Belmont Park is back for the third week of its summer meet and I am fired up for an amazing day of racing. Check out my breakdown of the races below, and feel free to tail my Pick 5 card. Just a few days until the Belmont Stakes, gotta start feeling out the track!
Race 1 (1:15pm): $64,000 Maiden Special Weight, 8½ furlongs on the dirt, 3 yr old and up fillies & mares
Back at it again with another difficult first race, however this time we have some horses with a little bit of experience to go off of, so let’s find the winner. #1 Sneer is coming off a not so great race at Gulfstream in April, coming in 6th of 8. That being said, the track was sloppy at the time, and it was her first race at the shorter 7 furlong distance. She’s ran well in previous races but is yet to finish first. If she can hold up to the favorite’s late speed, she very well has a chance. #3 Love On The Run is Bill Mott’s first horse of the day, and if you’ve been following this blog then you know I’ve brought him up a lot this past week. Why? Well, he’s at 4,999 career wins, yet somehow he hasn’t been able to get a win since June 12th. Anyways, the 3 horse is a first time starter and has Junior Alvarado on the saddle. Not counting this one out, and certainly not counting Bill out. Lastly, the favorite #6 So Darn Hot is clearly the one to beat. She’s put up the best speed figures of the pack, and has significantly better late speed as well. However, if she goes off below 2-1, I’d look for value elsewhere.
Race 2 (1:50pm): $16,000 Claiming, 1 mile on the dirt, 3 yr olds and up
#3 Prince of New York broke his maiden back in January at Aqueduct, and although he was beaten his next time out, he showed respectable speed figures in both runs at the mile distance. He has some of the best early speed in this group yet has still been able to come from behind and win. Speaking of early speed, the favorite #5 Invest has been putting up incredible numbers compared to the rest of this pack, and against solid competition as well. Although he hasn’t been the winner recently, he’s shown in 7 out of his nine races, but this time around he’ll be the one to beat.
Race 3 (2:23pm): $40,000 Maiden Special Weight, 5 furlongs on the dirt, 2 yr old New York Bred fillies
Tough one to handicap here, as we only have one horse with race experience. But a field full of first time starters is a field of opportunity to me, so let’s capitalize on that. The clear favorite here is #6 Make Mischief, the juvenile daughter of Into Mischief, which is a big reason for her $285,000 price tag from last year’s auction in Saratoga. In a race like this, I usually don’t like picking the favorites, however I’d have a hard time going against Mark Casse and Jose Ortiz. In terms of value, I like #5 Going Going Gone, who is the daughter of Orb and has had impressive workout times, even when comparing them to the favorite’s. #2 Kokopelli is trained by Christophe Clement, who brings in $3.58 for $2 bettors of first time starters, a significantly higher number than that of any other trainer in this race. Difficult race, but one of these should snag it.
Race 4 (2:55pm): $12,500 Claiming, 8½ furlongs on the dirt, 3 yr olds and up
Let me preface this by saying that I’ll likely be playing the early pick 5 and singling out the favorite #1 Chief Know It All, however, I’ll also try and play an exacta and trifecta here as well. The #1 horse has been unstoppable recently, winning his last 4 races dating back to Saratoga in August. Not only this, but they were all at different tracks…and he’s only been improving in each run. I’ll take him to win his 5th straight at another new track. The next horse I like in this one is the experienced #8 Mills, who has been racing fairly consistently and has a long track record to back him up. I don’t know if he has what it takes to win this one, but I do believe he’s the second best of this field, and Eric Cancel has two wins with him recently. For value here, I’m taking #5 Street Trust, who has been somewhat struggling but has also put up considerable figures in the past. Last time Joel rode him was in Saratoga where they won by a nose, I like the value at 8-1 here.
Win – #1
Straight Exacta – 1/8
Trifecta – 1/ 5,8 / 5,8
Race 5 (3:27pm): $35,000 Claiming, 7 furlongs on the outer turf, 3 yr olds and up
Love. Love. Love this race. The reason? Well, the favorite is not going to win. #9 Shiraz may look to be the most talented of the bunch, but I’m fading him here. Instead, I’ll be riding #4 Septimius Severus, who just raced last week here against slightly better competition. I love the value at 6-1, love his early speed, and would love to see him cross the finish line first, just can’t die out in the final stretch. The next one I like it #2 Impazible Odds, another one that just raced in this summer Belmont meet. He was 32-1 in that race and ran well before tiring out in the end, although this time around he’s shortening up, which will certainly help his chances. At 10-1, he’s Impazible not to take. Manny Franco has been hot and he takes the saddle of #6 Cabinet Pik, who is back from a 9 month layoff. This race is on the turf, and the 6 horse has some of the best experience on the turf of this group, finishing in the money in 7 of 11 races on the turf.
MY EARLY PICK 5 CARD:
R3: 4/5/6 (added the 4 after the 2 scratched)
Total Cost: $36 for a $.50 ticket.
Thanks for reading, let me know what you think on Twitter @SpaSaturdays!