I’ve included picks for the FULL CARD but analysis only for the races I like most. As always, I handicap with value in mind. Therefore, I often list longer shots on top. If you like a favorite who I haven’t listed, please use in combination with our posted selections.
BEST BET of the Day
Race 2: #7 So Scott (5-2 ML)
LONG SHOT of the Day
Race 5: #8 Desert Bliss (10-1 ML)
LADDER PLAY of the Day
Race 11: #5 Suilleabhain (20-1 ML)
Individual Race Selections
Race 1: 4-11-1-7-9
#4 Gossip Column showed major improvement in his last race while dropping out of graded stakes co. and cutting back to today’s mile and sixteenth distance. Retains Irad here and seems bound to break through at this level against others with far less form running in this company. Whether there’s an enough pace for him to run into remains to be seen. If you’re looking for a prices, use #7 Petrocelli (ML 15-1). Tries turf for the first time and dropping in out of the state-bred stakes level. He’s got the top rider too in Castellano. Worth a shot.
Race 2: 7-2-3-5
This field of optional claimers is loaded with speed. A few in here are cutting back to a mile and that should help #2 Baker Street, who is one of the speedsters. But I think the others will burn out and I like #7 So Scott to pick up the pieces. He has the highest last out BSF, albeit over a muddy track. But he’s also 2 for 2 at this distance and has been in the money in each of his three Belmont tries. Last time he ran at this level he just missed by a nose and that was after a rough start and a wide rally. With a cleaner trip in here, I think So Scott wins going away – BEST BET of the day!
Race 3: 6-8-3-7-10
Hard to believe that #6 Stock Fund hasn’t broken the maiden yet after 17 starts, especially considering she’s finished second — seven times! She’s run very well since coming back off an eight-month layoff two races back. On the return effort, she lost by just a head after clipping heels earlier in the race. I also really like #8 Chow Fun (12-1 ML) as a potential value play in here. She encountered some trip trouble on debut but still closed extremely well to finish third in a field of ten. Now stretches out off that 6f race and gets a major jock upgrade from Coa to Saez. If we get anything near 12-1, might be worth a nice WPS play.
Race 4: 6-9-1-8
Race 5: 8-12-10-5-4
I would love to get 10-1 on #8 Desert Bliss. I’m going to throw out her last race, a route over a wet turf at Aqueduct. Conditions today should be much more to her liking – 7f, firm and right in behind a strong pace. She ran her best BSF with Alvarado aboard two-back and he remounts today as this filly returns to the track she’s done her best running at (1w-4p–2s in 7 races). You may want to box with a few in here, key over and back-wheel but this is one you definitely want to ladder at, what could be, double-digit odds.
Race 6: 9-11-6-4-3-12
Tough race to play with any real confidence but,on paper at least, the work last week by #9 Eastwood (8–1 ML) is certainly impressive. Who knows what he shows up with today but fired a major 4f – :46 and 4 bullet for a first-out barn that hits with one out of every three firsters. Doubt we’ll get 8-1 but if that work is any indication, this one should be live.
Race 7: 4-2-6-1
Very intrigued by #2 Discreet Marq from a pace perspective. This girl could potentially steal this one on the lead but she wasn’t able to last the only other time she ran at this mile and a sixteenth distance. That’s why I ultimately landed on #4 Watsdachances as our top choice in here. She’s super-classy and boasts a G3 win last time she tried this distance, which she’s 2 for 2 at in her career. That G3 win was also her only race over this course but note that it came over a yielding surface. If you’re playing the late pick-4, you might want to hit the ALL button in this short – but highly competitive field.
Race 8: 3-1-4-5
Is #3 Authenticity the best horse in this field? I’m not sure. But she may be the best price on the board of all the logical contenders in here. Gotta like 3 for 3 at this distance, as well as the show of tactical speed , which could benefit her if she finds herself sitting off a Joyful Victory/Believe You Can duel. Also, not sure #4 Centring (20-1 ML) fits at this G1 level but she should enjoy the pace setup as much as anyone in here.
Race 9: 6-5-1-4
Race 10: 5-7-6-3
#5 Swagger Jack is in the best form of his life, coming off an impressive G1 win in the Carter at Aqueduct last month. Don’t think he’ll find the early fractions in front of him as blazing hot as they were on that day but there’s still plenty of speed in here and he gets to stretch his legs for another furlong. The bottom line here is that a few have higher BSF’s/more overall class but Swagger Jack has the looks of an improving horse and he should be a very square price again.
Race 11: 5-10-8-11-7
Wide open race. Using #5 Suilleabhain (20-1 ML) in here. Broke his maiden over dirt at Aqueduct and then flattened out first time facing winners on the turf in the last race. Gets Irad back aboard (he was up for the maiden breaker but not in the last) and really isn’t up against much in here. Would box top selections in exacta & key top few over rest in tris. #5 might be worth a little ladder play too.