As I write my final article for the Belmont Park meet, it’s been a great pleasure to have covered the meet in its entirety.

Tiz the Law won the Belmont Stakes (G1) in style and is poised for a Triple Crown run. Vekoma won both the Carter Handicap (G1) and the Met Mile (G1). One of my favorite fillies, Newspaperofrecord, looked better than ever, and Gamine estalished herself as one of the best 3-year-old fillies.

The early Pick 5 sequence is tough, but let’s try to close it out strong before we head to Saratoga.

Best of luck!

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Race 1: Optional Claiming for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt

#1 Fair Regis ran a winning race last time out off of the layoff at this level, continuing her momentum in the stretch before getting caught in the final 50 yards. She is a logical choice in this spot as she breaks from the rail. #5 Sadie Lady comes out of the same race as Fair Regis and tried to do her best to hold on late after setting the pace. Look for Kendrick Carmouche to employ the same tactics once again and get her back to the winner’s circle.

Race 2: Maiden Special Weight for New York-bred 2-year-olds going 5 1/2 furlongs on the dirt

This is one of the tougher state-bred maiden special weight races of the meet. #6 Thin White Duke had a rough go of things in his debut. He hit the gate at the start and was dead last early on and forced to close. There will be a ton of competition from the first-timers, but that experience he gained a few weeks ago should help him immensely in his second start. The other runners I will be using are #4 Cotton, #5 Perfect Munnings, #7 Lookin for Trouble, and #8 War Call.

Race 3: $16k Claiming for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward going 1 mile (8 furlongs) on the dirt

#6 Wear My Ring gets blinkers for the first time under Todd Pletcher as she makes her return to the dirt. She did no running on the turf in her last start, but that was to be expected off of the layoff. Adding blinkers, returning to her preferred surface, and the second start off of the layoff are all factors that make her my top choice. #7 Intoxicologist is another runner who gets back to her preferred surface. She made her first start in her new barn on the turf at the beginning of the meet going 8 1/2 furlongs. This one-turn mile on the dirt and a drop in class are all positive signs for her.

Race 4: $40k Maiden Claiming for New York-bred 3-year-olds and upward going 1 mile (8 furlongs) on the outer turf

#3 Klickitat is one of the more frustrating horses to play on the circuit. He has the talent but doesn’t seem to want to win. I’m willing to give him one final chance as he drops in for a tag for the first time in his career. #12 Petrus ran incredibly well in his debut going this distance on the turf. He did well to close into a modest pace from the back of the pack. Jose Ortiz picks up the mount for Michael Dickinson as Petrus has every right to improve off of his first start.

Race 5: $35k Claiming for 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the inner turf

#1 Onthewaytonevrland makes his Belmont Park and 2020 debuts for Wesley Ward. He’s run against Avie’s Flatter, Henley’s Joy, and Stubbins – all much tougher than what this field has to offer. He clearly outclasses this group but hasn’t been in the winners’ circle in over a year. This is the perfect time to get some value on him, and off of the layoff, 7/2 is a great price. The other runners to use are #6 Fooch, #8 Bourbon Currency, #9 Le General, and #11 Tenure.

THE TICKET

50¢ PICK 5 (Races 1-5) 1,5 / 4-8 / 6,7 / 3,12 / 1,6,8,9,11 – $100