2016 Belmont Stakes Picks and Selections
2016 Belmont Stakes Picks and Selections by Sigi Mendoza: There is no chance of a Triple Crown winner this year, but Exaggerator still brings the excitement to Belmont Park for the 148th Running of the Belmont Stakes. The Curlin colt should be the favorite of the race come post time, however the Belmont Stakes is always a tricky race to win. The Belmont Stakes undercard is as usual very interesting with a lot of wide open races. In the final week of the Triple Crown trail, let’s take a look at all of the Graded Stakes races of the Saturday card and pick up a piece of the cake! See Updated Belmont Stakes 2016 Results, Recaps, Replays
The Acorn Stakes GI looks like a match between the Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia and the talented Carina Mia. Both fillies met for first time in the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland, resulting in a Cathryn Sophia’s better performance. Carina Mia had some valid excuses though. The Malibu Moon filly made her three-year-old debut that day and definitely needed the race. In her next outing, she showed all her potential and hinted that she can beat the best fillies in the country. Certainly, Cathryn Sophia is the deserved favorite, but Carina Mia will be very tough to beat this time.
Brooklyn Invitational Stakes-GII
The Brooklyn Invitational Stakes GII is raced over an unusual distance for a dirt American Thoroughbred. Because of this, I’m using those horses with the pedigree to handle the distance. Chilean horses are bred to run all day and Turco Bravo is no exception. This horse is in great shape and will love the 1 ½ mile. Kid Cruz has never run the distance, however he is bred to go long, and he is on a winning streak.
Odgen Phipps Stakes-GI
I’m thinking Sheer Drama’s last race was just a bad day. Now she is ready to bounce back in her third race of the layoff. Curalina beat last time the aforementioned Sheer Drama in a superb performance, but a regression is a now a possibility. Stopchargingmaria is a consistent mare and will give a tough fight again.
Jaypur Invitational Stakes-GIII
This is a wide open race so I’m looking for a longshot. Commute is moving up in class but he can take advantage of a hot pace. Green Mask has decent races in the books and he would like the 6-furlongs. Florent Geroux is also helpful in the saddle. Ready for Rye is the fastest horse of the field but his best performances have been running in front and there’s a lot of early speed this time.
Woody Stephens Stakes-GII
Sharp Azteca became in a true runner since he broke his maiden. Now he has a three race winning streak, including an impressive performance in the Pat Day Mile Stakes on May 7, 2016, where he sat blazing fractions and never got tired. This 7-furlong race suits him perfectly and caters to his running style. Sharp Azteca will be very tough to catch, so I’m using him as a single in all my plays.
Longines Just a Game Stakes-GI
Lexie Lou returned to the winner’s circle on May 29 after winning the Nassau GII at Woodbine. She is stepping up in class but she is always considered a nice mare. My Miss Sophia looked a bit short last time out. Her trainer has a good record with horses in the second race of the layoff, so she is eligible to improve. Celestine is moving up in class but her early speed makes her a dangerous filly in this race.
Mohegan Sun Metropolitan Handicap-GI
Calculator has been running very well this year resulting in high speed figures. He has recorded terrific workouts for this race and looks ready to fight. He is always a bit slow at the start but now he has a great post position. Upstart would be forgotten in this race, and he can win at big odds. He is switching to Irad Ortiz, which is a good sign indeed.
Woodford Reserve Manhattan Stakes-GI
Flintshire is the class of the field and the likely winner of the card, but he is a horse who does not like to win that much. If all is normal he should win handily this race. For those who want to beat him his main rival would be Big Blue Kitten.
Exaggerator was impressive last time out winning the Preakness. Some people could argue his best performances came in the slop, but if you watch the Kentucky Derby replay that theory falls. This time around the concern is the distance because the American horses usually are not bred to run 1 ½ mile. I’m not sure Exaggerator wants to run farther than the Classic distance, so I’m trying to beat him. It is known that the closers suffered in the Belmont Stakes, but Suddenbreakingnews has the stamina to handle the distance. Although he had trouble in the Kentucky Derby, he was able to run late and finish fifth, just 3 ½ lengths behind Exaggerator. Governor Malibu was running very hard and finished second in the Peter Pan Stakes, historically a prep for the Belmont Stakes. Looks like he wants to go long and his running style suits perfect for this race.
2016 Belmont Stakes Picks and Selections
Belmont Stakes 2016 Odds and Post Positions