Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, October 29, 2016
On Saturday, we’re headed out to Belmont where we are thrilled to welcome back our friend and returning guest handicapper Steve Pozzuoli (@pozzmiester).
For months, Steve has provided his FREE PICKS & ANALYSIS every Saturday on the New York circuit. His writeups are thorough and extremely insightful. We encourage you to give him a follow on Twitter when you get a chance. Good luck to everyone playing along.
Take it away, Steve…
Closing weekend for the Belmont fall meet is always a sad time. It signifies the end of a long, but awesome year of racing, culminating with the Breeder’s Cup next weekend. There are a few stakes races today that look like very interesting wagering opportunities to try to pad the bankroll a little for the BC. Please note all picks here are assuming races are staying on the turf and that we have a dry track. If that is not the case, I will update selections on my Twitter feed. Good luck to all and thanks to Dan for the opportunity to contribute to his site. And away we go…
Race 1 – Maiden Special Weight 2YOs 1 1/16 Miles on the Widener turf
Suggested $.50 Pick 5: 3,5,11/2/2,5,7/2,4/12= $9
#5 Oiseau de Guerre 2/1
#11 Risky Town 10/1
#3 Dream Trip 12/1
I will give #5 Oiseau de Guerre another chance. In his debut, he moved very early into a quick pace and was caught by the eventual winner right at the wire. In his last race, Chad showed a ton of confidence sending him into a G3 in his second career start as a maiden. I believe he did not enjoy the soft going at all and he ran like it. Hopefully the ground dries out with the windy and dry weather and he is able to get on a firm-ish course today. If he does, he will have a big chance. #11 Risky Town ran pretty evenly in his career debut at huge odds. He will have to navigate the wide draw, but I am expecting him to improve at a pretty nice price second time out. Of the Lynch second timers, I prefer #3 Dream Trip. He closed pretty well into a paceless race and showed a bit of courage splitting runners late. He ultimately flattened out but I think a run like that sets him up for a big run today at nice odds.
Race 2 – $35,000 Claiming 3YO+ 6 Furlongs on the Inner turf
#2 Canarsie Kid 4/1
#3 Cabo Cat 8/1
#5 Irish Prayer 15/1
#2 Canarsie Kid is a fairly strong play for me in this race. He looks to hold a distinct pace advantage and has a good front end rider aboard. He has improved his figures in each of his last three races and is in career best form. He is stepping up in class of the victory, but I will take my chances over the rest of the field that doesn’t really stand out to me in any way. #3 Cabo Cat will be a decent price and being a first time gelding, could improve and get back to the numbers he was running last year. If he is able to, the rest of the field could be in trouble. #5 Irish Prayer is cutting back to the shortest distance of his career, but is also dropping down from open claiming company. He ran ok last time, but at his ML odds is a bit intriguing to include in the lower rungs on the exotics.
Race 3 – Maiden Special Weight 2YOs 6 1/2 Furlongs on the dirt
#2 Lead Astray 3/1
#5 Macho Dancer 6/1
#7 Valhalla 5/1
#2 Lead Astray goes out second time for Shug, who moves his runners way up after their debuts. This runner was behind a fairly slow pace and ran evenly around the track. Even more encouraging is that he took money in his debut. He has trained pretty well since then and I expect a far better effort today. #5 Macho Dancer is a second timer for Jerkens, another who moves them up in second career starts. He returns fairly quickly but has a bullet drill about a week ago on the page showing that he may be ready to run a much improved effort. #7 Valhalla is a debuting, sprinting two year old for Pletcher. Need I say more? The work tab doesn’t jump off the page like it often does for Pletcher, but he does have some quick ones listed.
Race 4 – The G3 Turnback the Alarm F&M 3YO+ 1 1/16 Miles on the dirt
#2 Lewis Bay 6/5
#4 Innovative Idea 6/1
#3 Flora Dora 10/1
#2 Lewis Bay is a good filly, who may not be towards the top of her division, but she isn’t facing any top of the division runners here. She ran a bang up third in the Kentucky Oaks earlier this year and has run her entire career in graded stakes since breaking the maiden. I will expect that Chad has her ready to run off the layoff and her positional speed will suit her very well. #4 Innovative Idea was in career best form before the disappointment in the mud in her last race. She fits very well in this race, assuming she can bounce back from that effort. #3 Flora Dora could be the ultimate underneath key. If she can run the race she ran in the CCA Oaks, she has a big chance of finishing third at a nice price.
Race 5 – $77,000 Allowance 3YO+ 6 Furlongs on the Inner turf
#12 Commend 8/5
#7 Altar Boy 10/1
#2 Ross J Dawg 8/1
I really do not like the post draw, but #12 Commend towers over this field on class. He will really have to be compromised at the start or by the pace scenario to not get the job done. There looks to be a decent amount of pace signed on so he should be able to work out a nice trip and pass the field down the lane. #7 Altar Boy is first off the claim for Maker, a deadly stat. If there wasn’t a horse like Commend in this race, he would absolutely be my top pick. I think he will have to settle for second. #2 Ross J Dawg has improved in every start this year and looks to continue moving forward. The sharp cutback is a slight cause for concern, but I will take a chance with him underneath.
Race 6 – The Awad 2YOs 1 Mile on the Widener turf
Suggested $.50 Pick 5: 2,5,6/2,8/4,8,9/2,8/5,8,10= $54
#5 Harlan’s Harmony 5/1
#2 Frostmourne 7/2
#6 Heaven Is Waiting 4/1
#5 Harlan’s Harmony went up to Canada to take on G2 foes and set the pace, but ultimately tired to 5th. I do not believe that is his best running style and I think with the experience at the distance, he will be much better prepared to sit behind the leaders and make his run from off the pace. His half brother is Tourist, who is best at the 1 mile distance on the turf, so there is no reason why this one can’t stretch to the mile distance effectively. #2 Frostmourne is cutting back slightly but should also be getting back to a firmer turf course, which is much more in his favor. He was very rank in the last start and didn’t have the cleanest of trips. He is going to improve here and has a big chance to win. #6 Heaven Is Waiting is a Chad Brown runner in a turf stake on the NYRA circuit, I really don’t think there needs to be much more of an explanation to include this one. He is another that didn’t have a clean trip last time, but broke his maiden here at Belmont from closer to the pace, where I expect him to be today.
Race 7 – Maiden Special Weight 2YOs 6 1/2 Furlongs on the dirt
#2 Sethary 4/1
#8 Big Handsome 5/2
#1 Oxford Circus 3/1
#2 Sethary is a second time starter for Clement, who is 31% the past five years when adding first time Lasix in a second career MSW start. He was up on the pace in the debut but ended up fading to fourth. He has a few good workouts coming out of that race and he will be much better prepared in the second career start. #8 Big Handsome finished ahead of Sethary but was nailed on the wire after setting the pace and drifting out late. He has a big chance in here as Dutrow is another that moves horses way up in their second starts. That number moves up when the runner finished ITM in that career debut to the tune of 33%. #1 Oxford Circus will be forwardly placed. I like the slight cutback in distance as he has faded slightly in his first two starts. He gets Lasix for the first time which should help him stay in the latter parts of the race.
Race 8 – $62,000 Allowance 3YO+ 1 Mile on the Widener turf
#8 Storm Prophet 5/1
#4 Fulmer 6/1
#9 Leaveematthegate 8/1
In this race I am looking for runners that want to sit just off the leaders, as it seems there is some pace on paper. #8 Storm Prophet comes back as a first time gelding and should be able to sit basically the same trip he did in his last start. He is training pretty well and it is a bit of a downgrade losing Jose Ortiz, but I don’t mind Dylan Davis as a rider. I think he will be fine on a horse like this who is going to be able to sit midpack and make his run. #4 Fulmer is cutting back in distance but has improved in every start of his career. I think he may be getting back to the right distance and with another improvement he should have a big chance to win. #9 Leaveematthegate is a horse that has sucked me in many times this year, and I am letting him do it to me again. He just looks like he should fit in well with these runners and he will be a decent price facing winners for the first time in his career.
Race 9 – The G3 Bold Ruler 3YO+ 7 Furlongs on the dirt
#2 Threefiveindia 6/1
#8 Ami’s Flatter 5/1
#6 Stallwalkin’ Dude 7/2
My top two choices are going to be the two I side with in all multi race wagers. If they don’t win, I will be knocked out. The reasoning behind both of them is this: #2 Threefiveindia is very lightly raced, has great positional speed in case there is a loose leader and doesn’t look like stretching the extra furlong will be an issue. #8 Ami’s Flatter’s biggest win of his career came at 7 furlongs when sitting fairly close to a really fast pace. I think these two make the most sense and neither of them will be favored. #6 Stallwalkin’ Dude is as honest as they come, but his best races have come at 6 furlongs. He absolutely has a big chance to win.
Race 10 – $40,000 Maiden Claiming 3YO+ 6 Furlongs on the Inner turf
#5 Full Sum Prisum 15/1
#10 Walk Proud 4/1
#8 Irish Hope 15/1
This race is a total head scratcher and I really do not want to pick any of the horses that we have seen multiple times, so I am going with the first time starter for John Toscano. This one has shown some pretty good works in the last month and seems like he can run a little bit. If he can, he has a big chance to win this race. #10 Walk Proud is more lightly raced than the other short prices and I expect Gargan to have him more prepared here. It is puzzling that he hasn’t had a published work since the last race so if he doesn’t run well, I guess the writing was on the wall. I will use #8 Irish Hope because I think he could be on the lead all alone, especially with the aggressive Cancel aboard. Go as deep as you can in multi race wagers, as nearly anything can happen.
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