Last Updated Sep 17, 2021, 11:00 PM

Saturday's Picks from Belmont, Woodbine, and Churchill Downs

We have a long day ahead, with first post at Belmont Park coming at 1:00 ET and the finale at Churchill Downs 10 hours later.

In between we have four Breeders’ Cup Challenge races which will take us not only to Belmont Park and Churchill Downs but north of the border to Woodbine.

The $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1) is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).

Belmont Park hosts three stakes today including the $1 million Jockey Club Derby Invitational (G1), with the winner stamping a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).

Tonight, Churchill Downs kicks off with a “Downs After Dark” program with first post of 6:00 ET. The winner of the $300,000 Pocahontas (G3) earns a pass to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). The $300,000 Iroquois (G3) winner will head to the Breeders’ Cu Juvenile (G1).

All four of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge races are in today’s Best Plays Multi-Track Report.

“America’s Day at the Races” is on FS2 from 1:00 to 7:30 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 and Best Plays Reports for Saturday 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:


 Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #6 Skylander 6-1
  • #7 Grand Sonata 3-1
  • #2 Java Buzz 2-1
  • #3 Slipstream 6-1

Analysis: Skylander debuts for the Mott barn that is 13% winners with first time starters. This colt is by Quality Road out of the turf stakes winner Fitful Skies ($225,868) who has dropped three foals to race and they have all won on turf. This colt has been working steadily for his debut here and should end up a fair price in this spot.

Grand Sonata debuts for Pletcher who is 17% winners with first timers and this year has hit at a 25% clip (with a +ROI) with two-year-old first timers. He is by Medaglia d'Oro out of a A.P. Indy mare, this being her first foal to race. Prat picks up the call for Pletcher and the colt has solid works including a good drill on turf on Sept. 5.


Race 9 The Jockey Club Oaks Inv.

  • #1 Creative Flair 7-2
  • #2 Higher Truth 3-1
  • #7 Harajuku 4-1
  • #6 Shantisara 7-2

Analysis: Creative Flair made her U.S. debut last out in the Saratoga Oaks Inv. where she was away next to last and came with a mild late run to finish third, beaten two lengths for the top spot. The filly was forwardly placed in her starts overseas and Appleby was not pleased with her being so far back early in her last outing. She now picks up Spencer and with the rail draw figures to be more forwardly placed in this spot. Two back she was beaten a couple of heads when third in the Prix Chloe (G3), which was her first start in Group company. The runner up Rougir came back to run third in the Prix de la Nonette (G2) in her next outing on Aug. 21. She should move forward with a start state side under her belt despite picking up my least favorite jock in the world.

Higher Truth is one of two in here sent out by the Brown barn. The filly made starts in the first two races of this Triple Turf series. She was beaten a half-length when third two back in the Belmont Oaks Inv. (G1) here. The winner Santa Barbara came back to win the Beverly D (G1) at Arlington Park in her next outing. Last out she was a game second to Con Lima in the Saratoga Oaks Inv., beaten 3/4 of a length. She should have no issue with the added ground here. She is by Galileo out of the G3 stakes winner Wannabe Better.


Race 9 The Pattison Canadian International G1

  • #2 Walton Street 8-5
  • #1 Corelli 4-1
  • #3 Desert Encounter 3-1
  • #4 Bluegrass Parkway 10-1

Analysis: Walton Street ships in for the Appleby barn. The gelding came up short late in a third-place finish last out in Germany in the Grosser Preis von Berlin (G1), beaten 3 1/32 lengths. That was his first start since a fourth in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) against a stellar group that included Mishriff, Chrono Genesis and Loves Only You. Lasix is added to the mix here and Dettori has the call who is over this weekend to ride in four stakes. This gelding is now seven but has made just 18 career starts which include a G2 three back at Meydan. This is his best distance landing in the money in 10 of his dozen trips. Likely the favorite but he looks tough here for top notch connections.

Corelli made a good late rally to win the Singspiel (G3) last out over the grass here at 1 1/4 miles. He made two starts in G1 company last year, the best finish a third in the United Nations at Monmouth Park going 1 3/8 miles. Thomas brings him in here in sharp form and while he is 0 for 5 at 1 1/2 miles he has run well, landing in the money in four of those trips.


Race 8 The Pocahontas G3

  • #4 Ontheonesandwos 5-2
  • #2 Goddess of Fire 6-1
  • #6 Maxine Machine 6-1
  • #11 Joyrunner 10-1

Analysis: Ontheonesandwos was the beaten favorite last out in the Adirondack (G2) at the Spa going 6 1/2 furlongs. She raced mid pack and had no punch in the stretch in a sixth-place finish. She broke her maiden in her debut here and then came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot in the Debutante two back. She has the pedigree to handle two turns, by Jimmy Creed out of a stakes placed Malibu Moon mare. Casse is 21% winners moving runners from sprint to route. She has worked sharply since her last outing and looking for her to bounce back with a much better effort here.

Goddess of Fire tracked the early pace and finished gamely to break her maiden in her debut by a neck at the Spa going 6 1/2. It was seven lengths back to the third-place finisher. None of the fillies she beat in her debut have come back to run yet. The Pletcher trainee is by Mineshaft out of a Lightnin N Thunder mare that has dropped three other winners including multiple stakes winner Mind Control ($1.29 million). The barn is 23% winners moving runners from sprint to route.


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: #7 Winning Drive 10-1
  • R4: #6 Locally Owned 15-1
  • R5: #3 I’ll Go All In 20-1
  • R5: #9 Tara Dancer 8-1
  • R6: #7 For the Flag 10-1
  • R7: #2 Onenightstandards 8-1
  • R10: #3 Tokyo Gold 8-1
  • R11: #8 Air Show 10-1
  • R11: #4 Trash Talker 8-1

Good luck today!

We may be compensated by the company links provided on this page. Read more