A stretch of immaculate weather is set to continue on Friday, when Belmont Park hosts an intriguing nine-race card. As usual, our in-house handicapper has you covered with picks for every race and analysis of his strongest opinions throughout the day.
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.
Most Likely Winner: Laura’s Bellamy (Race 7) - If you excuse her effort two back in a New York Stallion Series stakes race when she was forced to run without Lasix, this 3-year-old filly looks particularly formidable in this New York-bred allowance race. Furthermore, her last race was her best yet by a wide margin, which is an encouraging sign for a lightly-raced horse that is still developing. She earned an 82 Beyer Speed Figure for that performance, and if she runs back to it she should have no trouble handling this pedestrian group.
Best Value: Scocciatore (Race 8) - There are a couple others in this race who I believe are false favorites, whereas I’m completely open to the idea that Scocciatore’s recent improvement is wholly legitimate. Despite winning a race on dirt at Saratoga last year, this guy has always been more of a turf horse, and that showed last out when he beat a starter field on turf with an 80 Beyer. If he were to repeat that number he’d be a very likely winner, yet he’s listed at 6-1 on the morning line. Considering his trainer Chris Englehart is in the midst of a highly productive meet, I’m willing to bet he’s able to reproduce that effort here.
Other Races of Interest: Race 5 - We Ready (#10) was dreadful in his last race here on June 4, however it came on a muddy track against maiden special weight company. He has handled a wet track in the past, but it’s possible he just didn’t care for the surface that day as his two prior outings for trainer Joe Parker were considerably better. I’m expecting something more in line with those races out of him in this spot, which is going to make him a major player at inflated odds.
Race 6 - It may not be a true turf sprint, but I can’t resist picking the horse ridden by Joel Rosario in this elongated one-turn race. I don’t often like to make a jockey my main angle in liking a horse, but in the case of Rosario I’m willing to make an exception as he’s just so good at riding on this turf course. Ironically, that was not the case last out with The Great Gazoo (#3) as he piloted him into significant trouble, but that’s only going to help his price this time around and I think this horse is going to appreciate stretching out to a mile.
*If you're interested in seeing payouts for these races, you can find them on our Results page linked to below*