Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

Sunday's Picks from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs

It was a washout on Saturday at Belmont Park as all of the turf races were moved to the sloppy main track, and it could be more of the same this afternoon.

There is more rain in the forecast overnight and throughout today, but there are only three races scheduled for the grass.

Don’t forget we race on Monday where it is New York Breeders' Showcase Day at Belmont Park. There are six stakes on the 10-race card with purses of $900,000.

The rain is forecast to end Sunday evening so hopefully the conditions will improve by Monday afternoon. There are four races carded for turf on Monday including two of the stakes—the $125,000 Mount Vernon and the $125,000 Kingston.

The post position draw for the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) will be held on Tuesday. The three day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival gets underway on Thursday and over the three days of action we have 17 stakes races. There are eight Grade 1 races on Saturday’s card.

There is some rain in the early forecast for Next Thursday and Friday, but Belmont Stakes Day looks good, at least for now. The forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 79 degrees.

Right now it looks as if we will have a field of about 10 for the Belmont. That includes five runners that last competed in the Kentucky Derby led by fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Essential Quality.

Three contenders are exiting the Preakness Stakes (G1) led by the winner Rombauer. Newcomers to the Triple Crown that look probable are UAE Derby (G2) winner Rebel’s Romance and Peter Pan (G3) third place finisher Overtook.

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

“America’s Day at the Races” is YouTube or the NYRA app 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.

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 Clm $14,000N3L

  • #5 Left Leaning Lucy 4-1
  • #2 Awesome Indra 6-5
  • #4 Extra Effort 2-1
  • #7 Mebs Web 8-1

Analysis: Left Leaning Lucy set the early fractions and battled on gamely, getting run down late in a runner up finish, beaten 3/4 of a length at this level. The filly seems to be rounding back into good form after in her first two starts at this level and then running a decent second two back in the slop. She passed her non-winners of two condition in the mud back in January. She owns a solid early and mid pace numbers and another move forward puts in her in the mix here.

Awesome Indra set the early fractions and was no match for the winner in a runner up finish at Oaklawn Park last out against $20,000 non-winners of three. She was claimed out of the race by the Joseph barn that is 23% winners first off the claim. Two back against $16,000 non-winners of two she tracked the early pace and finished gamely to miss by just a neck. She gets a jock upgrade to Irad for a barn that is off to a good start at the meet. She looks tough but her price is going to be on the short side.


Race 5 Clm $30,000N2L

  • #1 Majestic Ro 3-1
  • #8 Rye Humor 10-1
  • #5 Shady McGee 4-1
  • #9 Copper King 10-1

Analysis: Majestic Ro is back in for a tag after a sixth and an eighth in his last two starts against $50,000 starter allowance company. He had a tough spot last out at Keeneland where she stalked the early pace while toward the outside and came up short in the stretch. He was beaten just a neck three back against $50,000 non-winners of two at Gulfstream Park three back. He catches a slightly softer spot here and the Lynch barn has been sending out live runners at the meet, hitting at a 30% clip.

Rye Humor broke his maiden at Charles Town and then was fourth in his first two starts at hits condition before fading to finish a well beaten ninth last out here going a mile on the main track. This guy has just one trip on turf, a seventh over yielding turf at Ellis Park last July which was at 5 1/2 furlongs and off a layoff. The gelding is out of a Summer Squall mare that ash dropped four other winners and they have all won on turf. He may bounce back with a much better effort on the surface switch and is going to be a generous price in this spot.


Race 6 Md $20,000

  • #11 Tremendous 8-1
  • #10 Core Curriculum 3-1
  • #9 Sixteen Tons 4-1
  • #3 Mo Heat 10-1

Analysis: Tremendous caught a sloppy track where he made his debut for a $40,000 tag, sent off at 15-1 in a field of six. The gelding was bumped soon after the start, tracked the early pace and tired to finish a well beaten fifth. The runner up and fourth place finisher came back to graduate in their next starts while the winner Uncle Moonlight was a close up third versus $50,000 starter allowance foes in his next outing. Our top pick drops in class here in for $20,000 and adds lasix and Rosario. He has a solid off track pedigree and should show more with a race under his belt and the 8-1 morning line looks more than fair.

Core Curriculum takes another class drop for his third career start here for the Pletcher barn. He was ninth in his debut at Tampa Bay Downs going two turns and sixth last out when dropping in for a $35,000 tag and trying turf. He showed speed in his debut and a one turn mile may suit him. He is bred to like a wet track, by Empire Maker out of a Danzig mare that has dropped five other runners with three winners, top earner stakes winner Temple City ($326,400). Pletcher is 21% winners moving runners from turf to dirt.


These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their 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: #7 Mebs Web 8-1
  • R4: #6 Beatthatflew 8-1
  • R5: #11 Obsessed 10-1
  • R6: #11 Tremendous 8-1
  • R6: #3 Mo Heat 10-1
  • R8: #1 Beren 8-1
  • R8: #5 Three Two Zone 15-1
  • R9: #9 Decreed 8-1

Good luck today!

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