Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, October 7, 2017
It’s the biggest day of the Belmont fall season: Jockey Club Gold Cup day. This year’s renewal draws a field of seven, headlined by Keen Ice, plus up-and-coming three-year-olds Good Samaritan and Pavel. That will go as the 10th of 11 races on the card, with a post time of around 5:30 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, 7 Furlongs (Turf)
2 w 3 w 7
2 Brattata failed as favorite last out, but she was coming on strong at the end and should benefit from the added distance. I also like 3 Night Time Lady despite her most recent work leaving much to be desired. 7 Reality Queen doesn’t look like she wants to win. She keeps switching distances, but seems to like the turf and could end up in the money.
Race 2, 1 1/16 Allowance $77,000
3 w 1/5
This is a pretty short field with the obvious favorite, 3 Copper Town, offering a fairly short price (7/5 on the morning line). I like 1 Hookup and 5 Glennrichment underneath to hopefully bring in a decent payout.
Race 3, 6 Furlongs (Turf)
4 to win
5 Disco Partner is heavy fave, but I love 4 Bold Thunder to pull off the big upset.
Race 4, 1 1/16 (Turf) Maiden $75,000
2 w 3
2 Ambassador Jim looks good, and he could be well positioned on the inside. 3 Blockade could also contend, but I don’t like his odds enough to put him on top.
Race 5, 1 1/16 (Inner Turf) Allowance $50,000
8 to win
2/7 to win
8 Patriot Drive is a major threat if he’s able to get out front. He’s been running well since switching to Danny Gargan’s barn, and has come up frustratingly short in his last two outs. I like him today at 4/1. 2 King of Spades could benefit from the slight drop in class as well as shortening a bit. 7 Caribbean steps up in class after winning by over two lengths three weeks ago. 3 Shamcat also steps up in class, but I’m not sure he can win off the claim.
Race 6, 7 Furlongs Maiden $75,000
3 or 4 or 10 (6/1 or better)
Only three of these 12 two-year-olds have run before, of which I only view 8 St. Augustine as playable. 6 Allured will be heavily bet, which is a bit of a turnoff for me given the unpredictability of the contest.
I’ll play the board with three first-timers: 10 Personal Time, 4 Labeq, and 3 Triple Dog Dare. If any of these three go off over 6/1, I’ll play them to win.
Race 7, 6 1/2 Claiming $25,000
5 w 7 w 6
5 Scarly Charly should run well at this level and find a new home after the race. 7 Monte Man may also benefit from the class drop. Look for 6 Helooksthepart to round out the trifecta.
On a separate note, have you ever seen a horse with more claims than 3 Saratoga Wildcat?
Race 8, 1 mile Champagne Stakes (Grade 1)
9 w 1
The first stakes race of the afternoon features a robust slate of 12 two-year-olds, and we look forward to chattering about the winner’s route to the Triple Crown. 1 Kowboy Karma draws the post, and should be able to settle in nicely and set himself up for an aggressive challenge down the backstretch. 9 Honorable Treasure was pulling away to win by over six lengths in his last out, and the extra furlong this afternoon shouldn’t be an issue. It’s unclear what to expect from the rest of the field, as their distances have been quite short. There’s a lot of speed horses in the mix, and I don’t foresee any one of them running free.
Race 9, 1 1/8 (Inner Turf) Hill Prince Stakes (Grade 3)
2/4 w 2/4 w 9
This is another deep field, but it’s chalky on top. 2 Yoshida and 4 Frostmourne should be able to handle this crowd, with 9 Rocketry pulling up the rear.
Race 10, 1 1/4 Jockey Club Gold Cup (Grade 1)
1 w 4/7
1 w 4/7 w 4/7
I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat myself again – I’ve never profited from a race in which Keen Ice was involved. I’m not gonna let him rattle my cage this afternoon. I think have it all figured out this time…
Look for 1 Diversify and 6 Destin to compete out of front, but Destin won’t be able to sustain the pace. As Destin drifts back (along with 5 Rally Cry), 4 Pavel should be coming on with 7 Keen Ice hot on his trail. I’m not sure how these latter two will shake out, but I don’t see them catching the favorite.
Race 11, 1 1/16 (Turf) Allowance $62,000
1/3 to win
1/3 w 3/12 w 5/12
This is an awesome race to close out the card! A very deep field with no heavy favorite. The trifecta could pay very handsomely, but you’ll have to spread your ticket to catch anything. I’m looking at
1 Storm Prophet suits this class and distance, and is a live contender here. 3 Mission Leader also like this class and distance, and is coming in second off a layoff. I like him on top. 12 Jupiter Rising didn’t want to lose last out, and his placement was deceptively poor. Look for him coming on strong down the backstretch. 5 Street Fightin Man ran hot in a much lower class prior to his layoff. I don’t see any way he wins today, but he could round out a lucrative trifecta or super.
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