One of the biggest days of the Belmont Park fall meet is upon us! Saturday’s card has 11 fantastic races, highlighted by three graded stakes and the final jewels of the Turf Tiara and the Turf Trinity. The Jockey Club Derby Invitational also provides a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Breeders’ Cup Turf in just a couple of months’ time. Luckily for you, I have the single maiden special weight (MSW) race covered as well! 

Saratoga Meet Statistics (Final)

Races Top 4 Wins Top 4 Exactas Top 4 Trifectas Top 4 Supers
67 48 27 16 3

Belmont Meet Statistics

Races Top 4 Wins Top 4 Exactas Top 4 Trifectas Top 4 Supers
0 0 0 0 0
 
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Race 5: $75,000 MSW for 2-year-olds going 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt

#7 Alpha Sixty Six (5/2) will make his long-awaited debut for the Todd Pletcher barn after training all summer at Saratoga. On August 26, he ran 4 furlongs in :47.83, one of the lowest times posted all summer. His sire, Liam’s Map, broke his maiden at Belmont Park in 2014 and went on to win the Woodward Stakes (G1) and the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). He has the pedigree, the connections, and the price tag ($400,000) to suggest that he should be full of run.

It wouldn’t be a 2-year-old race on the NYRA circuit without a Chad Brown runner. #4 Democratic Values (8/5) is one of many Brown runners expected to make a splash in his juvenile campaign, and like Alpha Sixty Six, he trained at Saratoga this summer. His sire, Honor Code, won the Met Mile (G1) in 2015 and finished in the money in all three starts at Belmont Park. The ultimate question is, can he live up to the hype that has been thrown his way?

#3 Unprecedented (6/1) ran his heart out on debut. Coming into that race, he trained well in the mornings, and John Kimmel had high hopes for his young colt. At almost 29/1, he outran his odds and showed a lot of early speed. He broke away extremely well but ultimately lost out to a few of the runners with prior experience. Having been on the race track already should improve his chances here in his second career start.

Bill Mott chose to keep his Into Mischief colt #1 Hemlock (3/1) in his debut after the race came off of the turf. Hemlock was 4/5 but didn’t produce the result that the betting public had hoped for. He was close through the far turn, but as they reached the top of the stretch, he never fired, failing to finish strong. It’ll be interesting to see if Junior Alvarado pushes him to the front to set the fractions, or if he keeps him a couple of lengths off in an effort to nail the front-runners at the wire.

Ricky’s Picks: 7-4-3-1

 
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Good luck to everyone playing and be sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyP_15 for more NYRA race previews as we take a look at Belmont Park!

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