Last Updated Oct 29, 2021, 11:00 PM

Saturday's Picks from Belmont Park and Keeneland

It looks as if it will be a rainy Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park on Saturday, but the two stakes were moved to next week and we still have six stakes that will be contested on the main track.

A field of 10 fillies and mares will line up in the $250,000 Empire Distaff Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, which has a good chance of being sloppy or muddy.

The Rudy Rodriguez trained Trinni Luck is the 7-2 morning line favorite in a wide open race. She is making her stakes debut after a gate to wire score over first level allowance foes where she caught a racing strip that was kind to speed.

Ice Princess (4-1) is going to offer a bit more value. She made a good late run to finish in the runner up spot in the state bred John Hettinger on turf in her last outing. She ahs done her best running on wet tracks.

Eight will go to the post in the $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap at 1 1/8 miles. Mr. Buff (9-2) has won the last two editions of the race but comes in this year with some pretty lousy form.

The 7-5 morning line favorite Americanrevolution looks imposing. The Todd Pletcher trainee was third in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) in his last outing. He won the state bred Albay in August at Saratoga by five lengths.

“America’s Day at the Races” is on FS2 from 12:30 to 4:00 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 $250 bonus for new horseplayers.

To purchase my Belmont Park Report for Saturday click here.

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


BEL Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #7 Sarah's Splendor 4-1
  • #5 Jannie Mae 15-1
  • #8 Shigeko 3-1
  • #1 Sals Dream Girl 10-1

Analysis: Sarah's Splendor debuts for the Abreu barn that is 24% winners (with a +ROI) with first timers. I am assuming we are off the turf today with more rain in the forecast. This gal is by Summer Front out of a Street Cry mare so she should be able to handle dirt or an off track. She has four sibs that are winners, top earner Graded On a Curve ($210,890) who ran fourth in the state bred West Point back in August in his last outing. A steady string of works on the morning tab.

Jannie Mae was outrun on the main track at the Spa going 6 1/2 furlongs. She improved on turf but still not much of a threat in a seventh-place finish. Kendrick sticks on this gal who is bred top and bottom to handle the off going. She is by Bayern out of a Giant's Causeway mare who has dropped six winners. She should be a bit closer to the pace here and is going to be a generous price.


BEL Race 8 The Empire Distaff Hcp

  • #1 Ice Princess 4-1
  • #4 Make Mischief 9-2
  • #7 Bank Sting 6-1
  • #8 Maiden Beauty 6-1

Analysis: Ice Princess came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out in the state bred Hettinger on turf. She has been better on the main track and excels on an off track, landing in the exacta in all five trips. The Gargan barn is 21% winners moving runners from turf to dirt. She is G3 placed on a wet track and looks like a good fit in this spot.

Make Mischief bashed her way through the gate at the start, stalked the early pace, took over the lead heading for home and was nailed late to run second by a neck in the state bred Fleet Indian at 4-5. She ran in graded stakes company in her three previous starts including a solid third in the Acorn (G1). She is perfect in her two starts on off tracks and is bred top and bottom to handle the off going. She has run well in her three trips over the main track here and Irad sticks for Casse.


KEE Race 8 The Fayette G2

  • #1 Sleepy Eyes Todd 3-1
  • #4 Night Ops 6-1
  • #7 Code of Honor 3-1
  • #5 Independence Hall 5-2

Analysis: Sleepy Eyes Todd set the early fractions and could not hold off the winner in a runner up finish in the Charles Town Classic (G2) last out off a four-month break. The winner was Art Collector who came back to win the Woodward (G1) in his next outing. This guy won 4 of 8 last year but he put in two subpar efforts overseas and is 0 for 2 since returning to the U.S. He is perfect in two trips over wet tracks, draws the rail and there is not a ton of early zip in this spot.

Night Ops stalked the early pace and came ups hot in the stretch in a fourth-place finish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) last out at Belmont Park at 1 1/4 miles. He ran second to Art Collector two back in the restricted Alydar. The Cox trainee has now lost seven in a row but he usually fires, running second in four of those recent outings. He has run well on off tracks and Cox has been firing at the meet, hitting at a 28% clip.


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 Jannie Mae 15-1
  • R1: #1 Sals Dream Girl 10-1
  • R3: #5 Excursionniste 10-1
  • R5: #4 Amundson 10-1
  • R10: #10 Bar Fourteen 20-1

Good luck today!

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