5 superfecta keys for Belmont Park's Sunday card

5 superfecta keys for Belmont Park's Sunday card
Photo: NYRA

For me, one main attraction to superfectas is that a superfecta probable payout pool is not displayed – making this bet an unknown endeavor relative to an exacta. But if you observe the pool results over a long period of time, you will come to realize that the favorites tend to be overbet in the pool and that when outsiders come in, especially in the top two positions, explosive payouts might result.

This is why a 10-cent superfecta key is a great leveraged wager.

The table below summarizes the reduction in your outlays for superfecta wagers when you key vs box your selections.

# of betting interests in super wager BoxKey$ difference% difference
5$12.00$9.60$2.4020%
6$36.00$24.00$12.00 33%
7$84.00$48.00$36.0043%
8$168.00$84.00$84.0050%

There are books out there and it is common logic that the box wager makes no sense unless all horses are valued equally by the handicapper. Without getting too technical here, it is obvious that if you have an opinion on a race, a box of any sort makes little sense.

The superfecta key requires you to ensure that your keyed horse must finish in one of the top four positions. To maximize return, I am looking for three situations to create potential for a high payoff.

The conditions are:

• Betting interests of at least 9 entries but not more than 12

• The ability to confidently key a horse that is not an odds-on or a heavily bet favorite

• Field that has runners seemingly ignored in the pool that would be at very high odds at post time but could be in the top four randomly

Sunday’s Belmont card provides a good number of opportunities on both the main turf and inner turf.

Race 2

A run-of-the-mill New York-bred maiden claimer on the turf at 1 1/16 miles. There are only a couple of clear outsiders in this field of 12, and that affords an opportunity for a nice payoff. Six runners come out of the same race last out, also at this level.

Jimmy Jerkens sends out No. 7 Noble Journey. I am ignoring his last, where he ran against tougher and had some minor trouble. Otherwise, he has more than enough good performances to merit inclusion here off a class drop. He is your key horse at 6-1.

No. 4 Arrowheart looks like a huge overlay here at 12-1. After more than a five-month absence, he came back and ran creditably in that six runner last out race, showing good late pace.

Three factors contribute toward including No. 3 Shutters: Chad Brown is the trainer, he is dropping in class and the slight added distance should help here. Chad Brown runners have more late energy than just about any trainer, and I expect him to be there at the end.

No. 2 Viking Zim is clearly the fastest of the field on all measures and has to be included. He is the morning line favorite and has finished in the top four in his last four starts – all on turf.

The superfecta play is rounded out with No. 5 War Novel, who makes his second start for Brad Cox, a high percentage off the layoff move and second grass race move. Although Cox percentages are high in general, he is 8-1.

The Play: 10-cent superfecta key 7 with 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Total wager: $9.60.

Race 5

Another state-bred race, this is an optional claimer for fillies and mares at 7 furlongs on the turf. There are no true front-runners here, and it is unclear who will take the lead except for the dirt-to-turf runner.

Mark Henning sends out No. 3 Pure Bode, who is fastest on all measures and looks like huge overlay here at 8-1. She shows five top-four finishes in six turf tries, is lightly raced and could continue to improve off her last out victory at a mile. She is your key horse.

Trainer Tom Albertrani does not win a lot, but he is a very good horseman and surprises from time to time. No. 4 Itsakeyper often goes off at long odds and should here at a morning line of 12-1. She won twice at double-digit odds in her last 10 starts, including last time out, and looks like she has the right running style for 7 furlongs, tracking the pace.

The likely favorite and most likely to win here is No. 9 Silky Blue for high-percentage trainer Jorge Duarte Jr. She is 2-for-2 at the distance and is only out of the top four one time in 10 starts, her last outing.

No. 6 Jill’s a Hot Mess might be the speed of the race and certainly will be close to it. She shows three victories in four turf tries and is legitimately the second choice. She has to be included.

The final superfecta horse is No. 10 Mike’s Girl, for Maryland-based trainer Charlie Frock, who is as underrated as his runner. Mike’s Girl was over her head last out in a stake, but before that ran exceptionally well with two victories. Include her at 15-1.

The Play: 10-cent superfecta key 3 with 4, 6, 9 and 10.

Total wager: $9.60.

Race 7

This claiming race on the inner turf is contested at a mile and 1/16th. The race is a wide open affair, and the morning-line choices are tepid at best; there is a lot of opportunity to go against them here. There is some speed, and I anticipate a fast pace.

No. 4 Royal Realm tries turf for the first time; not a really a high-percentage win move for trainer David Donk. But I expect this 3-year-old Empire Maker colt to be close to the pace and in excellent striking position against some very fast early runners. At 8-1, he is your key horse. There is not much to beat here.

No. 7 Agent Creed is going to be rolling in the stretch off his very fast late pace figures. I afford him a strong upset chance at 6-1.

No. 9 Silver Token is 12-1, an overlay here. His last out on a yielding surface is a complete toss out. If you grade out his races prior to that, he was second off a long layoff his first outing this year and shows 7 top four finishes in his last 10 starts.

Michael Stidham sends out the probable favorite in No. 5 Made My Day. He is close enough here to get a top four placing but has no value.

The final horse is No. 10 Sidd Finch for George Weaver, at 12-1. He will never be far out of it and is just a little slower than most of the field, but could get a placing here.

The Play: 10-cent superfecta key 4 with 5, 7, 9 and 10.

Total wager: $9.60.

Race 8

Another state-bred race, this one is an allowance affair at a mile for fillies and mares on the main turf. This race is very close on paper on multiple measures and is wide open; four runners come out of the same last race.

Chad Brown sends out No. 8 Marvelous Maude, who looks like a huge overlay here at even 9-2 and is my key horse off her dirt try at Saratoga. I expect her to be pretty close to the pace and have a lot of reserve energy late.

No. 13 Just OK Is Not OK has to be included here; she bested the debuting Marvelous Maude when they met at Belmont in June.

No. 6 Epona’s Dream should not be 20-1. When she met Just OK Is Not OK and Marvelous Maude, she ran a creditable fourth. Include her.

No. 7 My Lips Are Sealed is the program choice and must be included. She moves up further if an earlier key horse, Pure Bode, runs big since they both came out the same last race where Pure Bode won. She could wire the field.

The superfecta is rounded out with No. 11 Unicorn Sally, who has the strongest late pace figures in the field. Although the mile might be too short for her, she still has a strong superfecta chance at 8-1. She has been beaten twice at a mile by My Lips Are Sealed, but if that one runs into trouble in a fast contested pace, she could upset.

The Play: 10-cent superfecta key 8 with 6, 7, 11 and 13.

Total wager: $9.60.

Race 10

This claiming race at 6 furlongs is also for fillies and mares and will be run on the inner turf to close out the card at Belmont.

Small stable trainer Joseph Lee sends out No. 11 Mazel Eighteen, who is value at 12-1 and the key horse turning back in distance. She is 3-for-4 in the money at 6 furlongs on the turf.

No. 5 Lucky Latkes has picked up a check in six of eight turf starts and is always in the hunt. Although I do not expect her to win, she figures in the mix at 6-1.

No. 9 Theodora Grace looks best here on the turn back for Tom Albertrani, and I expect here to win.

Wayne Potts sends out No. 7 Athena Dancer, who has the right pace figures to move up considerably in the stretch and be a factor late.

The superfecta is closed out with No. 1 Fort Drum at 12-1. She fared poorly in her first start this year, but if she runs back to anything near her maiden win, she is a strong threat here.

The Play: 10-cent superfecta key 11 with 1, 5, 7 and 9.

Total wager: $9.60.

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