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Ricky’s Rockets ?: Belmont Park Picks for June 5, 2020
Credit: NYRA

Ricky’s Rockets ?: Belmont Park Picks for June 5, 2020

Another great day of racing at Belmont Park features the first running of the Harmony Lodge Stakes, highlighted by Bob Baffert’s Mother Mother. Friday’s Early Pick 5 is highlighted by one of my favorite longshots – read along to find out who.

Best of luck!

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Race 1: $14k Claiming for 3-year-olds and upward going 1 1/16 miles (8 1/2 furlongs) on the dirt

#2 Grit and Glory has been in two claiming races since breaking his maiden, finishing first and second. This is his first time running for Todd Pletcher and he gets Manny Franco to ride for his first trip over this track. His class drop makes him tough to beat against a weak field. #3 Walkoff had high aspirations after starting his career 2-for-2 here at Belmont Park. Since those starts, he struggled against much tougher, but he finds his way back to the main track (nicknamed “Big Sandy”), where he’s performed his best.

Race 2: $40k Claiming for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and upward going 1 1/16 miles (8 1/2 furlongs) on the inner turf

#7 Tiltingatwindmills is the horse to beat on paper and has been favored in three straight, winning once. Brown has an astounding 50% win rate at the claiming ranks in the last 365 days and her morning line odds of 3/5 are an indication of the Brown/Castellano duo (28% since 2019). If she falters, then #10 Alley to Calvary is the next logical choice. It’s always tough for speed to hold on late in turf routes, so Alley to Calvary might be in the perfect position to get a jump on Tiltingatwindmills and pass the early speed late.

Race 3: $10k Claiming for 3-year-olds and upward going 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt

#2 Vincero makes his way to Belmont Park for the first time after struggling this year, though that can be a more of a testament of who he’s faced, as Where Paradise Lay and Blue Bluff were next-out winners after beating him. This is a massive class drop and he gets the services of Jose Ortiz, one of the best jockeys around. #6 Earned Success is a class dropper making his 2020 debut. Jose Lezcano wins 26% for trainer Linda Rice and should have him on or near the front end.

Race 4: Maiden Special Weight for New York-bred 3-year-olds and upward going 6 furlongs on the dirt

This field of 14 only has six runners with prior experience. #3 Midnight Whisky was hustled up after breaking slowly in his debut, then tired out of contention once the real running began. He gets an upgrade to Joel Rosario and should improve from his debut. #12 Mr. Buckley looked the best of any entries with prior experience when finishing second in his debut last itme out. I’m not sure if there’s a first-time starter here who can get by if he establishes an early lead. 

Race 5: $40k Maiden Claiming for 3-year-olds and upward going 1 mile (8 furlongs) on the outer turf

#4 Idle Time is by my favorite sire, Into Mischief, and trainer Christophe Clement excels at 31% when dropping his horses in for a tag following a maiden special weight effort. Idle Time gets one of the circuit’s more underrated riders, Eric Cancel, as well. #9 Monkeyseemonkeydo finished third by 3/4 of a length at this level two starts back at Aqueduct, and that race’s winner, Bray, was one of the favorites on Belmont Park’s opening day card. Mike Maker’s trainees win at 42% when entering the maiden claiming ranks. Bill Mott sent #10 Abrupt to Florida to begin his 3-year-old campaign, and based on his odds and performances in two races, he was outclassed. He should fare much better in this lesser spot. #11 Basie finished off the board in all four of her prior starts and struggled on both surfaces while failing to finish any better than fifth. This field isn’t nearly as strong as what she’s faced, though, and it’s not wise to dismiss Chad Brown trainees on the turf in New York.


$.50 PICK 5 (Races 1-5) 2,3,5 / 7,10 / 2,6,11,14 / 3,5,12 / 4,9,10,11 – $144

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