We are now just over two weeks away from the Breeders’ Cup, with pre-entries coming on Monday and the fields are starting to take shape.
The $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) appeared as if it was going to draw a full field, but we have had three defections over the past few days.
The latest defection is Maxfield, the Brendan Walsh trainee who has won 7 of his 10 career starts. The colt is owned by Godolphin, who will be sending out Essential Quality. Maxfield will now wait and go in the Clark Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 26.
Trainer Todd Pletcher announced that both Dr Post and Happy Saver will skip the Classic. Dr Post was third in the Woodward (G1) in his last outing while Happy Saver was the runner up in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) in his last start.
Dr Post may end up in either the Clark or the Cigar Mile (G1). Happy Saver is having foot issues with a quarter crack and has not posted a public workout in over a month.
We still have a stellar field that will include Knicks Go, Essential Quality. Medina Spirit, Hot Rod Charlie, Art Collector and Max Player.
We are back at it at Belmont Park on Thursday afternoon with a nine-race card. First post today is 12:35 ET.
“America’s Day at the Races” is on FS2 from 12:30 to 5:00 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 Sunday 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:
BELMONT PARK 1 ANALYSIS (12:35 P.M. ET)
BEL Race 1 Clm $12,500
#2 Regal Quality 3-1
#5 Grit and Glory 8-1
#6 Supreme Aura 5-2
#3 Blewitt 7-2
Analysis: Regal Quality tracked the early pace while down along the inside, made a good move to take over the lead and drew clear in the stretch with a sharp win versus $10,000 foes. The gelding was claimed out of the race by the Kantarmaci barn that is 22% winners first off the claim. This guy tends to like running second more than winning but looks back on track after not firing his best in his last few starts. Irad sticks and he looks capable of winning right back in this spot.
Grit and Glory dueled for the early lead and drew off to win for this tag last out going nine furlongs at the Spa. He was claimed for the fifth time in a row when in for a tag. He goes today for the Vazquez who is 23% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. His speed figs are a tad on the light side but he owns solid early and mid pace numbers and the cut back in distance should suit him. He gets in light with the bug who has now gone from a 10-pound bug to seven.
BELMONT PARK 7 ANALYSIS (4:21 P.M. ET)
BEL Race 7 OClm $80,000N2X
#4 Atone 6-1
#9 Doswell 2-1
#1 Bodecream / 1a Mo Ready 5-2
#8 Summer to Remember 9-2
Analysis: Atone steps up a notch after coming with a good late rally to get up late to beat Alw-1 company last out at the Spa on yielding ground. The runner up Cold Hard Cash came back to beat Alw-1 foes in his next outing on Oct. 10 and the fourth and fifth place finishers came back to run third and second against state bred Alw-2 foes in her next starts. Maker took over the training from the Harty barn and he matched his career top last out. The barn has been on the chilly die the past two months but is showing signs of coming out of it. Saez keeps the call and he should be a fair price in this spot. He won at this condition at Tampa Bay Downs last December.
Doswell is making his first start since January where he tracked the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish in the William L. McKnight (G3). He was a solid second two back in the Fort Lauderdale (G2) in his first stakes try. This six-year-old has managed just nine career starts due mainly to some foot issues He has worked well for his return but Tagg does tend to work them fast in the mornings. Dating back three years Tagg is 1 for 11 with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff.
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.
R1: #5 Grit and Glory 8-1
R3: #3 South Africa 8-1
R5: #6 In Fact 20-1
R6: #8 Farmington Road 8-1
R7: #2 Vodka Mardini 12-1
R9: #2 English Breeze 8-1
R9: #11 Home for Christmas 10-1
Good luck today!