At the Gate - Sunday
July 7, 2018
By Mike Dempsey



We had a pretty good day at Belmont Park for Stars & Stripes Day with four winners on top including Diversify, who wired the field in the Suburban (G2) in a sharp effort and returning $14.00.


We also had a few bad beats, with Analyze It getting run down yet again by Catholic Boy in the Belmont Derby (G1), Whitmore getting into some traffic trouble and getting beaten by Limousine Liberal and Canessar coming up just short of catching Catcho En Die in the Stars & Stripes (G3) at Arlington Park.


I really thought we were going to see a big performance from Mendelssohn, but he just again did not fire his best in a third-place finish in the Dwyer (G3). We did see one heck of an effort from Firenze Fire.


The Jason Servis trainee bounced back off his 11th place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1) to win the Dwyer by nine lengths, returning $7.50.


Servis is just winning at an incredible rate. At Belmont Park he has won with 17 of his 35 starters, winning at a 49% clip. It is even higher at Monmouth Park where he won with 19 of his 35 starters, good for a 54% win clip.


On the year Servis has won 67 races form 199 starters, a 34% win rate. Last year his starters won at a 29% clip and overall in his career he has won at 24%.


He is winning stakes, claiming races, first time starters, just about every category.


It will be interesting to see if he can keep winning at this high percentage when we hit Saratoga in a couple of weeks.


Sunday’s Best Plays Report includes my nine strongest plays from Belmont Park and Monmouth Park.


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


BEL Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:30 ET)
#4 No Way Never 2-1
#3 Teachable Moment 5-2
#5 Joyful Heart 8-5
#6 Cotton House 6-1


Analysis: No Way Never makes his debut here for the Ward barn that is 31% winners (with a +ROI) overall with firs time starters. In the past three months the trainer has hit with 15 of 35 juvie firsters. The gelding is out of the stakes winner La Mejor Fiesta ($81,339) her first foal to race. Solid works at Keeneland for his debut.


Teachable Moment is making his debut for the Brown barn that is 19% winners with first timers. He was a $180,000 Keeneland purchase, by More Than Ready out of a Mizzen Mast mare who ash dropped one other runner, a winner on dirt.


Wagering
WIN: #4 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 3,4,5
TRI: no play


Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Monmouth Park:


MTH Race 6 Md Sp Wt (3:05 ET)
#7 Mother's Day 3-1
#8 Avocado Toast 20-1
#2 Abaco Dream 5-2
#9 Super Tigress 5-1


Analysis: Mother's Day is a $125,000 purchase making her debut for the Servis barn that just cannot be stopped, hitting at a 56% clip at the meeting at is over 40% winners at Belmont Park. His numbers with firsters are strong, hitting at a 30% clip (with a +ROI). Solid works although not the strongest turf pedigree, by Union Rags out of an Unbridled's Song mare who has dropped one other foal to race, not yet a winner.


Avocado Toast chased the early pace and faded to finish seventh in his debut on the main track at Gulfstream Park. He then was off poorly stumbling and getting bumped around coming out of the gate at Belmont Park and never got untracked. He may like grass, out of a Storm Bird mare that has dropped five winners and two have won on turf. The barn brings them along slower than most. He should be forwardly place and is going to get overlooked on the tote.


Wagering
WIN: #7 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 7,8 / 2,7,8,9
TRI: 7,8 / 2,7,8,9 / 1,2,7,8,9


Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:


BEL Race 9 The Victory Ride G3 (5:50 ET)
#3 Separationofpowers 4-1
#5 Mia Mischief 2-1
#4 Sower 5-1
#8 Spectator 5-1


Analysis: Separationofpowers makes her first start since running fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) which was her first start around two turns. She beat Caledonia road two back winning the one turn mile Frizette (G1) over a wet track here. She is back at one turn here for the Chad Brown barn that is 29% winners with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. A steady string of works on the morning tab and she looks ready to go off the bench although she catches a pretty tough group here.


Mia Mischief earned the top last out speed fig with a sharp win in the Eight Belles (G2) last out at Churchill Downs going seven furlongs. She has not missed landing in the exacta in her seven career starts. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and looks dangerous in here but her price is going to be on the light side.


Wagering
WIN: #3 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 3,5 / 3,4,5,8
TRI: 3,5 / 3,4,5,8 / 3,4,5,8,9


Live Longshots:
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.


Belmont Park
R2: #6 Marriage Fever 8-1
R6: #6 Banana Thief 10-1
R7: #6 Silver Step 12-1
R10: #1 There Goes Jose 20-1
R10: #11 Thank You So Much 10-1


Good luck today!