Friday's card at Belmont Park includes a robust slate of 9 races that offer some excellent betting opportunities. It is the last gasp for racing, as NYRA shifts to historic Saratoga next Thursday for the start of that Meet. As usual, our turf-man has you covered, including a "spotlight" of the "feature" of the day. With Hurricane Else bearing down in the East Coast, we might be off-the-turf. Check the forecast before making your wagers! It will not rain on our parade!
If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country on Friday, be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.
I do not normally like the idea of wagering on a “1st timer,” but this one is intriguing because we have Mike Maker’s training, Luis Saez’s riding, and a Runhappy bloodline, all coming together in this young colt. I know the 7/5 price may not be something inviting, but it appears appropriate considering the potential this Butler homebred could have. I am waiting for all the “Runhappy” hype that “Mattress Mack” has stirred up with his sire, to finally come home to roost. Who doesn’t want to see the celebrated Houston humanitarian finish in the money? This could be a start to something brewing, as Maker sets him along the path. I particularly like watching these young ones prepare to head to Saratoga. That is where they really can flourish. It’s a bet …
Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #5
Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 5: Masu #3, 10/1):
Last out, the Rudy Rodriguez runner did not get to do much in an MC40k event going 7F on the Belmont Widener. Irad couldn’t get his mount to do much, but let’s remember it was her 2021 debut. The year prior, he was rather lackluster at the MSW, so her conditioner thought this level was an appropriate beginning. It still could ring true, and if you are looking for a price play, then this it is at odds that will be double-digits. This daughter of Palace Malice is a NY bred that has promise based on that bloodline, and maybe she will get to do some racing with the capable Manny Franco in the irons. If 1st time Lasix is an angle you like, then that news is grist for the mill ...
Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 7: Dirt, 1 1/16th, AOC45k, 3+):
It is time to come out of the Belmont chute, and head down the backstretch for this 1-turn 1 1/16th affair. I shied away from choosing a turf race as the “spotlight” simply because the forecast for Friday looks absolutely dreadful. Sticking with the dirt is going to be the way to go, especially since the grass contests might be off.
As for this race, we have a nice OC event that has some good possibilities. You could back a favorite like Linda Rice’s Too Early #4 that likes a route, and the more ground the better. It appears 2-back @BEL, the gelding was loaded going the 1-turn 1 1/8th. That was a nice win. Rice decided to cut the Distorted Humor runner back to 1 Mile, and he didn’t have the same drive that was needed at the conclusion. Still, 2nd wasn’t terrible, so clearly speed figs like the upper 90s warrant the top spot. I want to use him for sure.
As for a “second choice,” you will find some cash will flow into the “Win” pool pocket of Natalia Lynch’s Danebury #6. She took this one over from the Baker Barn, and promptly sent the 8-yr-old into face OC45k Co. Though he faded against Rice’s charge, the Super Saver son did hit the board—3rd. Improvement could be on his horizon as Luis Saez rides once more. Looking over this horse’s career record at Belmont, it is an impressive 6/2:1:2 … not disappointing whatsoever. Fuel left in that tank …
Looking for some clearance prices elsewhere might be an option, and who doesn’t like the idea of backing a Joel Rosario-Christophe Clement entry? Sea Foam #1 spent his past 3 races up in the “Non-G” ranks, and though he didn’t make much of an impact, he tried. Those 100k/175k/200k contests were tough up against the likes of Mr. Buff and Bankit. You need to be sturdy to game with them. Coming back down might do the trick to give this Medaglia d’Oro runner some much needed confidence. If you get 6/1 or higher, that could be a tasty overlay. Clement in these spots can be sound …
As for one other “gem,” what about John Terranova’s card? He sends Three Jokers #2 back to Belmont for the 1st time since last June. Running primarily at the other NYRA tracks, the Twirling Candy colt may be younger than his competitors, but he has a major opportunity to improve in this spot. Jose Ortiz is riding well of late, and he got this one home last time for a score at Aqueduct. I like his chances, and I will be avidly watching the flicking numbers on the tote.
Let’s put together a ticket that takes full advantage of possible odds that we might encounter, using one of the “higher-priced” entries as the “key.”
Wagering Recommendation: $2 Trifecta Wheel, 1/2 w 1/2/4/6 w 1/2/4/6