Last Updated Oct 07, 2021, 11:00 PM

Friday's Picks from Belmont Park and Keeneland

The Keeneland meeting kicks off this afternoon with the first two of 11 Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races to be contested over the next three days. I will have each race covered in my Best Plays Report.

The first is the $250,000 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (G2) at six furlongs on the main track. The race drew a field of seven and is a qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

The Mike Maker trained Special Reserve is the 9-5 morning line favorite. The colt was a game second in the A.G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga in his last outing. The Mike Maker barn has been on the chilly side over the last six weeks and we will try to beat him for the top spot.

Just Might has a shot coming off a sharp win at Churchill Downs in his last outing. The Michelle Lovell trainee is 9-2 on the morning line.

The $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) drew a field of 12 two-year-old fillies and is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).

It is a wide open affair with the Brad Cox trained Juju’s Map the 5-2 morning line favorite. The filly ran second in her debut and broke her maiden in an impressive effort last out at Ellis Park when stretched out to a mile.

Her price figures to be on the light side and there are plenty of options offering more bang for the buck. Among those are Distinctlypossible (8-1), a Chad Brown trainee who ships in from New York off a runner up finish in her debut in a stacked field.

Mama Rina (12-1) is sent out by trainer Ken McPeek who has won this race five times and ran first and second last year. The filly was second in the Pocahontas (G3) at Churchill Downs in her most recent start.

My Best Plays Report for Friday includes my eight strongest plays from Belmont Park and Keeneland.

“America’s Day at the Races” is on FS1 or FS2 from 12:30 to 5:30 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 Friday click here .

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Belmont Park Reports daily, my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday and my Breeders’ Cup Reports.

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


 Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #5 Saratoga Gaze 8-1
  • #2 She's the One 5-2
  • #1 Call Fitz / 1a Acushla 9-2
  • #7 Road to Remember 8-1

Analysis: Saratoga Gaze debuts for the Clement barn that is 22% winners (with a +ROI) with first time starters. This filly is by Laoban out of a Sky Mesa mare that has dropped six foals to race, all winners including four turf winners, top earner turf stakes winner Saratoga Treasure ($336,083). Solid works on the morning tab and Davis is having a really good meet and has ridden some winners for the barn, hitting at a 21% clip overall when they team up.

She's the One is also sent out by Clement. She made her debut going long back in May where she rallied to take the lead and then could not hold off the winner in a runner up finish, sent off at 9-2 in a field of 11. Clement is 15% winners with runners coming back off a 61–180-day break. Irad picks up the call on this gal. She is out of a Gold Token mare that has dropped three dirt winners but no turf winners, top earner stakes winner Listentoyourheart ($1802,114).


Race 6 Clm $10,000

  • #2 Big Mountain 5-1
  • #3 Regal Quality 7-2
  • #5 Kumar 9-2
  • #6 Playwright 9-2

Analysis: Big Mountain dueled for the early lead and tired to finish eighth last out against $16,000 claimers. He did the same two back versus $25,000 state breds. Miceli claimed this guy for $12,500 out of a runner up finish and he ran well versus $25,000 state breds in his first go for the barn but his form then tailed off. He drops in for $10,000 and owns solid early and mid pace numbers. He has done some of his best running going a mile where he has won 4 of his 9 trips. Looking for this guy to bounce back with a better effort here versus weaker.

Regal Quality drops in for $10,000 for his second start off the claim by the Atras barn. He was taken two back for $16,000 and not often we see this barn claims a runner and they regress further. Three of his four career wins have come at today's one mile distance. Willing to give this guy another look here for a sharp claiming barn that has started off the meeting quite chilly going 1 for 20.


Race 9 The Alcibiades G1

  • #8 Distinctlypossible 8-1
  • #6 Mama Rina 12-1
  • #2 Miss Interpret 10-1
  • #10 Penny Saver 4-1

Analysis: Distinctlypossible stalked the early pace and came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot in her debut going six furlongs at the Spa. That as a good group, the winner Gerrymander and third place finisher A Mo Reay coming back to run second and third in the Frizette (G1) at Belmont Park on Sunday. For Brown to ship this gal here off a runner up finish in a maiden race bodes well we are going to see more out of her today. She was a $670,000 Ocala purchase, by Curlin out of the stakes winner Funny Proposition ($230,295) who won the Fleur De Lis (G2) going nine furlongs in her last career outing. I like the switch to Gaffalione and we should end up with a fair price.

Mama Rina is showing improvement with each outing. She broke her maiden in her second career start on turf with a light figure. She made her first start on dirt in the Pocahontas (G3) last out at Churchill Downs and ran second behind 9 1/4 length winner Hidden Connection. McPeek has won this race five times and ran one-two here last year. Another move forward puts her in the mix here at a generous price.


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: #5 Saratoga Gaze 8-1
  • R2: #4 The Great Dansky 8-1
  • R5: #1 N Y Fancy 12-1
  • R8: #5 Big Castle 8-1
  • R8: #2 Clever Fellow 8-1

Good luck today!

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