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What a day it was at Belmont Park yesterday. The best of the best put on a show, and made us remember why they are the best in the country. No Parole, Decorated Invader, Sweet Melania, Gamine, and Oleksandra were spectacular and lived up to the hype. Then Tiz the Law stole the show in the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes. He took over the race over at the top of the stretch and never looked back. Saturday reminded us why we love the sport so much, and gave us a glimpse of what we have to look forward to the rest of the year.
Best of luck!
Race 1: $40k Claiming for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the outer turf
#1 Shannon’s Girl took 14 starts to break her maiden status for a multitude of trainers, but she finished in the money in 9 of those and consistently factors into the race. #4 Temperance is a pure speedball who looks to have improved in 2020. Top rider Jose Ortiz is aboard for the first time. #5 Doll has disappointed bettors in her career, compiling only 1 win while favored in all but 1 start. After testing the waters against allowance runners, she should enjoy relief in the claiming ranks. #8 Noble Jewel makes her first start since last summer at Saratoga and drops to the claiming ranks in search of class relief while carrying 7-pound bug rider Luis Cardenas.
Race 2: Maiden Special Weight for 2-year-olds going 5 furlongs on the dirt
In a field of first-time starters, I am picking one with experience, #6 Zippy Baby, as my most likely winner. He gets Joel Rosario back aboard after finishing second on debut and he switches surfaces from turf to dirt, a move with which trainer Dermot Magner wins at 33% in the last 365 days. Other runner I am using is #3 Roderick.
Race 3: Allowance for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward going 1 1/4 miles (10 furlongs) on the inner turf
#2 Cap de Creus outclasses this field by quire a large margin and has 5 seconds from 13 starts, but she has only 1 victory so far. Her talent jumps off the screen, but she’s unreliable, to say the least. #5 Civil Union is a lightly-raced 5-year-old who has not run since January 30, but that shouldn’t scare bettors. Trainer Christophe Clement wins 19% with runners returning from similar layoffs and she is bred top to bottom for this distance.
Race 4: $25k Claiming for 3-year-olds and upward going 1 mile (8 furlongs) on the dirt
Rudy Rodriguez owns and trains #7 Bebe Banker, so it’s notable that he places him in the softest field that he’s faced to date. Last time out, he was a clear second-best to Our Last Buck, who won at the allowance level on June 11, and he nearly won a one-turn mile at Aqueduct last November.
Race 5: Allowance for 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the inner turf
I will try to close out the sequence by taking most of the field. My top choice, #2 Montaulk Daddy, was sixth in the Atlantic Beach Stakes at Aqueduct last year behind Jack and Noah, who just won Friday’s Sir Cat Stakes over this same course and distance. Linda Rice wins 25% with allowance runners and 20% with runners off six-month layoffs. Other runners I am using are #3 Morning Breez, #4 Mad Munnys, #6 Cucina, and #7 Quarky.
$.50 PICK 5 (Races 1-5) 1,4,5,8 / 3,6 / 2,5 / 7 / 2,3,4,6,7 – $40
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