Belmont Park Picks & Analysis for June 24: Turf Edition

Belmont kicks off another week with a Thursday card that should offer numerous wagering opportunities. Have a read ...
Belmont kicks off another week with a Thursday card that should offer numerous wagering opportunities. Have a read ...

A solid 9-race card on Thursday at Belmont Park. As usual, our turf-man has you covered with picks for every race, as well as analysis of his best value plays throughout the day. He is taking a particular tact today, and focusing his attention on the key grass races. Sunshine is aplenty along with some wonderful temperatures ...

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

Horse Racing Picks

Race 3: Turf, 6F, MSW90k, 3+

Most of this race’s cash will overflow the coffer of Klaravich Stables' entry, Digital Future #8. When Chad Brown and Irad Ortiz join to make this triumvirate, they can be like Batman, Dent, and Gordon … wait, that didn’t work out so well, did it? Ok, well at least you get the initial picture. At 7/5 on the M/L there is not much value to be had. Still, I do not think that this well-bred colt is peerless in this race. There is another who can rival this son of Street Boss.

I am pretty keen on the O’Dwyer Barn’s First Law #5. With brother Jose Ortiz up against his blood relative, he could improve on his last out 3rd at Belmont in a similar. Sure, he got outkicked by “Future,” but a little revenge next time around never hurt anyone. It all depends on Ortiz’s choice here. My sense is that he needs to layback, go easy early, and settle this one down. Taking the lead is not the tactic with this one. If he can do that, then he may well win the day. A straight “win” bet on #5 is probably the best approach, but instead, you might load up on this idea …

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Cold, 5 w 8

 

Race 5: Turf, 1 1/8th, ALLW80k, 3+

Here is a wide-open distance turf contest that has Irad Ortiz on the M/L favorite at 2/1, Regal Speaker #2. I am not sure I want to stand up to Ortiz in the schoolyard, but the pull is there. While Danny Gargan’s entry is promising, it wasn’t that long ago this son of Mr Speaker was hanging about in the “Claiming” ranks. He graduated from remedial math in 2021, and subsequently earned a 2nd place finish last out at Belmont in ALLW Co. That race had a heavily-bet runner come out on top, so everyone else was competing for “Place.” For that reason, I want some value elsewhere, since he may not be as accomplished as we might think.

For my money, what about a long shot like Kelly Breen’s Matty’s Express #10? He is a 4-yr-old gelding out of Admiral Kitten who already has a race at Belmont under his belt. Though it wasn’t top stuff, he was making his debut in 2021 … Stock out of this “Kitten” are few, and I would not say he is a sire of the caliber of the Ramsey’s sensational producer (Kitten’s Joy). However, the “Admiral” was excellent at distance turf races in his day (around 2014), so the pedigree fits this race perfectly. The prime news is that Luis Saez serves as pilot, and his turf skills continue apace.  

There are several means to approach this race, but Breen’s charge offers the best value. I would expect this one to drift over 10/1 by post time. Nothing short of an excellent price … play it!

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager, WPS #10 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)

 

Race 6: Turf, 7F, MC40k, F&M 3+

This turf contest brings together what constitutes a large field by U.S. standards, and we have some MC “classers” who are looking for their first victory. Honestly, almost any of these runners could jump and run the race of their lives. However, when it comes to putting together a wager, I like a trio that hail from solid outfits. These fillies will all be departing from outside stalls. Looking at George Weaver’s Write This Down #10, Tom Albertrani’s Theodora Grace #11, and Mark Hennig’s Merry Maiden #12, they all look well-bred for the turf, lightly-raced (a plus), and draw experienced riders.

Out of these, I would give the nod to Weaver’s 3-yr-old out of Frosted, especially since she is dropping down from running in the upper echelons of MSW Co. Her last race was a route at Belmont back in mid-May, and though she finished poorly, she has the change to rebound on this cutback in distance. That may assist greatly, plus the aforementioned drop down in class. I am not at all against Albertrani’s entry, because I have a soft spot for Noble Mission's (GB) offspring, and this one continues to train well. She could be in the process of maturing further after only racing once last year @SPA.

As for Hennig’s filly out of Lemon Drop Kid, she really skunked up her debut back in May at Belmont in a MSW75k. That is in no way surprising, and I actually like this angle of playing these types. The reason is that they now have that race out of the way, so to speak, and can get on to doing some of their best running. At 12/1 on the M/L and with the unheralded grass rider Davis in the saddle, she could be the “value pick” in this spot. Coming up with a wager for this race seems fairly straightforward … keep it simple … use these 3 …  

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Box, 10/11/12

 

Race 8: Turf, 6F, OC100k, F&M 3+

A high-level OC100k event herds a nice group of sprinters into the gates at Belmont, and it should make for some interesting angles to exploit. With a better than average field size, you might want to consider a number of wagers that could bring some nice returns.

On top, I am bullish on Joel Rosario’s mount because when he and Christophe Clement get together, they can form a strong entry that has the ability to be a juggernaut down the lane. Madelaine Must #1 had a quality start to her 2020 U.S. campaign after coming over from running in the UK/France the previous year. Starting her new season in the Grade III Intercontinental during Belmont Stakes Week was not easy, but she finished a respectable 3rd to Change of Control.

With an easier break here, she has the ability to win, and should do so. As I said, getting Rosario to ride once again is a major coup. Others will pose a threat, but Clement’s record is sound. I like and greatly trust his conditioning ability, as Belmont rolls on!

Wagering Recommendation: $25/$50 WP #1

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Enjoy some action from Elmont, New York! The tradition of Belmont marches on …

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