Belmont Park Picks & Analysis for June 20

Trainer Chad Brown's stable figures prominently in the 'feature' at Belmont on Sunday ... Have a look at J.N. Campbell's analysis from the Grade III Poker Stakes and his full slate of selections from the rest of the card!
Trainer Chad Brown's stable figures prominently in the "feature" at Belmont on Sunday ... Have a look at J.N. Campbell's analysis from the Grade III Poker Stakes and his full slate of selections from the rest of the card!

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Nothing better than a Sunday at Belmont Park, even if rain might appear. As usual, our turf-man has you covered with picks for every race, as well as analysis of several select races that will entice. Have a read below ...

If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country on Sunday, be sure to check out our Free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.

Horse Racing Picks

Most Likely Winner: (Race 2: Molino #7, 8/5):

The pedigree shadow of the Ramsey’s Kitten’s Joy continues to lord over the grass courses of the land (cue the dramatic music) … although it is not quite as prominent as it once was, it still amazes. Here is yet another one, Molino #7, who is owned by the influential Peter Brandt. Breaking his maiden first time out, the 4-yr-old gelding was impressive when it counted. He bested a field of 9 that day at Belmont, and should roll into the Widener ready for more action. Manny Franco gets aboard again, and this is another opportunity for him to build his turf riding skills. It should result in a win, as trainer Chad Brown sends this “Kitten” up the class ladder. Could we see this one heading to “Graded” Co. at some point? It is possible … Saratoga looms.

Wager: $100 Win, #7

 

Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 7: Violent Point #8, 8/1):

Looking for some value on this Sunday Belmont card, I found some in Chris Englehart’s Violent Point #8. Owned by Gary Barber, the hot pink silks this time will be worn by Eric Cancel. This filly may only be 4-yrs-old, but she already has 17 starts under her saddle. I like these Violence offspring when it comes to sprinting, and getting back on the grass is going to work out well. Her last race was an off-track in the slop. In other words, she never had the chance to build on a front-running win at Belmont the race before. She is going to be more than a square price in here. So, I am hopeful she can take advantage, especially since most of the money will flow like lava towards Christophe Clement’s Honey Pants #3. This one is a solid wager because Englehart’s runners are well-conditioned. Bet 'em!

Wager: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager

 

Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 9: Turf, 1 Mile, Poker Stakes (G3), $250k, 4+):

It appears that Chad Brown is looking for a race to “freshen” one of the best North American milers in the business right now. The Grade III Poker Stakes is once again a useful launching pad for his exploits. Even with some rain in the forecast, it shouldn’t affect the conditions too much. Check the reports before you wager …

Peter Brant’s Raging Bull #1 should be considered in the Top Ten Thoroughbreds in the NTRA Poll, as far as I am concerned. He is just that accomplished, even at 6-yrs-old he still has the moxie … and more specifically, the ability to rate and apply the oil when it counts. Last out, at Keeneland in the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) he simply took over the race, and decimated a better than average field of competitors. More than 2 months later, Brown has him aligned for a 2021 that will probably end at Del Mar.

As far as the other members of this contest go … Brown has 2 of interest. Remember, he floods the market … The European import, Veronesi #3 is a Brant investment, who battled his owner’s Longchamp victor in the Arc in 2019—Sottsass. The prep where they faced one another was the Prix Niel (G2), and the result was a 4th place finish. Coming to the U.S., he could be a force to be reckoned with in some of the longer turf events as the season develops. Stay tuned …

The red-clad “KS” of Klaravich is present, and Front Run the Fed #6 is looking to capitalize on a 2nd place finish to Casa Creed in the Elusive Quality 100k @BEL back in late April. Going a bit longer may be something this Fed Biz 5-yr-old is willing to do. He could be a sleeper in this race, especially considering how much attention the other 2 runners will receive. Jose Lezcano is a sneaky good grass rider, who has the patience to make a difference. It is intriguing that this entry was a BC Turf Sprint participant from last year. Though he was off-the-board behind Euro-winner Glass Slippers, it was not a poor try!

As for the rest of this field, there are few that can measure up to these 3. The once great sprinter Oleksandra #2 comes to the starting gate with a ton of experience—19 career beginnings. The 7-yr-old mare has over $500k in her pocketbook for Neil Drysdale. I have never really gotten behind her over the years, and now she just seems on the downtrend. Getting Joel Rosario is a major plus, since he has served as her main jockey. Extending to this distance might be the biggest hurdle, besides her age. The daughter of Animal Kingdom still might have some in the tank. If you are going to play her in here, it might have to be a “win” bet. Team Valor’s international reach continues to be impressive …

One other of note … Get Smokin #4 is a gelding from the barn of Tom Bush who comes into this race with an on the engine win in the 22 May Seek Again 100k @BEL. That effort was impressive, and so are the 3/5 (“wins”) over the turf on this track. Junior Alvarado rides this half-brother to sprinter Got Stormy (Casse), and he could be a future star in this division. Going back to the Tampa Bay (G3), the pair rode to a fine victory. This is my kind of horse, from an outfit that doesn’t get any turf attention ... Let’s use ‘em.

Wager: $2 Trifecta Wheel, 1/4 w 1/4/6 w 1/2/3/4/6

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A Sunday at Belmont … nothing better! Enjoy the NYRA slate of fine-looking races!

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