What a weekend to be a fan of horse racing. For me the summer has just begun. Full-time, I am a teacher and it is time to happily sing my favorite Alice Cooper song, “School’s Out”.
So, now I can focus on horse racing. I now have a luxury of time to spend on my favorite wagers at Monmouth Park, the Pick 5 and Place Pick 6. Both of those wagers are 50¢ based, so I can get the most bang out of my buck. The Pick 5 really turned me into a fan of the horizontal wagers. I’ve had some success with the Pick 5 over the last few years with a few IRS cashes and the thrill of some lost photos finishes in the final leg. The Place Pick 6 has intrigued me. There have been some nice payoffs for small investments. Also, you have the opportunity of cashing more than once if two picks from one leg complete an exacta or, in other words, they have both placed.
Of course, this Saturday is the Belmont Stakes. The Belmont is my favorite leg of the Triple Crown. Secretariat took care of that for me with the greatest performance in racing history. Woody Stephens’ five victories in a row is another Belmont record that will probably never be surpassed.
This year’s Belmont has the rematch of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and Preakness winner Shackleford. In addition the top 7 finishers from the Derby are all in the Belmont. Run as race 11, it serves as the final leg of the $1 million all stakes Pick 4.
On Sunday the featured horse of our blog, Pinelands Pete, returns to the track in the 8th race. The race has the same conditions for Jersey-breds as in Pete’s second place finish on May 22nd. With a 50% chance of some wet weather Trainer Linda Simon is hoping for rain, “Because Petey loves the slop.” Two of his four career victories have come over wet tracks.
I visited Pete on Thursday morning in Barn 31 and it was an unusually hot morning. An extremely good-natured horse Pete is fun to visit. He was quite cooperative for his photo shoot that day.
So what could be better than a weekend like this? Saturday, I plan to get the best of both tracks by going to the press box at Monmouth. Sunday will mean a trip to watch Pinelands Pete.
ABC’s of the Monmouth Hall of Champions -Today English Channel. In four years English Channel raced 23 times with 13 wins earning $5,199,028. Trained by Todd Pletcher all of his victories came on the turf. English Channel raced at Monmouth three times. He won the United Nations in 2006 and 2007 and ended his career with a win in the 2007 Breeders Cup Turf. English Channel ranks 371 in the Horse Racing Nation list of Top Thoroughbreds of All-time with a 7.82/10.