Belmont Park Picks & Plays July 4, 2015
Belmont Park Picks & Plays July 4, 2015: This weekend, all eyes will turn to Belmont Park, a racetrack that will feature Texas Red’s return, Lady Eli’s toughest test, and Tonalist’s opportunity to vindicate himself among other interesting races. Santa Anita Park ended its season last week, so we’re moving to Belmont Park to analyze the full card.
Race #1: 4
Paynes Prairie is dropping in class and looks like a giant in this field. He won’t offer any value, but he is probably going to win unless something unexpected happens. I recommend not betting on this baby race.
Race #2: 5, 6, 1
Jubilant Vision finished a distant second in her last race, but she can improve enough to win this race since her trainer David Jacobson usually does very well with claimers, so much so that sometimes his claimers wins stakes. Elraazy broke her maiden in her debut and finished really well. I know that she is lightly raced and that the lack of experience can hurt her, but just looking at the way she won, she is a must-use for your plays. Predicate faced tough horses in the past and looks to be in shape for this race. She recorded a nice four-furlong bullet in :47.3 on June 26.
Race #3: 6, 5
In this race, I’m choosing two horses with plenty of experience at this level. English Minister loves the grass and is really consistent. He has shown some speed lately, so he could win this race practically gate-to-wire. Adirondack Dancer does’t like to win, but he’s always in the mix, and maybe this could be his race to cross the wire in first place.
Race #4: 5
In theory, this is a race match between Matrooh and Samraat. I’m using the horse who is probably not the faster horse but looks to be in better shape, Matrooh. This horse has improved a lot since he first tried the dirt in the U.S. and has been recording very nice workouts. His only defeat in the U.S. was a close fifth to Noble Bird, a horse who earned a spot in the BC Classic after winning the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs.
Race #5: 7, 3, 12
Ready for Rye will be trying the turf for the first time, and his pedigree suggests he should like it. He has the speed to wire this field, and he has also been facing tougher company. Cabo Cat is a proven runner on the turf, and that is always a huge advantage. He returned on June 10 after a six-month layoff with a distant fifth place in a six-furlong race. He can improve in his second start since his layoff, plus he should appreciate the added distance. Brickyard Kitten finished really well in the Jaypur (GIII), and if the pace collapses, he could win this race at nice odds.
Victory Ride Stakes – GIII
Race #6: 1
Promise Me Silver is back to her game – sprint races. I’m drawing a line through her last race because she was not even a shadow of herself. I’m expecting a bounce back in her return to her favorite distance. I’m using this filly as a single in my plays.
Dwyer Stakes – GIII
Race #7: 3, 4, 6
Tommy Macho looks like a nice horse. His last race was really impressive when he pulled away by several lengths in the stretch, implying that he is ready for stakes races. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile hero Texas Red is back with a good workout pattern for this race. Texas Red’s main goal is to compete in the classic distance races, so the mile could be a bit short for him. However, he has the class to win this race. Speightster is unbeaten in two starts and is improving with each race. The distance is not a concern since he always runs very hard in the stretch, pulling away by several lengths in the fields he has faced.
Belmont Derby – GI
Race #8: 2, 3, 4
Bolo should be the favorite in this race since he has a nice record on the turf and has extra racing experience from competing in the Kentucky Derby. Bolo will likely try to win this one gate-to-wire, and he has the class to do it. My only concern is the distance because I’m not sure that he wants to run 1¼ miles. Divisidero will appreciate the stretch out in distance, and his running style is going to help him. I can’t miss any play with the France-based Canndal, a graded stakes runner-up, under Christophe Soumillon’s hands.
Suburban H. – GII
Race #9: 6
Tonalist, a distant second in the Met Mile (GI), is now stretching out to 1¼ miles, a distance with which he is comfortable. Tonalist is a true ten-furlong horse, and in this spot, he should be ready to win. His main goal this year is the Breeders’ Cup Classic, so he needs a nice performance. In my opinion, Tonalist is going to win this race handily, so I’m using him as a single. I also hope to see him running in the BC Classic again.
Belmont Oaks – GI
Race #10: 2, 6, 8
The unbeaten Lady Eli will offer a short price, mainly because she has been impressive in her last several races. If everything is normal, she is going to win the race very easily. However, she is facing a full field, and this will be her first attempt at 1¼ miles. From the west coast comes Spanish Queen, a Grade I winner with all the credentials to fight and beat Lady Eli. Spanish Queen has the experience over 1¼ miles, and that is a huge advantage. I’m adding the Euro invader Olorda, a graded stakes winner in France.
Belmont Sprint Championship S. – GIII
Race #11: 3
There’s not much to say about this race. Private Zone loves this distance and will be very tough to beat. I don’t see any of these horses beating him. Private Zone will offer short odds, but he’s going to easily take this race.
5) 7, 3, 12
5) 7, 3, 12
7) 3, 4, 6
8) 2, 3, 4
Early Pick 4
2) 5, 6, 1
3) 6, 4
5) 7, 3, 12