Belmont Park Picks & Analysis for June 17

Belmont Park begins the week with a nine-race card on Thursday
Belmont Park begins the week with a nine-race card on Thursday

With perfect weather in the forecast, Belmont Park kicks off a new week of racing with a nine-race program on Thursday. As usual, our in-house handicapper has you covered with picks for the whole card 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.

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Horse Racing Picks

Most Likely Winner:  Star Devine (Race 8) - There are a couple legitimate runners in this first-level turf allowance race, however I’m expecting Star Devine to build on the enormous potential she showed in her debut win on April 8 at Aqueduct. She was a bit disappointing last out in the G3 Soaring Softly at Belmont, but she was perhaps put in an uncomfortable position for her as she was forced into a pace-pressing role in that race. I think with Joel Rosario climbing aboard we’re going to see a much more patient ride, and if she demonstrates the same kind of closing kick she showed first out she should have no trouble sweeping past this field.

Best Value:  Flashing Red (Race 2) - There are a couple favorites in this race I have little interest in, which is why I’m so keen on Flashing Red, even at 4-1 on the morning line. I think this seven-furlong distance is going to hit this filly right between the eyes, particularly due to the way she ran two back at Fair Grounds going a mile, and I’m not going to hold her last race against her as she likely wants no part of a mile and a quarter. The drop in class strikes me as purely a realistic one, and this filly should get a great setup from just off the pace.

Other Races of Interest:  Race 5 - Malibu Pro (#7) and Supreme Aura (#9) can obviously win this race, but there are some red flags with both of these horses considering the former has been dropped suspiciously in class in his last two races while the latter is taking such a drop on Thursday having won his last race impressively for a 40k tag. These negatives lead me to Potantico (#1), a horse with back class in California that ran acceptably last out in his first NYRA start. With that race under his belt, I’m anticipating a forward move from him as he remains at this level, and with so much uncertainty surrounding the other runners in this field I think he can be safely relied upon to deliver another solid effort.

Race 7 - The likely favorites in this race are in questionable form at the moment, so I’m going to take a shot with Rossa Veloce (#1) as she returns off a layoff for trainer Ray Handal. This filly showed some ability last year as a 2-year-old, earning a couple of Beyers that put her in the mix here, and there’s reason to believe she’s set to move forward as she adds Lasix for the first time in her career. Her ample early speed always makes her a threat, and if she does show some improvement she’s going to be right there with this suspect group.

 

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