Belmont Park’s Saturday card lived up to the hype. Victim of Love, Mean Mary, Firenze Fire, and Newspaperofrecord all looked impressive in their respective starts. The fantastic day of racing across the country is what makes this the best sport in the country!

Sunday’s early Pick 5 is another tough one, but hopefully not as chalky as recent days.

Best of luck!

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Race 1: $40k Maiden Claiming for New York-bred 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt

#7 True Grace held his own at the state-bred maiden special weight level and is now in for a tag. Christophe Clement’s runners have won 40% in the last 365 days when making that type of class drop.

Race 2: $12,500 for 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt

TOP CHOICE #8 GRAVES ISLAND IS SCRATCHED!Β Will be using usingΒ #1 Deep Sea, #2 Hardcore Folklore, #3 Moneymeister, #5 Earned Success, and #7 Business Cycle.

Race 3: Allowance for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward going 1 mile (8 furlongs) on the outer turf

On paper, #1 Jazzique will be tough to beat. Chad Brown and Irad Ortiz, Jr., team up as she returns from a long layoff, but they faced this same situation last Friday and Good Governance won with ease as the odds-on favorite. The most logical runner if Jazzique falters is #7 Hotsy Totsy. She has a race under her belt, coming within a neck of victory. She will need to replicate that effort again to defeat this small yet talented field.

Race 4: $40k Claiming for 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the inner turf

#6 Hurricane Hill drops in class for trainer Linda Rice, who has won 21% in the last 365 days when Jose Lezcano hops aboard. #7 Deputy Flag is the most likely front-runner who will garner plenty of attention as he makes his first start off the claim for Brad Cox, which carries a 28% strike rate.

Race 5: $20k Claiming for 3-year-olds and upward going 1 1/16 miles (8 1/2 furlongs) on the dirt

#2 Walkoff absolutely loves this track, winning all 3 of his career efforts over it. He’s also the only runner in this field with less than 10 starts under his belt, and trainer Brad Cox has been hot so far this meet (7 wins from 22 starters). #4 California Night takes a substantial drop in class after facing much higher-priced claimers. His last effort is discouraging, but if you scratch it out (it was his first start in four months), then his other efforts fit well with this group. #6 Lil Commissioner hasn’t run since early March when former trainer Jorge Navarro was busted by the FBI, but he has the talent to beat this group. I’m not confident that changing barns to a non-alleged cheater will help him sustain his prior level, but he needs to be used on all tickets in case he can.

THE TICKET

$1 PICK 5 (Races 1-5) 7 / 1,2,3,5,7 / 1,4,7 / 6,7 / 2,4,6 – $90