Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Today’s the final Saturday of racing at the Belmont spring meet, before the action shifts over to the Spa. There’s eleven races on today’s program, and Mike Mahon (@MikeMahonPA) is here to provide FREE picks & analysis of his favorite races on the card. Be sure to give him a follow on twitter.
Take it away, Mike!
Race 2, 7 Furlongs (Turf), Maiden $62,000
2 to win
2 w 3
2 w 3/4 w 3/4
The second race on the card features a maiden sprint on the grass! 10 Super Mama is your morning line favorite, but doesn’t look like a strong play as she’s run three times and only placed in the money in a route. I prefer 2 She’s Dreamin. She’s place in the money in both starts, and starts close enough to the rail here to set up for a good trip. 3 Tizza Temper has improved on the grass and cuts back from her last two trips. 4 Here Comes Jody is a first time starter whose strongest selling point is that she hasn’t lost yet.
Race 3, 6 Furlongs, Rockville Centre Stakes, $100,000
3 to win
3 w 4
Our first stakes race of the card looks like it could come down to the wire. Keep an eye on these two year olds, as we’re all hoping the winner will be live down the backstretch on the first Saturday of May next spring. 3 Morrison destroyed his three challengers in his only race, winning by a deceiving 17 lengths last month. I have to think the 17 lengths say more about his competition than it does about him, but it’s hard to bet against that performance. Similarly, 4 What a Catch won convincingly last out against a field of six challengers, and racked up faster fractions at a shorter distance. I’m not impressed by 5 Morning Breez’s win, and think someone else will sneak into the trifecta. I can’t say who it will be, and will probably just throw in the longest odds.
Race 4, 6 Furlongs (Inner Turf), Optional Claiming $40,000, Purse $67,000
5 to win
This is a healthy field of seven, and at first glance I don’t see anyone you can throw out. I’m inclined to go with 5 Fire Key – she won her last race on this track in impressive fashion. After dueling early, she pulled away to finish almost five lengths ahead. While this run will be a slight jump in class, she’s had just enough time to rest (47 days), and I think I’ll go with her despite her short odds. 2 Vicki’s Dancer ships over from Parx (PA) and last out ran an impressive 0:58.1 at 5 furlongs. I think she’ll be outclassed here, but she’s worth throwing into your exotics at a moderate payout.
Race 5, 6 Furlongs, Claiming $25,000 3L
6 to win
5 Novique is a puzzling play because he was claimed last out, switched trainers, and is now for sale a steep discount. You never know the owner’s motivation, and if this actually means the horse can’t win at this level, but I’m reluctant to play at a short price when the connections are holding a fire sale. I’d prefer to play a horse like 6 Preziosa, who’s coming off a claim at $16,000 and his connections want to see what she can do.
Race 6 (Turf), Claiming $40,000 2L
8 to win
This is a very deep field of maybe a dozen contestants with no clear cut favorite. There are a few legit contenders with some long odds here. At the morning line price of 12/1, I really like 8 Mollica. He’s coming in second off a claim and drops in class while cutting back in distance. He likes to get out front early, and if he can set or press the pace today I think he has a good shot at blowing up the tote boards. While there’s no way I’d single him in my horizontals, I won’t be bashful of betting him heavy on a win.
I don’t like 2 Yummy Bear at all. He’s not a sprinter.
6 Retrograde won his first out at five and a half furlongs, then finished a deceptive fourth less than two lengths back of the winner. At 15/1, I think he’s a live play with Irad Ortiz quarterbacking his run.
Race 7 (Inner Turf), Maiden Claiming $40,000
1 to win
1 w 13 w 3
Wow. We see a dozen maiden clamoring for a win at a mile and a sixteenth. While the majority have never gone this distance, 5 Danny’s Rush managed to show one and a half lengths back in November.
1 Bats Cleanup has an unlikely name, but is a likely contender. I see him riding the rail and setting up nicely for a big push down the backstretch, and I don’t see any reason his competitors won’t run out of gas. 13 Captain Kitt has shown improvement lately and will either bounce or show strong form. At 5/1, I’m willing to take the risk and hope he’s able to place if he draws off the also-eligible list. I like 3 Tap City to round out the trifecta; his breeding suggests grass at 20/1 is too long to pass up in a wide open field.
Race 8, 1 mile (Turf), Forbidden Apple Stakes ($150,000)
3 to win
I fell in love with 7 Mohaymen in his two year old season, and thought he was a legit contender in the last year’s Kentucky Derby. Unfortunately, his career has been a precipitous mudslide since the Fountain of Youth in April 2016. I can’t imagine he good on grass and nobody’s ever tried it before. I hope for his sake he’s good on grass, and I’m willing to lose my money on a more sensible play.
That “sensible” play is not your morning line favorite 9 Disco Partner. He’s a closer that’s never gone a mile. I don’t want to take the risk of him being stuck in traffic or needing to go wide.
Instead I’ll play the presser 3 Grand Arch. This guy has looked foolish in his last two outs under the guidance of his new trainer Erin Cotterill, who’s severely outclassed him in G1 Stakes. Grand Arch is much better suited for this afternoon’s moderately priced stakes competition, and offers nice payout at 5/1.
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