With Saratoga in the books we head off to Belmont Park on Thursday afternoon for the opening day of the 28-day meeting that runs until Oct. 31.
We have five Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races to be decided. The first comes on Saturday with the $1 million Jockey Club Derby for three-year-olds going 1 ½ miles on turf. The winner gets a free ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).
The Breeders’ Cup is now just 50 days away. There are still 34 “Win and You’re In” races to be contested over the next month.
In addition to the Jockey Club Derby we have three other Breeders’ Cup Challenge races coming up on Saturday. We will head off to Churchill Downs for the $300,000 Pocahontas (G2) and the $300,000 Iroquois (G2), both races for juveniles.
We will also head north of the border where the feature at Woodbine on Saturday is the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1), always a competitive race and key prep for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
I will include all of the “Win and You’re In” races in Saturday’s Best Plays Multi-Track Report.
We have a 2:05 ET post time for opening day at Belmont Park and the first two races on the card are steeplechase events. The means the early Pick 5 starts with the third race on today’s card.
“America’s Day at the Races” is on FS2 from 2:00 to 8:30 ET with the action from Belmont Park. 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 third race (the first two today are steeplechase races) from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BELMONT PARK 3 ANALYSIS (3:09 P.M. ET)
Race 3 Clm $25,000N2L
#1 Coach Bahe 3-1
#4 Orb in the Tower 9-5
#3 Good Culture 2-1
#2 Papa Jimmy 8-1
Analysis: Coach Bahe stretches out to a mile after catching a muddy track last out that was playing to indie speed. The gelding raced near the back of the pack, came wide and was no threat late in a well beaten sixth behind an 8 1/4 length winner. Blinkers go on, he draws the rail and there is no early zip in here. Franco should send him and he has shown some tactical speed in the past. He makes his first start here for the Barrera barn that is 8% winners first off the claim.
Orb in the Tower tracked the early pace and finished up well to break his maiden last out against $40,000 state breds over the turf here back in July. It was his third career start and now it is back to dirt here. He was beaten double digit lengths in his first two starts, both on wet tracks. The barn is 21% winners moving runners from turf to dirt and this is a pretty soft looking spot for his first start against winners. With just three starts under his belt he looks as if he has more upside than most of this slow group.
BELMONT PARK 7 ANALYSIS (5:16 P.M. ET)
Race 7 Clm $40,000
#5 Flat Out Beautiful 5-1
#1 Clench / 1a Happy Farm 6-5
#3 Fox Red 3-1
#2 Alcools 8-1
Analysis: Flat Out Beautiful tracked the early pace and finished gamely in a runner up finish last out against $32,000 foes, beaten a head by Free Enterprise. The racing strip was really playing to inside speed that day. The gelding was making his first start off the claim for Atras who took him two back for $40,000 out of a fourth-place finish. He looks back on track after getting beaten double digit lengths two and three back. Atras is coming off a strong Spa meet where he hit at a 28% clip.
Clenchl dueled for the early lead, got clear and went on to beat $20,000 claimers last out by 4 1/2 lengths in a sharp effort. He was claimed out of that race, going from RRod to Rice who is 21% winners first off the claim. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and four back was a game second for this tag. His entrymate Happy Farm beat $50,000 claimers two back and ran second to Town Classic last out for the same tag. He was claimed out of the race going from Atras to Rice. This guy has won 10 of his 26 career starts including a G3. He completes a strong entry but the price is going to be on the short side.
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.
R3: #2 Papa Jimmy 8-1
R4: #7 Intense Honor 10-1
R6: #9 Evvie Jets 12-1
R6: #8 Adelaide Miss 10-1
R7: #2 Alcools 8-1
R9: #4 Spun for Lulu 8-1
Good luck today!