This Saturday at Belmont Park is Big Apple Showcase Day and a very nice card has been assembled, including six stakes races, to display their home grown talent. Every race on the card is for New Yorkers only and it looks to be a fun day on the weekend prior to the big one, the Belmont Stakes. I will be taking a crack at the Pick 5 which features four stakes races and is a pretty manageable sequence. There are a couple of odds on favorites that appear tough, but I do have a few ideas that may make this thing pay alright. Let’s dig in…
Race 1 – The day begins with a 20k claimer for state-bred only and I saw it as a three horse race. I will use B Shanny, Jeter, and Dr. Disco, nothing clever here as they are the top three choices. B Shanny is dropping out of a 50k open claimer and if he is fit off the short layoff he is your most likely winner. If he doesn’t fire though, Jeter first off the claim for David Jacobson, and Dr. Disco getting back on dirt, should run well. Those three should get you through this leg.
Race 2 – In our first stakes race for the state-breds in the Kingston, I am going two deep with Kharafa and Hear the Footsteps. I am hoping Kharafa turns the tables on Lubash. He is going out third off of a layoff, gets Javier Castellano back in the irons, and I am expecting a big run from him. Concerning Read the Footsteps, I know he settles for minor awards a lot, but I think he may fire a nice one today. He is coming into this second off the layoff, dropping out of an open company optional claimer, and should fire a nice one. It is a bit of a reach, but the price will be right.
Race 3 – In the Bouwerie, I was baffled. I have no strong opinion and will spread here in hopes of just surviving. I will use Flipcup, Isabelle, the coupled entry of Elmra and Irish Sweepstakes, Henry’s Gal, Ms. Sylvia A., and Champagne Ruby. As I stated, I have no strong feelings towards any of these. Hopefully I can catch a price here.
Race 4 – The Mount Vernon stakes is Effie Trinket’s race to lose. She is dropping out of a grade 2 at Gulfstream, is going out second off the bench, and loves Belmont’s lawn. By all accounts, she should win for fun. But, there is one more I am going to toss in there who I think will run well today. Whether that’s good enough to win I am not sure, but the price will be right. I am taking a stab with Frosty Bay at 15/1 on the morning line. I like the fact Castellano has decided to ride and I feel her form is muddied up a bit. Her last was on dirt in the mud and before that on a turf course labeled good. But three back she ran well to close for fourth off the bench in the Ticonderoga stakes here at Belmont. I know it is a reach, but if she has grown up over the winter, and runs well like I expect her to, she could make this Pick 5 real juicy.
Race 5 - With the scratch of Uncle Sigh the Mike Lee got a lot more interesting. Initially I was singled to Sigh in here, but there was one other that I thought had a chance to run welland I almost included, and that was Empire Dream. He is making his third start of the year, gets the elite service of Johnny V., and I am expecting a nice performance from him today. I do worry about the rail a bit, but he is in good hands with Velazquez and I trust he will get him in a nice striking position. I’m all in with Empire Dream to close this thing out.
The Play: I will toss in a fifty cent Pick 5 that will cost $36…1-9-10 with 3-4 with 1-2-3-5-6-8 with 3-5 with 1.
Best of luck, everyone. Hopefully we can pad our bankrolls for the epic card next Saturday for the Belmont Stakes. As always, I hope I helped lock up your own opinions or turned you onto something you may have missed. Have a great Saturday at the races, folks.