Belmont Park Picks: Mystic Guide's Divination in the Suburban

The Grade III Suburban Stakes is the Saturday highlight at Belmont on Saturday. J.N. Campbell looks into his crystal ball to produce a winner, along with a host of other selections ...
The Grade III Suburban Stakes is the Saturday highlight at Belmont on Saturday. J.N. Campbell looks into his crystal ball to produce a winner, along with a host of other selections ...

The Grade II Suburban Stakes is the "Feature" on the card at Belmont Park this Saturday. Del Mar in November ... a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" ticket for the Classic is on the line! Our turf-man previews the race along with giving his selections for the card...

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Race 10: Dirt, 1¼, Suburban Stakes (G2), $400k, 4+  

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, Mike Stidham’s runner Mystic Guide #4 is the best racehorse in North America. I know that is a fairly brash statement, but it is backed up by not only “Wins," but also some shipping performances that were challenging, to say the least. The slop at Oaklawn for the Razorback? How about the nightmare trip to the post at the Dubai WC where entries were dashing about like it was out in the pasture? The Godolphin colt possessed the mental toughness, and “ran his race” each time. Luis Saez continues to ride some champs this year, but none seem greater than this one (and that includes EQ!). A march to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Del Mar is in order. I will reiterate … he just has to run his race, and if he does, there is really not a one in the Suburban who can stop him. Atop the NTRA Rankings did not just come all of a sudden, mind you …

As for the rest of this field, there are definitely some “contenders,” as I see it, but Stidham/Saez are going to have to be decidedly off their game. Certainly, Todd Pletcher’s undefeated colt, Super Saver #6 will have a sizable digital wallet before this one goes off … rightly so. His conditioner spotted him well last year, and he has a freshening under his belt before trying a “Graded” race like this one. I am not necessarily convinced that he is a better horse than last year. Let’s assume he isn’t … which is entirely possible, after such a long layoff. He could be a “booby trap” bet; in the sense that he is not up to beating Stidham’s runner again, like he did last fall in the JC Gold Cup @BEL. I would argue that these are 2 totally different colts, as of today, and they both might be headed in different directions, as far as their prowess.

If there is a “wise guy,” one that could compete with such a heavy favorite, then maybe we need to look to Pletcher’s other entry? Moretti #1 has promise in that not only does he get a super jock like Flavien Prat, but he was 2nd in this race last year. The track sets up nicely for his style (BEL Record … 3/1-1-1), and he already has a “go” in the early June running of the Brooklyn (G2) under his belt. That race came up tough, and there is no comparison between it as a prep, and the one Happy Saver #1 competed in for his 2021 debut. The Brooklyn @BEL was at 1½, and I think the Repole Stable/Eclipse T-Bred-owned 5-yr-old will appreciate the cutback in distance. Most will shy away, since his speed figs look rather paltry, but this angle looks enticing at odds that will be in the double-digits. I am not calling for an outright upset of “Mystic,” but what I am saying is that I like this Pletcher entry much more than the other. Bet ‘em!  

Wagering Recommendation: $2 Exacta Box, 1/4

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

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