Last Updated Oct 02, 2021, 8:57 AM

Saturday's Picks from Belmont Park and Santa Anita

We have four more Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races on tap on Saturday, three at Santa Anita and one at Belmont Park.

The Breeders’ Cup is now just five weeks away and it also is never too early to start thinking about the Run for the Roses. Sure, the Kentucky Derby (G1) is seven months way but we have a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race this afternoon.

At Belmont Park the $500,000 Champagne (G1) is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and offers up 10-4-2-1 points toward entry int next spring’s Kentucky Derby.

Six juveniles go postward led by the Chad Brown trained Jack Christopher, the 9-5 morning line favorite. The colt earned a solid number in his debut win. I am not sure he is going to end up the favorite, as Sanford winner (G3) Wit and Hopeful (G1) winner Gunite should both take some action.

At Santa Anita the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G2) will produce a starter for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). The top three from last year’s race return and they take on the up and coming three-year-old Dr. Schivel, winner of the Bing Crosby (G1) in his last outing.

The $300,000 Rodeo Drive (G1) is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). The race has not been very productive, as the Euro shippers and east coasters tend to dominate this division on Breeders’ Cup Day.

Kentucky Derby (G1) “winner” Medina Spirit is back in action in the $300,000 Awesome Again (G1), taking on older for the first time. The race is a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 10 strongest plays from Belmont Park and Santa Anita.

“America’s Day at the Races” is on FS2 from 12:30 to 6:30 ET with the action from Belmont Park. TVG is offering new players 
up to a $300

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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 Clm $16,000N2L

  • #7 Profusion 3-1
  • #3 Eucharist 7-2
  • #8 Hangar One 7-2
  • #2 Litterbox 6-1

Analysis: Profusion raced at the back of the pack, came with a seven wide run and finished evenly in a fourth-place finish last out at this level at seven furlongs. His last effort came two back over the main track here at a mile where he chased the early pace and finished up well in a runner up finish. A repeat of that effort here looks good enough to get the job done for the RRod barn that has been sending out live runners at the meet.

Eucharist pressed the early pace and faded badly in a well beaten 12th trying turf for the first time. That came for a $40,000 tag in his first go off the claim by the Klesaris barn who took him two back for $25,000. He was fourth in that effort at the Spa at 6 1/2 furlongs behind repeat winner Full Court Press who beat $50,000 starter allowance foes in his next outing. The barn is 18% winners moving runners from route to sprint. He figures to bounce back with a better effort here on the back switch and facing a softer group.


Race 8 The Champagne G1

  • #1 Wit 2-1
  • #2 My Prankster 5-2
  • #3 Jack Christopher 9-5
  • #5 Gunite 4-1

Analysis: Wit is one of the three sent out by Pletcher. The colt won his first two starts by a combined 14 lengths, breaking his maiden by six and then winning the Sanford (G3) at Saratoga by eight. Last out as the favorite in the Hopeful (G1) the colt stumbled badly coming out of the gate. The colt was last in the early going, made a good middle move coming up the inside to grab second but by them Gunite and drawn away. Our top pick was clearly second, three lengths clear of the rest of the field. The $575,000 Keeneland purchase is by Practical Joke (winner of this race in 2016) out of a Medaglia d’Oro mare that has dropped three other winners including stakes winner Barkley ($368,425) who was best going long. Pletcher has won this race six times and this colt looks primed for a top effort here. The barn is 24% winners moving runners from sprint to route.

My Prankster earned a solid number breaking his maiden in his debut where he drew away to win by 10 lengths at Saratoga going 6 ½ furlongs. The runner up and third place finisher both came back to run good seconds in their next starts while the fourth-place finisher Cogburn was a next out grad on Sept. 16 at Churchill Downs with an 82 Beyer. The $600,000 purchase is by Into Mischief out of the multiple stakes winner My Wandy’s Girl ($638,710). He is bred to handle more ground and it would be no surprise to see this guy move forward off his promising debut effort.

Jack Christopher matched our second choice with the top last out speed fig in the field. The colt earned it in a sharp maiden score in his debut going six furlongs at Saratoga. The colt pressed the early pace, took command and drew away to win by 8 ¾ lengths at 6-5. Two have come out of that race to run back, the runner up Hoist the Gold a next out graduate at Churchill Downs on Sept. 25 thanks to a DQ. On the same day, the fourth-place finisher Back to Normal came back to run third in his next outing in a different race on the card. This colt is by Munnings out of a Half Ours mare. Brown won this race in 2016 with Practical Joke and in 2018 with Complexity and is 23% winners moving runners from sprint to route. He looks like a threat but his price may end up on the light side.


Race 8 The Santa Anita Spring Championship G2

  • #5 Flagstaff 7-2
  • #4 C Z Rocket 5-2
  • #1 Dr. Schivel 2-1
  • #3 Colt Fiction 8-1

Flagstaff stalked the early pace and finished up well for third, getting edged for the place spot by C Z Rocket in the Pat O'Brien (G2) last out at seven furlongs. The gelding earned a career top two back at Belmont Park in a runner up finish in the True North (G2) at 6 1/2 furlongs. He won his two previous starts including the Churchill Downs (G1). He should be closer to the pace here and has run well over the main track taking 4 of 9 starts and missing by just a head in this race last year only to get DQ'd. He looks primed for a top effort here second off a 2 1/2-month break.

C Z Rocket made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out and just keeps on ticking now at the age of seven. He won this race last year and then was second in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1). The cut back to six furlongs is not a problem and he should get an honest enough pace to run at here.


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

  • R4: #5 Philly Eagles 8-1
  • R4: #1 Sail By 8-1
  • R5: #2 First Constitution 8-1
  • R6: #5 Puglia 12-1
  • R7: #6 Fingal 12-1
  • R9: #4 Buy Land and See 10-1
  • R11: #1 Boom Boom Kaboom 8-1

Good luck today!

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