Belmont Park hosts an excellent nine-card card on Sunday to wrap up the week. Our in-house handicapper is on the case with picks for the entire program, as well as detailed analysis of his strongest opinions throughout the day.
If you're interested in seeing picks elsewhere around the country on Sunday, be sure to check out our Free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.
Most Likely Winner: Colton’s Command (Race 7) - This is a fantastic first-level optional claimer for 3-year-olds on turf that could have serious stakes implications going forward. There are a few legitimate contenders in this race, but none are on the level of Colton’s Command, who was a sensational debut winner at Gulfstream Park in March. Typically more on the patient side, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott came out guns blazing at the Championship Meet, sending out a slew of first-time starters to victory, and this one may have been the most impressive of them all. I was initially skeptical Mott runners would be able to replicate their incredible Gulfstream form elsewhere, however almost all have done so. If Colton’s Command runs back to his first-out effort, or dare I say builds upon it, he should have no trouble here, even against such a strong group.
Best Value: Front Man (Race 6) - I’ve been waiting for a long time for this horse to get back on turf, and I think trainer Mertkan Kantarmaci provides the perfect vehicle for him to do so. Front Man first caught my eye over the winter at Turfway Park, where he seemed to improve as a new gelding. Although he didn’t quite meet my expectations in subsequent starts, there’s no reason he should be expected to handle the synthetic track at Turfway, and you can draw a line through his last start on dirt at Keeneland. His 2020 turf form as a 3-year-old more than puts him in the mix here, and I trust the underrated Kantarmaci to have him ready to run a big race.
Other Races of Interest: Race 1 - Mo Gotcha (#3) is a similar play to my ‘Best Value’ of the day, Front Man, as I’m expecting him to move forward on turf. Unlike Front Man, he has actually run some solid dirt races in the past, so perhaps his recent form is cause for concern, however I thought he ran really well over this turf course last year and he’s certainly a candidate to move up as he goes first off-the-claim for Rob Atras. Ultimately, I just don’t trust any of the other runners in this field.
Race 2 - I think it’s impossible to play Ny Traffic (#3) in this race as he returns off an extended layoff and drops precipitously in class. At one time in 2020 he looked like one of the top 3-year-olds in the country, and he’s absolutely the class of this field, however he faltered at the end of the year, which makes this ultra-conservative placement very alarming. As a matter of price, I prefer the old warrior Control Group (#4), who seems to be rounding back into his best form at 7-years-old. When he’s on his game this guy is one of the top New York-breds around, which makes him a salty foe against non-stakes company.
*If you're looking for payouts for these races, you can find them on our Results page linked to below*