Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Outside of Belmont Stakes day, you won’t find a bigger day of action at the Belmont spring meet than today. Today’s eleven-race program at Belmont features five stakes races, including fantastic renewals of the Belmont Oaks and Belmont Derby. Mike Mahon (@mikemahonPA) has you covered with FREE picks & analysis of all the action. Good luck to everyone, and take it away, Mike!
Today’s card features eleven races with five stakes races sandwiched in between. The Grade 3 Dwyer goes off at 4:38 pm EDT, and that’s where my analysis begins.
For reference, I represent myself as a value player. I’m reluctant to play chalk and I don’t cash a lot of tickets. But when I do cash my tickets, it’s often at the IRS window. (*NOTE* That last statement was entirely untrue. I have no idea where the IRS window is at Penn National, and I have literally been there over a hundred times. In fact, I don’t even know if the IRS window is a real “thing” or just something people say. Hopefully, I’ll find out soon enough!).
Race 6, 1 Mile, (Dirt), $400,000 Dwyer Stakes (Grade 3)
2 w 3/5; 2 w 3/5 w 1
The first stakes race of the day features a short field of five three-year-olds racing to the tape for a $220,000 jackpot. There’s very little reason to doubt that 2 Battalion Runner will get there first. He’s the lone front runner in the pack and has looked good in his two previous routes. He came up a tad short in his last out, which was a Grade 2 at one and eighth where he was run down on the backstretch. There shouldn’t be enough runway to catch him this afternoon. He’s offering a very short price (6/5 on the morning line) so the only way to make any dough in this one will be dress up your exotics.
We last saw 3 Practical Joke rounding out the Super Hi-Five in the Kentucky Derby. If this were a deeper field and Battalion Runner were pressed, Practical Joke may be a legit win contender. Practical Joke will more than likely be battling for second a few lengths back. That contender should be 5 Giuseppe the Great. Practical Joke has already proven his ability to go a mile, while Giuseppe is stretching out an additional furlong. Their respective morning line odds reflect this, and I’ll play them both underneath in my exacta. Rather than throw them both in the trifecta, I’ll put 1 Tale of Silence in third for no reason other than he has the longest odds.
2/1 w 2/8/9/10 w 6 w 1/3/7
Race 7, 7 Furlongs (Dirt) $350,000 Belmont Sprint Championship Stakes (Grade 2)
2 w 1/3/6
Be careful here. This is the kind of race where there’s a clear favorite and your knee jerk reaction is to look for reasons to bet against the favorite. 2 Mind Your Biscuits is heavily favored for a reason – he’s showing excellent form after taking the last three months off following the Dubai Golden Shaheen. He has five wins from fifteen starts with $2,015,166 in earnings, and looks to add to that today while punching his ticket to Breeders’ Cup Sprint. You need to include him in your horizontals.
1 Stallwalkin’ Dude has the best name in horse racing. I would imagine he’d have a pretty cool haircut if he was a basketball player. You can’t ignore him.
If you’re looking for value 6 Green Gratto has the potential to wire the field and opens the day at 20/1.
The 20/1 underdog 3 Fellowship could benefit most if the pace gets too hot for human hands or horse hooves. It’s unlikely, but worth mentioning.
Race 8, 1 1/4 miles (Turf), $1,000,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational (Grade 1)
8/2 w 8/10/2
Chad Brown has won this race three out of the last four years. He’s got four runners in this round. He’ll win again this year, but I hope it’s not with the favorite. 12 Sistercharlie opens up at very small odds. Sharpies seem to get pretty excited about Chad Brown turf horses, but you might want to temper your ambitions here. Keep in mind this one’s only been in his barn a couple of weeks. She has super short odds, and though you’d be foolish not to include her in your horizontals, you probs need to look elsewhere for value.
9 Dynatail is gonna gun it. If you think she can wire this field and you’re correct, you’re in for a hefty payday.
10 Fifty Five could be sitting on a huge effort, along with a healthy payout. She may not have enough to finish first, but she could round out a good exacta or trifecta.
In the race I see 8 New Money Honey sits back and presses, and turns it on down the backstretch.
Race 9, 1 1/4 miles (Dirt), $750,000 Suburban Stakes (Grade 2)
6 Shaman Ghost is fast. That’s a really good talent to have when you’re in a race. Just single him in your horizontal, and lay off the exacta and tri because they won’t pay anything.
2 Matt King Coal is a burner that likes to get out front. He’ll lead most of today’s race, and you’ll probably be pretty excited the whole time if you bet him. But Javier Castellano knows exactly how much horse he’s on, and will push Shaman Ghost just enough at the right time.
I lost a couple pockets full of dough on 1 Keen Ice during American Pharoah’s Triple Crown run. He had great odds! That’s because he wasn’t going to win. He has no front end speed and is dependent on a hot pace to win. If you recall, he did eventually overtake Pharoah but that was because Frosted wouldn’t quit and wore down the Horse of the Century. As a result of Frosted’s moral victory, Keen Ice spends the rest of his life as an underlay in the 4/1 range. Today he’ll manage to squeak out a $17 trifecta, then go back to the barn and tell all his friends about the time he beat American Pharoah that one time. Needless to say, I really hate this horse.
Race 10, 1 1/4 miles (Turf), $1,200,000 Belmont Derby Invitational (Grade 1)
This is a big field of eleven horses and they’re all very talented. The wise guys are whispering about 7 Yoshida. Ignore the buzz.
1 Good Samaritan looks competitive at the sizzling price of 12/1. I think he’ll be bet down significantly, but I’ll still take him anywhere above 5/1.
3 Homesman could also be nice, as he’s rockin’ Lasix for the first time.
6 Arklow doesn’t set up well – he’s never come off a layoff, and is coming off a peak performance. It looks like they’re setting him up to bounce. It’s time like this I wish you bet who comes in last.
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