players a 50% deposit match up to $250 .  In addition, AmWager is offering up to a $500 bonus for new horseplayers.

To purchase my Belmont Park Report for Thursday 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 and my Preakness Stakes Report.

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

BELMONT PARK RACE 1 ANALYSIS (3:05 P.M. ET)

Race 1 Clm $16,000N2L

  • #6 Pier Forty   8-5
  • #5 Scotty   6-1
  • #3 Kith   5-2
  • #7 Doublepour   10-1               

Analysis: Pier Forty has been beaten double digit lengths in his last two starts against $25,000 non-winners of three and drops in for a $16,000 tag here. This guy graduated against $25,000 state breds here last October and then ran two solid races against non-winners of two in runner up finishes. He catches a pretty weak looking group here and Noda is off to a good start at the meeting and this guy gets a positive jocks witch here to Irad.

Scotty was outrun last out in the slop against straight three-year-olds for a $32,000 tag last out in his first start against winners. He graduated against $25,000 state breds two back going a mile at Aqueduct. He dueled for the early lead, opened up and drew clear late to win by three lengths. They went pretty slow in that outing and he shows an ability to come from off the pace three back. He is not quick up enough to be up front here but should get a good tracking trip from mid pack as he faces older for the first time. 

BELMONT PARK RACE 6 ANALYSIS (5:43 P.M. ET)

Race 6 Clm $12,500

  • #13 Win With Pride   3-1
  • #11 Clear the Mine   7-2
  • #3 Eagle Pass   9-2
  • #9 Skyler's Scramjet   10-1               

Analysis: Win With Pride is coming off a sharp score beating $10,000 claimers last out in the slop at six furlongs here. The gelding was making his second start off the claim by the Noda barn that tends to win races in bunches and has started off the meeting here going 4 for 14. The gelding steps up a notch here and looks capable of winning right back. This guy has run well here winning 4 of his 6 trips and is a two-time winner at today's seven furlongs.

Clear the Mine lands here from Oaklawn Park and goes from the Joseph barn to DePaz. The gelding was 0 for 2 for Joseph after getting claimed for $16,000 three back out of a third-place finish behind a pair of next out winners. He was fourth versus $30,000 claimers in his first start for the barn and then a well beaten sixth last out against $8,000 starter allowance foes. He picks up Irad and while it is tough to move runners up off the old barn DePaz is capable and he drops into an easier looking spot.

LIVE LONGSHOTS

These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their Pick 4 or Pick 5 wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win wager. 

Belmont Park

  • R1: #7 Doublepour   10-1
  • R2: #5 Landslid   10-1
  • R4: #5 Souper Splendor   8-1
  • R4: #8 Patti D   10-1
  • R6: #9 Skyler’s Scramjet   10-1
  • R8: #2 Cold Hard Cash   12-1
  • R9: #2 King Moonracer   10-1
  • R9: #4 The Great Gazoo   8-1 

Good luck today!

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