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Thursday's Picks from Belmont



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The 2021 Triple Crown is on the books, but the horse racing action does not really slow down much, with Del Mar and Saratoga opening next month and Breeders’ Cup Challenge races ramping up over the coming months.

The 2021 Breeders’ Cup will be held at Del Mar this year on Nov. 5 and 6.

The Medina Spirit saga will linger on, possibly for months if not years. The latest is trainer Bob Baffert and Medina Spirit’s owner Amr Zedan filed a lawsuit against the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission seeking additional testing of a urine sample in the possession of the KHRC.

At issue is whether the drug found in Medina Spirit’s system, betamethasone, was injected into the horse or the drug positive was due to the barn applying an ointment called Otomax to treat a rash.

The suit claims the KHRC has violated their clients' due process rights by refusing to allow a complete chemical analysis of the colt's urine.

This entire episode has been a black eye on the industry and the most important race of the year, the Kentucky Derby. Both Churchill Downs and the New York Racing Association have suspended Baffert.

Other tracks, including Santa Anita and Monmouth Park will allow Baffert to enter horses. That could change when the KHRC hands down their final decision regarding a possible disqualification of Medina Spirit.

Baffert has been successful litigating previous drug positives, including a reversal of a positive at Oaklawn Park.

However, this is the Kentucky Derby, and is appears neither Churchill Downs Inc. or the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission are going to back down.

Good for them.

“America’s Day at the Races” is on FS2 today 3:00 to 8:30 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.

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.

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

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

Race 1 Clm $20,000N3L

  • #1 Respect for All   7-2
  • #3 Obsessed   8-5
  • #5 Seek the Peak   7-2
  • #2 Pier Forty   3-1               

Analysis: Respect for All did not take to turf last out and returns to the main track as he makes his third start off the claim by the Bruce Brown barn. He was taken for $32,000 going a mile in the slop where he drew off to win by five lengths. He checked in fourth in his first go for the barn when cutting back to seven furlongs against $40,000 starter optional claimers. Blinkers go on and Ortiz picks up the call here as he is back on dirt and drops in for a $20,000 tag. He figures to bounce back with a better effort in this spot.

Obsessed pressed the early pace and weakened to finish sixth last out against $50,000 starter allowance foes in the slop in a race taken off the turf. Morley claimed this guy for $40,000 out of a win versus non-winners of two while in the Pletcher barn. He was in a bit tough in his first start for the barn, a sixth versus Alw-1 company. He is back in for a tag here and a fast track moves him forward. 

BELMONT PARK 7 ANALYSIS (6:15 P.M. ET)

Race 7 Alw $92,000N1X

  • #2 Coastana   10-1
  • #7 High Opinion   3-1
  • #6 Linny Kate   7-2
  • #5 Prairie Wings   5-1

Analysis: Coastana faces winners for the first time here after a smart looking maiden win last out at Keeneland over good ground going nine furlongs. The filly was sixth in her debut at Gulfstream Park back in January, beaten 3 1/2 lengths and three exited that ace to win next out. Second out she missed by just a nose over good ground at Gulfstream Park, a race that produced four next out winners. This gal should relish the added ground. She is out of a Pulpit mare that has dropped three other turf winners including Real Solution ($1.37 million) who won the Manhattan (G1) at 1 1/4 miles for Brown, DeVaux's former boss. Doubt we see the 10-1 morning line on this gal.

High Opinion makes her second start off the bench for the red hot Tony D barn that is wining at a 237% clip on the year after a relatively quiet 2019 and 2020. She graduated over the grass here at seven furlongs last October and then was a good second in the Winter Memories going 1 1/16 miles, beaten 3/4 of a length. The winner of that race was Duopoly came back to win the American Oaks (G1) in her next outing. Last out off the bench this gal raced last early and came with a good late rally to come up just 3/4 of a length short of the winner. She should move forward off the effort and Bravo takes over for the injured Irad. She is bred to handle more ground, by Lemon Drop Kid out of a More Than Ready mare.   

LIVE LONGSHOTS

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

  • R2: #1 Nutzforboltz   10-1
  • R2: #2 Not That Brady   8-1
  • R4: #6 Saratoga Love   8-1
  • R4: #2 Screamin’ By    10-1
  • R6: #11 Reckless Spirit   8-1
  • R7: #2 Coastana   10-1
  • R8: #4 O’Trouble   8-1

Good luck today!

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HORSE RACING EXPERT
Mike Dempsey Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year-round as well as covering the biggest events including the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup.
A professional handicapper and horseplayers for more than three decades, no handicapper in the industry works harder and been more successful in bringing horseplayers analysis that produces profits at the track!

Mike has owned racehorses and knows the racetrack from the backstretch to the finish line.

Mike is in his second decade of producing great results for the readers of Vegas Insider. Among his scores in the Kentucky Derby include winning with his top pick Animal Kingdom who paid $43.80 in 2011 and Super Saver at $18.00 in 2010.

While favorites have dominated the Run for the Roses in recent years, Mike’s full card analysis for every race on each card is always looking for value for horseplayers looking to pad their wagering bankroll.

Mike's Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card each day.

Check out Mike’s daily column At the Gate where he offers up free selections and live longshots.

Join Mike daily with top picks from Churchill Downs or grab winners in the Weekend Best Plays Report in the horse racing Multi-Track package. Want more action? Sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
  
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