Conditions figure to be perfect on Thursday at Belmont Park, where nine compelling races have been drawn for your betting pleasure. As usual, our in-house handicapper has broken down the action, with picks for every race and additional analysis of his strongest opinions throughout the day.
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.
Most Likely Winner: Square Shooter (Race 5) - A nearly full field of 50k claimers has lined up for Race 5, which isn’t going to make Square Shooter’s task an easy one, but he’s run too well to lose in his last two starts while pairing up Beyer Speed Figures of 90. If he maintains that kind of form it’s doubtful that anyone else in here will be able to beat him, even if some of the entrants with back class were suddenly to revert back to their best form, and I see no reason to believe he won’t be able to keep that streak alive.
Best Value: Baba (Race 3) - There are a couple vulnerable short-priced entrants in this spot, which should set the table nicely for Baba, a 3-year-old filly that has shown some signs of life in her recent starts. She was beaten a mile in her last race, however that was an allowance event on a wet track that was dominated by a pair of talented runners. Baba’s prior start on a dry track more than puts her in the mix, and I’m expecting her to take another step forward here at what should be square odds.
Other Races of Interest: Race 6 - No one in this lower-priced claimer scares me, so I’m going to go with the salty veteran Summer Bourbon (#8), even as he makes his first start for the obscure Jesus Romero. Summer Bourbon has a history of running well regardless of conditioner, and consider that he’s exiting the barn of a low-profile trainer for whom he ran a pair of decent races. He may own only one win over this track, but Summer Bourbon has a knack for running well at Belmont, and I expect him to do so again on Thursday.
Race 7 - Morning Breez (#4) has developed a penchant for settling for minor awards, but he’s not completely averse to winning, and I expect him to do just that in this first-level allowance race, a condition he’s been diligently trying to break through for over a year now. So why would things be any different this time around? For one, this field is not a particularly good one, and the speed figures Morning Breez has been running are right in line with the best of this group. I’m also expecting him to appreciate a return to Belmont, where he has historically been at his best. If he does take a step forward off his last race, he’s going to be a formidable foe.
*If you're interested in seeing payouts for these races, you can find them on our Results page linked to below*