Two days before America's Independence Day, I hope to create my own fireworks with a series of live longshots running in major stakes today.
Let's start off on the left coast with today's Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap over Hollywood Park's synthetic main track. While the race has attracted some heavy older hitters including Smiling Tiger and Amazombie, I have landed on the longest shot on in the board, Bench Points. The three-year-old son of Benchmark has been a model of consistency both in sprints, as well as on this surface. He is 5 for 5 in sprint races, and has won both of his starts at Hollywood Park. Throw in his light impost of 112 pounds, and the fact that he should get a perfect rallying trip from his outside post position, and I think it all adds up to a live horse. This will be his toughest sprint race to date, but at 12-1 on the morning line, I believe he offers great value, with a great shot to win the race outright.
Shifting cross-country to Belmont Park, I see the opportunity for a hefty payoff in both of their stakes races today. First off in the Dwyer, two up and coming sophomores in Adios Charlie and Dominus figure to attract most of the money, but my money will be squarely on the shipper from just south. Tech Fall is coming into the race perfectly. After showing solid promise as a juvenile, he has had two solid preps at Delaware Park and Parx Racing. While horses from there are often ignored in New York, his races are comparable to anyone in the field. He is working great, should be ready for his best, third race of the layoff, and as a son of Birdstone, should enjoy the Belmont surface. At 10-1 on the morning line, look for Tech Fall to wait for the two favorites to soften each other up before he pounces.
In the next race, the Suburban Handicap, I expect recent lifetime best performances by Rodman and Hymn Book to cause lower than deserved odds for today. Meanwhile the midwest shipper, Flat Out is coming off two solid races at Lone Star and Churchill Downs in his latest. Despite not getting the win in either race, a repeat of those performces puts him right in the mix today. This is also his third race off the layoff, and my guess is the son of Flatter is ready to fire his best shot today. I also like that trainer Chalres Dickey is willing to wheel him back in two weeks after the Foster, furthering my belief that this horse is doing well. I am hoping that the morning line of 8-1 holds up, as Flat Out is my top pick in the race.
In other big races today, I like two horses to win at Monmouth Park. Neither one will be juicy odds, however. In the Salvator Mile, I expect Morning Line to prove he is one of the best horse in the nation with a smart win that propels him to bigger and better things. And in the rich United Nations, I expect the male to beat the female in a race where the Europeans have a clear class advantage over the Americans. Look for Chinchon to best Stacelita for his second straight win in the prestigious U.N.