Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

Sunday's Picks from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs

Rombauer came calling in the stretch to pull off the upset in the $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico, snuffing out any chance Medina Spirit had of winning the Triple Crown on the racetrack instead of the testing lab.

The Michael McCarthy trainee returned his backers $25.60 for a $2 wager and topped a $2 exacta with my top pick Midnight Bourbon that paid $98.60.

I thought we would get about 7-2 or 4-1 on Midnight Bourbon and was stunned to see the colt the betting favorite nearly the entire day before Medina Spirt eventually was sent off as the favorite at 2.40-1 while Midnight Bourbon was 3.10-1 with Concert Tour the third choice at 3.70-1.

Medina Sprit set the early fractions with Midnight Bourbon sitting just off his flank and they went fast but seemed to be doing it easily.

Medina Spirit started to weaken, and Midnight Bourbon opened up about 1 ½ lengths but could not hold off the hard charging Rombauer in the final furlong.

Baffert’s other runner Concert Tour faded to finish a well beaten ninth.

While we wait for Medina’s Spirit’s split sample to come back to see if he possibly is disqualified from the Kentucky Derby, at least things should calm down during the three weeks until we get to the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 5.

It was disappointing to see our top pick get run down in deep stretch, but I have to say I was relieved it was not one of Baffert’s runners that did it.

“America’s Day at the Races” on FS2 will be televised today from 12:30 to 5:30 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 Sunday includes my eight strongest plays from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.

TTo 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:

BELMONT PARK 1 ANALYSIS (1:00 P.M. ET)

Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #3 Yukio 10-1
  • #4 Little Drama 1-1
  • #5 Too Much Action 4-1
  • #1 Hagler 2-1

Analysis: Yuko wheels back quick after making his debut here on turf on May 9. He chased the early pace, the jock dropped his whip and the colt weakened to finish 9 3/4 lengths back of the winner. Chapman does not win first out often and is a solid 23% winners with second out maidens. Pedigree wise this guy seems suited for the main track. He is by Frosted out of a stakes placed Horse Chestnut mare that has dropped four winners, top earner Zipessa ($783,550) who was a G1 winner on turf.

Little Drama debuts for the Asmussen barn that is 16% winners with first timers. This colt was a $175,000 Ocala purchase, by Dramedy out of a Rockport Harbor mare that has dropped one foal to race, 0 for 4 Just Wing It. The colt has been working sharply in the mornings including a good gate drill on May 6.

CHURCHILL DOWNS RACE ANALYSIS (2:45 P.M. ET)

Race 5 Md Sp Wt

  • #11 Prairie 9-2
  • #2 Fortified 20-1
  • #12 Pregame 4-1
  • #5 Burrow 6-1

Analysis: Prarie stretches back out to a route after a pair of turf sprints at Fair Grounds after coming back off a 2 1/2-month break. The colt made a good late rally two back to finish in the runner up spot, then last out came with a good late run to finish a close up third, beaten a half-length as the beaten favorite. The runner up, fourth and sixth place finishers all came out of that race to win next out. This guy is bred to go long, by War Front out of a stakes placed Pulpit mare, her first foal to race.

Fortified stretches back out to a route after a pair of turf sprints at Fair Grounds after coming back off a 2 1/2-month break. The colt made a good late rally two back to finish in the runner up spot, then last out came with a good late run to finish a close up third, beaten a half-length as the beaten favorite. The runner up, fourth and sixth place finishers all came out of that race to win next out. This guy is bred to go long, by War Front out of a stakes placed Pulpit mare, her first foal to race.

BELMONT PARK 8 ANALYSIS (4:40 P.M. ET)

Race 8 OClm $45,000N2X

  • #7 Big Package 9-5
  • #5 Call Me Harry 4-1
  • #1a Discretionary Marq 3-1
  • #6 Shiraz 9-2

Analysis: Big Package makes his second start off a seven-month layoff here for the Donk barn. Last out off the bench the gelding made a mild late rally to finish third at this level over good ground. The winner Sanctuary City came back to beat open Alw-2 optional claimer sin his next start here on May 9. Two back before hitting the bench our top pick was beaten just a nose at this level behind another repeat winner in Maxwell Esquire, who came back to beat open Alw-1 foes and beat open Alw-2 company in April here. The Donk barn is 19% winners (with a +ROI) with runners making their second start off a +180-day layoff. Irad sticks and this gelding is going to be tough in this spot as the favorite.

Call Me Harry makes his first start since December where he stalked the early pace and faded to finish a well beaten seventh on the main track at Aqueduct. Two back on turf at this level he set the early fractions and battled on gamely in a third-place finish, beaten 3/4 of a length for the top spot. He lands with the Kimmel barn and picks up Rosario. The barn has been having a solid 2021 but has started off the meeting here a bit chilly at 1 for 15. A light work tab for a barn that is 13% winners with runners coming back off a 61–180-day layoff.

LIVE LONGSHOTS

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

Belmont Park

  • R1: #3 Yukio 10-1
  • R2: #1 War Stroll 8-1
  • R5: #5 Flight to Paradise 8-1
  • R6: #11 Shesadirtydancer 12-1
  • R6: #1 Rising Bella 12-1
  • R7: #2 Wish for Magic 15-1
  • R7: #9 Pals Saratoga Gel 8-1
  • R9: #4 Clamor 10-1

Good luck today!

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