Belmont Stakes and Saratoga Best Bets

It’s Belmont Day! We’ve got a very intriguing Belmont Stakes and a wonderful undercard to choose from for our spot plays. We have been fortunate with the weather so far at this quick four-day meet and it looks like we will have another wonderful day from the Spa!

The Belmont Stakes, Saratoga, Race #12

With the adjustment in distance from 1½ miles to 1¼ miles, the field lined up wonderfully for the final jewel of the triple crown! We’ve got Derby champion #3 Mystik Dan, #1 Seize the Gray and Derby runner-up #9 Sierra Leone.

 

Even with the second-place finish in the Derby, Sierra Leone is the morning line favorite and deservingly so. His trip was good, but wide in the Derby while Mystik Dan saved every inch of ground and was able to just hold on. Sierra Leone makes a rider change and equipment change to try to keep from lugging in like he did during the Derby, both should help him move forward today.

To try to create value, we are going to stay away from both Mystik Dan and Seize the Gray. Both won with dream trips, not based on elite talent, so I am willing to take shots against them. #2 Resilience looked awesome in the Wood, and I was planning on using him in the Superfecta in the Derby until he drew the 18 post. Even with the draw, he ran a sneaky good sixth while being forwardly placed and wide.

#8 Honor Marie also had a disastrous trip with the jockey losing his feet at the break and then making a middle move. Even with the trouble he ran a solid eighth in the Derby. He’s a threat at a price.

New shooter #10 Mindframe was a late entrant when Fierceness bowed out. He’s 2 for 2, but this is a big step up in class. Both wins were over lackluster fields, but you can only beat what is in front of you.

Picks: 9-2-8-10

Belmont Stakes Best Bets:
$5 Super – 9 / 2,8,10 / 2,8,10 / 2,8,10$1 Tri – 2,9 / 2,8,9 / 2,8,9,10

Manhattan Stakes, Saratoga, Race #11

This race drew incredibly strong highlighted by two horses. #5 Program Trading returns off a win in the Turf Classic right before the Kentucky Derby in what was his 4-year-old debut. We played him that day against Naval Power, one of the best Europeans, and we are going to do so again today. I mentioned before that race on Derby day, I believe this is the next big time Chad Brown turf horse. He has the chance to take another step forward today with a race now under his belt and if he does, watch out.

European invader, #9 Measured Time, looks like a live runner for Charlie Appleby after back-to-back monster efforts in the desert. William Buick ships in to ride which tips the hand to which Appleby is best.

#1 I’m Very Busy was favored over Program Trading on Derby day and has the opportunity to flip the script at a much better price today.

The other Appleby, #7 Nations Pride has run multiple times in the US. I would be higher on this one if Buick did not choose the 9 here.

Picks: 5-9-1-7
Saratoga Best Bets:
$50 Win – 5

Spot Plays:
Saratoga Race #7 – $50 Win #3
Saratoga Race #13 – $50 Win #4

   

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