Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s that day of the week again. Belmont is back for its second week of racing since its return and I am fired up for 4 straight days of the ponies in NY. Conditions today aren’t looking too great – we’re looking at scattered thunderstorms throughout the day, so you bet your ass the track will be sloppy…but let’s be honest a little bit of slop never hurt nobody! We’ve got 10 races on today’s card, let’s have at it shall we?
Race 1 (1:15pm): $40,000 Maiden Claiming, 6 furlongs on the dirt, 3 yr olds and up
Without a doubt, #8 Eagles Palace is the best of the bunch here and is likely one of the best opportunities Bill Mott has to secure a win today. Great speed figures all around, backing down in class, Joel Rosario on the saddle…just not a finisher (yet).. #2 Point of Humor struggled last week at Belmont on the turf – finishing 10th after tiring up – however, he returns to the dirt this week. In his previous two dirt races, Point of Humor finished 2nd and recorded solid Beyer speed figures. #4 Ink Splotz will likely come out the gate hot and break for the lead, he’s dropping back down again, but the question is will he have enough left in him during the final furlong? Very well could be worth adding to the card, especially if he goes off near its morning line odds (8-1).
Race 2 (1:50pm): $50,000 Claiming, 6½ furlongs on the dirt, 3 yr olds and up
To me, this race is looking to be all chalk (unless the weather happens to come into play). The two favorites, #4 Who’s In Charge, and #7 Blacktop Legend, will be ridden by Irad Ortiz and Dylan Davis, respectively. Irad has been red hot at Belmont since its return, winning a ridiculous 45% win rate…Yes…45%. Not only that, but he’s riding the best horse in the race that has won 2 of its 3 races. Blacktop Legend is dropping after losing his last race, however that only came after his two straight wins in a row. Dylan Davis is also returning as his jockey, who has not lost while riding the 7. #1 Promo Code is one I like in terms of value for this race – with the morning-line odds being 12-1, I expect the odds to remain around there come post time. The 1 has shown decent but consistent speed figures, and it will likely be quick out of the gate. He may not be the winner, but I’d consider him across the board.
Race 3 (2:23pm): $25,000 Claiming, 6½ furlongs on the dirt, 3 yr olds and up
By the time this race goes off, I’m expecting there to be some slop, and the one horse that caught my mind due to this was #7 Dr. Devera’s Way. Back in September here in Saratoga, the 7 broke his maiden with Hernandez on the saddle in sloppy conditions. Run it back, Benjamin. That being said, it’s tough not to look at Irad again in this race. The Ortiz brother is riding #2 Future Book for the first time and gets the rail out of the gate, I’d be shocked if he doesn’t at least show here. Lastly, if you’re going to be betting this race, it’s tough to leave #1 Ventus/#1A Luxury Suite out of your wager, especially the early Pick 5. Neither horse is great, but if this track gets sloppy you’re going to want that two-for-one selection.
Race 4 (2:55pm): $64,000 Maiden Special Weight, 1 1/16miles on the dirt, 3 yr olds and up
What a bitch of a race this is. You got a Chad Brown/Javier Castellano combo on the 8-5 morning line favorite #7 Cousin Andrew, and then you got the god damn Pletcher/Irad right next to him on the #6 Ajhar at 7-2. It sucks because #8 Creed is also one hell of a horse and has Jose on top, but if I’m going for real value here I’m going to put #4 Uncle Moonlight in my P5. This pony has a hell of a pedigree with Uncle Mo as his sire and he is starting the day at 8-1. While it’s looking like this should be all chalk, who knows, for all we know that stupid #5 will come in and cuck us all.
Race 5 (3:27pm): $66,000 Allowance, 1 1/16miles on the dirt, 3 yr old fillies and up
I could use some slop for this race as well, because holy shit this is Pletcher’s race to lose. #5 Spice Is Nice is listed at 4-5 right now, meaning nobody is expecting this gal screw up this time around. That being said, you’re not coming here to be told a favorite should win a race. I actually do like #3 Alandra here though. Alandra won in Saratoga back in September but has only disappointed ever since, time to return to form. And lastly, it’s tough to not mention #1 Saratoga Affair…I mean, I’m not not gonna bet a horse with the name Saratoga in it.
Race 6 (3:59pm): $35,000 Claiming, 7 furlongs on the turf, 3 yr olds and up fillies & mares
#6 Wing of Fury is who I’m eyeing in this race. His recent races have all been run on the turf, and all at longer distances as well where he’s won 2 of the last 3. #8 Merlins Muse is obviously the horse to beat here, and rightfully so, as she’s been running on the grass consistently and competitively. If the race happens to be on the main track, then I’m taking a stab at #3 Gracetown instead of #1. The value should be better and she’s put up some solid Beyer figures in comparison to the rest of the pack.
Race 7 (4:32pm): $56,000 Allowance, 1 1/16miles on the dirt, 3 yr olds and up
Obviously you can’t dismiss the favorite #4 Chestertown here; Steve Asmussen training this $2 Million beauty, Irad back on the saddle after a previous victory on top in December…But still, screw this value, I could see the #4 going off at 2-5, which is why I prefer #3 Danny California, who both have similar figures in terms of speed and recent workouts.
Race 8 (5:04pm): $66,000 Allowance, 1¼ miles on the inner turf, 3 yr olds and up
If the track isn’t sloppy by 5pm, then I’ll be pretty damn surprised, which is why I sense this is a great race for value. #1 Tankerville – another Bill Mott horse making its way to the US for its debut and who else but Johnny V on top? #2 No Word is a Pletcher horse gets Jose Ortiz on top, who also had a great run on the #2 at Saratoga in August on the turf. Speed figures look good on this colt, and Pletcher is likely confident he can handle the added distance. And lastly…and absolute bomb of a longshot but check out #6 Fleet Irish. Sure, this pony has not performed to the same standards as the rest of the pack although it’s not nearly as far behind as the morning line odds have him at, which is 50-1. His late speed could be what brings him to show this race, especially if it’s moved to the dirt, don’t count this one out.
Race 9 (5:36pm): $80,000 Flat Out Stakes, 1⅜ miles on the dirt, 4 yr olds and up
I mean…Can you really go against last year’s Belmont Stakes winner in his return to Belmont Park? #5 Sir Winston is the pick, hell I may even single it in my P5. However, if you aren’t looking to bet the favorite, take a look at #3 Moretti and #1 Prompt. Castellano and the #3 horse won about 5 weeks ago in Oaklawn, so they’re looking to keep the streak going, only problem – this is a much more competitive field than the last time around. The #1 horse is Bill Mott’s last shot of the day. While he certainly isn’t Mott’s finest horse, the increased distance could serve Prompt well especially if we can get some more late speed out of him.
Race 10 (6:08pm): $40,000 Maiden Claiming, 1 mile on the turf, 3 yr olds and up fillies & mares
#9 Molly’s Nighthawk is one of the more experienced ponies of the group, and has been averaging solid speed figures, especially at longer distances like we have here. At 10-1 morning line odds it’ll be worth adding to the card. Another one to look at should be #2 Mopolka, who’s riding with second time lasix today and is yet another offspring of Uncle Mo. Should this race be taken off the turf, I’d audible to #1 Magical Romance who should offer some incredible value and has performed decently at long distances on the dirt. Remember, this is a value pick, and very well could be your bailout at the end of the day if you’re having a rough one.
For the most part, each day I will attach a Pick 5 ticket at then end of the analysis. The idea behind this is that a lot of the time people don’t necessarily want to have to pick every horse that I discuss, or maybe they just don’t feel like reading at all and want to tail me for the day. Note that I am going to try and keep costs down each day, and for the most part each ticket will be in the $30-60 range (totally subject to change, please don’t hold me to that).
TODAY’S PICK 5 CARD:
Decided to go with the early pick 5 here, as I really don’t know what these conditions could be like on the track come Race 6. Like I said, I try to keep costs down, so this ticket is only $27 (if you do it as a $.50 bet, but feel free to bump that bitch up to $1 if you’re feeling extra confident).
10:47AM UPDATE: The 5 is scratched in Race 5…making this a wide open race. I’m still going to single here, but will be choosing #3 Alandra.
Be sure to give us a follow on Twitter to stay updated should there be any changes in the races, which there will likely be today. Thanks for reading and best of luck to all!