(Photo by Eclipse Sportswire)
This week, we head to Belmont Park to take a look at their card for Saturday, June 27th.
Although I will have a short analysis for each race, I want to make a quick list of the main criteria of what I look at to make it easier. The list includes:
- Past performances (distance, track type, location, jockey)
- Jockey/Trainer stats
- Moving up/down in class
- Post position
- Speed Figures
- Current odds — how much value is there?
Finally, my picks are all based on the morning-line odds since I am writing this ahead of time. If the odds drop substantially lower by post time, it may not be my favorite play for the race anymore. Additionally, I don’t just bet to win. In horse racing, sometimes you have to get creative. I’m not gonna get into any exotics during this article, but I might in the future. Bet at your own risk! Let’s get into it.
I decided to change up the format a little for this week. I’m gonna give my top three plays for each race.
I’m going with the chalk to start the day for R1. The (2) Sun Summers opens at a ML of 8/5, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it close around even money. Irad Ortiz Jr., the best jockey at Belmont, takes the mount and shouldn’t see too much competition amongst this field.
1st Pick: (2) Sun Summers- ML 8/5
2nd Pick: (6) Peaceful Feeling- ML 3/1
3rd Pick: (9) Sky Kitten – ML 10/1
I’m backing the (6) Foolish Ghost here in this seven furlong tilt on the dirt. Irad should have the (6) breaking fast to the front from the gate, and will probably be right up front alongside the (2)Horoscope. These two are the pacesetters, but I think the (6) should be able to hold the field off down the stretch as well. The (6) Foolish Ghost is also coming off two recent bullet workouts, and is a great bet at his ML of 3/1.
1st Pick: (6) Foolish Ghost – ML 3/1
2nd Pick: (5) Shamrock Kid- ML 5/2
3rd Pick: (2) Horoscope- ML 6/1
This is a great field, and there are a lot of threats at decent prices across the board. I have a slight edge in favor of the (8) Bourbon Currency at his current ML of 7/2. Amongst this field, the (8) shows the most consistency. Jose Ortiz won his only race on the mount earlier this month, beating two of the other competitors in this race. If the odds do drop substantially, I would probably look elsewhere for some more value.
1st Pick: (8) Bourbon Currency- ML 7/2
2nd Pick: (7) Yes and Yes- ML 8/1
3rd Pick: (2) Kumar- ML 3/1
I don’t see the favorite getting beat here in this field of eight. The (3) Timely Tradition has won two straight and is looking to make it three after a slight move up in class. Two great recent Beyer figures have her as the ML favorite at 8/5. She will be my first pick, and I’ll be using the (6) Miss Lily B underneath as a 12/1 longshot. A big move up in class, but five wins in her last six, with her only loss coming in the slop, is enough to catch my eye at that price.
1st Pick: (3) Timely Tradition – ML 8/5
2nd Pick: (6) Miss Lily B – ML 12/1
3rd Pick: (7) Bertranda- ML 4/1
Trainer Michael Pino has the (7) Your Awesome Boss entered in his second start, and Pino’s maidens win 40% of the time in their second appearance. A decent debut by the (7) has him ready to look for an improvement and is a real threat here at 4/1.
1st Pick: (7) Your Awesome Boss- ML 4/1
2nd Pick: (5) Flying Finish- ML 7/2
3rd Pick: (11) Papa Luke -ML 9/2
I don’t see any true threats to chase down the (6) Ima Pharoah, and the Irad/Pletcher combo should have no issue transitioning to the turf. I’m gonna keep an eye at the number, because if it’s much below the 2/1 ML then there may not be much value. Elsewhere, the (1) Propensity may be the true competition if Rosario can get a good break from the rail.
1st Pick: (6) Ima Pharaoh- ML 2/1
2nd Pick: (1) Propensity- ML 4/1
3rd Pick: (7) Monkeyseemonkeydo- ML 12/1
Finally, a G3 stakes race to watch! The ML favorite (5) Come Dancing has been trending downwards, and I don’t like the short odds. Additionally, the (3) Chalon is coming off a long layoff, also causing my eyes to look elsewhere. I’m landing on the (1) Royal Charlotte with Irad aboard. Her two poor performances came against the best competition in the US, losing to names like Covfefe, Bellafina, and Indian’s Pride. Chad Brown has a decent win percentage at this meet and now picks up the best jockey at Belmont. At a ML of 7/2, I’ll be sticking with the (1) Royal Charlotte to pick up another graded stakes win.
1st Pick: (1) Royal Charlotte- ML 7/2
2nd Pick: (2) Mother Mother- ML 4/1
3rd Pick: (3) Chalon- ML 5/2
Another stakes race, this time a G2. We move to the turf, and I don’t see how the (1) Call Me Love gets beat here. Coming over from Great Britain, the (1) is coming off a 2nd place in the G3 Beaugay earlier this month. Losing to Rushing Fall isn’t a concern whatsoever, and this field looks weaker overall. Trainer Christopher Clement has won this stakes race four times in his career, and should have the (1) ready to go. Irad also takes the mount, which is just icing on the cake for me. The (5) Valiance is my value pick in this race, and I’ll be using her underneath in my exotics. Castellano takes the mount which is a good sign considering he has consistently been aboard the (3) and (4) throughout their careers. Solid speed figures on the turf, and if she improves at all she could be right up near the front at the wire.
1st Pick: (1) Call Me Love(GB)- ML 9/5
2nd Pick: (5) Valiance- ML 15/1
3rd Pick: (6) Mrs. Sippy- ML 5/2
Now we move back to another G2, back on the dirt. The (7) Promises Fulfilled is in his first race since October, but he’ll be tough to catch as he clearly has the most speed in this field. I’m actually looking elsewhere for my first pick, as the (3) presents extreme value to me. A ML of 10/1, the (3) Wicked Trick is coming off an unlucky fifth place trip in March. Before that, he had rallied off six straight wins. They weren’t against this type of competition, but his speed figures suggest he can compete. He also cuts back to a sprint and may have the tactical speed to surprise people if Lezcano has a great trip. I’m feeling a price here, so he will be my first preference.
1st Pick: (3) Wicked Trick- ML 10/1
2nd Pick: (7) Promises Fulfilled- ML 7/5
3rd Pick: (1) Diamond King- ML 5/1
Time for a G1 on the turf! I can’t find anything to knock the (4) Newspaperofrecord. Her three year old campaign was disappointing but she came right back with a G3 win here at Belmont earlier this week, posting her best Beyer figure yet. The ML favorite (6) is obviously a huge threat, as Uni (GB) has gone seven for eight at this one mile distance since the beginning of 2018. The layoff since November scares me, and if anything goes wrong, I don’t see her being able to beat the (4).
1st Pick: (4) Newspaperofrecord (IRE)- ML 8/5
2nd Pick: (6) Uni (GB)- ML 7/5
3rd Pick: (3) Valedictorian- ML 20/1
We end the day with a maiden on the turf. I like the drop in class here for the (8) Brice. Coming off a poor performance and a layoff, I still think this field is very beatable and I don’t hate the price of 7/2. If it drops, I’ll look elsewhere but if he’s closing at 7/2 near post time, I’ll be cheering him on.
1st Pick: (8) Brice – ML 7/2
2nd Pick: (11) Sandy Lane Kitten- ML 9/2
3rd Pick: (7) Power Boss- ML 20/1
If you have any questions feel free to ask me on Twitter! My handle is at the top of the article. Thanks for reading everyone! Best of luck to all of you and keep an eye out for future articles and picks!