Last Updated Oct 09, 2021, 2:00 AM

Saturday's Picks from Belmont and Keeneland Park

The Keeneland card today is loaded with four Breeders’ Cup Challenge races and we have an addition qualifier at Belmont Park this afternoon.

The Breeders’ Cup is now just four weeks away and this is last call for connections seeking a berth in one of the 14 championship races.

The $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) kicks things off. The winner earns a starting spot in the Breeder’s Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). The race drew six and I had some trouble finding the winner. I landed on last year’s winner Inthemidstofbiz  who won last year at 13-1 and is 10-1 on the morning line this year.

The winner of the $400,000 First Lady (G1) will get a spot in the field for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). 13 will go to the spot led by the Charlie Appleby trained Althiqa (7-2). She has come across the pond and taken the Just a Game (G1) and Diana (G1) and looks tough again in this spot.

The $500,000 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) is not only a ‘Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), it also is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race. 13 will go, seven of which are stretching out from sprints.

The $750,000 Keeneland Turf Mile (G1) is a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). It features Order of Australia, who won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile at 73-1 for trainer Aiden O’Brien.

At Belmont Park the $250,000 Vosburgh (G2) winner stamps a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). The $150,000 Matron (G3) is for juvenile fillies but could produce a starter or two for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1).

The $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) should be a Challenge race for the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). Seven go including several runners that could be a factor in the Turf. Gufo, Channel Maker and Japan are all G1 winners.

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

“America’s Day at the Races” is on FS1 or FS2 from 12:30 to 4:00 ET with the action from Belmont Park. The NBC Sports Network picks up the Keeneland action from 5:00 to 6:00 ET. 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, 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: 


BEL Race 1 Md $25,000

  • #5 Strong Point   8-5
  • #6 Malibu Anthem   2-1
  • #4 Matoula   7-2
  • #8 Bonana Fanna Foe   8-1               

Analysis: Strong Point stalked the early pace and had no impact late in a well beaten fifth last out in the slop at the Spa going nine furlongs in a race washed off the grass. She was a game second two back over a good main track in another race taken off the turf, beaten just 3/4 of a length while 9 1/4 clear of the third-place finisher although it was just a three horse field. She ran pretty well back in February with a runner up finish in the mud at the Big A. She now has six starts under her belt, but just once start on a fast main track and that was fifth in her debut. She reunites with Rosario and catches a really slow group here.

Malibu Anthem has come up short a dozen times with four seconds. Last out she tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth. She was beaten double digit lengths in four of her last five starts but ran a good second two back in an effort that would be good enough to beat this group. Castellano sticks for Albertrani and the cut back to a mile should suit her. Just not much else in here to get excited about.


BEL Race 6 The Matron G3

  • #4 Lady Danae   6-1
  • #8 Chi Town Lady   4-1
  • #3 Mystic Eyes   6-1
  • #7 Bubble Rock   7-2               

Analysis: Lady Dane was a good looking maiden winner in her debut going 5 1/2 at the Spa. The runner up was Bubble Rock who came back to graduate in her next outing on Sept. 3 and is in here. Last out our top pick tries 6 1/2 at Kentucky Downs where she was away last and finished evenly after a wide trip in a fifth-place finish in the Ainsworth at 6-5. Saez sticks for Sharp who picked up a win on yesterday's card. She figures to bounce back with a better effort here over this surface. The filly is by Klimt out of an Unbridled's Song mare.

Chi Town Lady is one of two in her sent out by Ward and they are both entered tomorrow in the Futurity (G3) against males and one likely scratches. This gal beat her stablemate last out by 1 3/4 lengths in the Bolton Landing at the Spa going 5 1/2 furlongs over yielding footing. It was her first go off a four-month break. She broke her maiden in her debut on the main track at Keeneland back in April. She looks like she has a bit more upside than her stablemate and it seems likely her price is going to be south of her 4-1 morning line. 


KEE Race 8 The First Lady G1

  • #3 Althiqa   7-2
  • #13 Viadera   8-1
  • #7 Daddy Is a Legend   12-1
  • #6 Regal Glory   5-1

Analysis: Althiqa is perfect in her two starts state side, taking the Just A Game (G1) followed by the Diana (G1). Last out she came with a good late rally and spurted clear late with a good turn of foot. Two back was at a mile, today's distance. We have to deal with Spencer picking up the mount, my least favorite jock. The jock is just 4 for his last 67 in the U.S. He did pick up a win for Appleby with Yibar last month or Appleby in the Jockey Club Derby at Belmont Park. This filly looks as if she has more to give and if Spencer can stay out of her way she can win right back here.

Viadera is sent out by the Brown barn that has won this race in the last three years. A tough draw but Geroux picks up the call and she should end up a fair price. Last out she tracked the early pace and finished gamely to win the Ballston Spa (G2). She has won four of her last five starts. each win in a photo. Her lone loss during that time was a rough trip fourth in the restricted De La Rose where she was 6-5. A clean trip and she will come calling late at a decent 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: #8 Bonana Fanna Foe   8-1
  • R2: #5 Eileen Gray   12-1
  • R4: #1 Piccadilly   8-1
  • R7: #5 Cross Border   8-1
  • R9: #1 Baby I’m Perfect   8-1
  • R11: #9 Flintshire’s Rock   12-1
  • R11: #3 Brennan’s War   12-1
  • R11: #5 Seanan   8-1

Good luck today!

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