Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, October 28, 2017
This is closing weekend at Belmont Park; next week, the action shifts over to Aqueduct. Belmont’s going out with a bang; there’s four stakes on the card. First post time is 12:25 PM EDT.
We’ve got Mike Mahon (@MikeMahonPA) providing free picks & analysis of all the racing action. Mike handicapped Saturdays at Saratoga this meet, and we’re happy to have him in the same role at Belmont.
Take it away, Mike!
Race 1, 1 1/4 Mile (Inner Turf), Maiden $90,000
7 w 6
This is a rather long jaunt to kick off the afternoon. 7 Ormolu appears to be on the upswing, and should be able to settle in out front. I’ll put 6 Double Cast underneath because she likes to contend but apparently is averse to winning.
Race 2, 6 1/2 Furlongs, Claiming $20,000
4 to win
4 w 3
4 Set the Trappe drops back to the $20k ranks after taking a shot at a $50k allowance. This probably suits him better, as well as 3 Conquest Twister who’s dropping from a $40k claimer.
Race 3, 6 Furlongs (Inner Turf) Maiden $60,000
2, 4 to win
This is a healthy mix of somewhat experienced runners and first-timers. I’m leaning towards the latter, specifically 2 No Mo Promises and 4 Pequeno Grande. Both of these first-timers should take a liking to the turf.
Race 4, 1 Mile, Claiming $12,500
6 w 1
6 Point Hope ran circles around similar two back, winning by over nine lengths. He then made a very aggressive jump in class to a $50k allowance, where he lost by less than two lengths, and is now back in the 12.5 claiming ranks. He should be able to handle this afternoon’s competition, but I think his odds will be pretty short. I’ll go with 1 War Eagle’s Return underneath.
Race 5, 1 Mile (Turf) Maiden $75,000
8 to win
6/8 w 5
Depending on his price, I’ll be tempted to play 8 Le Condor pretty aggressively. He ran a bullet workout on the 14th, and should be chomping at the bit when he gets to the gate. He could make some noise if he breaks clean.
7 Congruity is a speed horse. Though I don’t see him running wild out front this afternoon, he may be able to distance himself and hit the wire before falling back. This may be to the advantage of 6 Assay, who appears to be a little pace-dependent. 5 Witch Doctor should show. 11 Fast Boat could also finish in the money.
Race 6, 6 Furlongs (Inner Turf) Maiden $75,000
6 to win
6/7 w 5
6 Danyelli has never run on the grass, but ran very well in her first out before slowing down a bit down the backstretch. I like her in the two spot this afternoon, and she should be able to get out front and finish strong. 5 Tap Tap Taparoo has been training well and should like the grass. 8 Thea Afroditi is also well bred and also bears consideration. 7 Mo Shopping is a Pletcher horse and will offer a very short price.
Race 7, 1 1/16 Miles (Turf), Athenia Stakes (Grade 3)
3, 4 to win
This race presents a good opportunity to make some dough. There’s a good amount of speed here which could set up nicely for the morning line favorite, 7 Off Limits, but at 2/1 I’ll look elsewhere for heftier payout.
This is a pretty deep field and nothing’s really jumping out to me, so I’ll stay away from the exotics and instead single 4 Juno (at 10/1) or 3 My Impression (8/1). Both should be able to linger close to the front of the pack and come on down the stretch. 1 Elysea’s World also deserves a look, but personally reluctant to play a deep closer in a field of twelve. I hate seeing them get stuck in traffic.
Race 8, 1 1/16 Miles Turnback the Alarm Handicap (Grade 3)
3 w 4/7 w 4/7
2 Tejana could potentially wire this field, not so much because she’s the best horse but because she looks like the only one who wants to get out front. She’s stepping up in class, but it’s a short field and she could get loose. 3 Miss Sky Warrior probably won’t let her get too far out front and will most likely wear her down. 4 Verve’s Tale and 7 Eskenformoney will most likely creep in at the end to round out the trifecta.
Race 9, 7 Furlongs, Bold Ruler Handicap (Grade 3)
9 to win
9 w 11 w 7
9 Seymourdini continues to climb in class after running lights out in his last three races. Although this came against lower class competition, he was the pace-setter in each of his last three outings. He’ll run as fast he wants, and it’s up to the rest of the field to catch him.
11 Divining Rod is probably the most likely contender, in part because he’s been the most consistent. He’s comfortable stalking, and should be able to come on down the stretch if Seymourdini doesn’t get too far out front. Watch for 7 Stallwalkin’ Dude to also put up a fight, though he may slip to fourth behind 2 Awesome Banner.
Race 10, 1 Mile (Turf) Awad Stakes $100,000
5 to win
5 w 8
10 Lone Sentry and 6 War Chest have shown they can win a turf route, but 10 Lone Sentry did not fare too well in more competitive maiden company so I’ll have to throw him out. 6 War Chest did well in his only out, and I’ll look for more of the same this afternoon. 5 Sand Dancer should be able to get out front here. 8 V.I.P. Code could contend, though the stretch and surface change may be asking too much.
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