Andrea has arrived in New York, and the rains will continue throughout the day with no let up until early Saturday morning. We are off the turf for Friday and the main track is listed as sloppy for the ten race card that gets underway at 1:05 eastern.
The racetrack will be sealed again after the final race, but it appears likely we will at least start Belmont Stakes Day with an off track. The racing surface does dry out quickly, so if no more additional rain falls on Saturday there is still a chance we will not repeat the sea of slop we saw on Kentucky Derby Day.
The turf course still figures to have plenty of give to it on Saturday and that will affect the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (G1), which features the return of Point of Entry.
Point of Entry was entered in the Woodward Reserve Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs on Derby Day, but trainer Shug McGaughey elected to scratch him because of the yielding conditions.
However, McGaughey said that Point of Entry will still run on Saturday even of the turf is yielding or soft.
The feature on Friday is the $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap (G2) which will be run at the Belmont Stakes distance of 1 ½ miles. The race drew a field of eight including 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice and last year’s Breeders’ Cup Marathon (G2) winner Calidoscopio.
Here is today’s opening from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 Clm $35,000B (1:05 ET) 1 Herbert Hall / 1a Laysh Laysh Laysh 7-2 4 Valediction 4-1 6 Alcomatch 5-1 9 Take Down Two 7-2
Analysis: Herbert Hall stalked the early pace and finished well, drawing clear late to beat $25,000 non-winners of two or three year olds on turf. The runner up in the race was Special Selection, who came back to beat state bred Alw-1 foe sin his next start. our top pick was claimed out of the race by the Jacobson barn that is 27% winners first off the claim. This guy has never been on a wet track but is certainly bred to handle one as it seems likely we are going to be off the turf today.
Valediction was outrun on the turf last out at Churchill Downs against Alw-2 optional claimers and faces an easier group here taking on $35,000 non-winners of three or a race on turf since Dec.7. Three back this guy was a game winner with a late rally to beat Alw-1 foes on grass at Fair Grounds. The gelding is by Vindication out of a Gulch mare and should like the off going.
WIN: #1 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,4 / 1,4,6,9
TRI: 1,4 / 1,4,6,9 / 1,4,6,7,9
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
Analysis: Calidoscopio pulled off the upset in last fall's Breeders' Cup Marathon (G2) at 17-1 in his U.S. debut which was off a 4 1/2 month layoff. Last out in the Tokyo City (G3) off a similar layoff the ten year old was outrun in the early going and cold not make up enough ground late but got no pace to run at. It also looks as if the barn may not have had this guy fully cranked. He is proven he can go long and has handled a wet track. It looks as if he should get some pace to run at here.
Quick Casablanca stalked the early pace, made a good middle move and flattened out late in a third place finish in the Good Reward at 1 1/4 miles on the turf in his U.S. debut. He was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the outing despite coming back off a year layoff. He is a Group 1 winner in his native Chile and figures to move forward off his last outing. He has done most of his running on turf but does have a Group 1 on the main track and has enough pedigree to handle a wet track if the track is still wet.
WIN: #4 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 3,4 / 3,4,5,8
TRI: 3,4 / 3,4,5,8 / 3,4,5,6,8
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R2: #8 Buddy James 15-1
R2: #5 Treblemaker 20-1
R5: #12 Here He Fitz 12-1
R5: #8 Gold Buffalo 8-1
R6: #7 Scampering 8-1
R8: #7 R Skinnys Chick 8-1
R10: #8 Ruler On Ice 8-1
Mike DempseyMike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders' Cup. The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes. Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick. Mike also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively. No handicapper in the industry works harder to bring you analysis that produces profits at the track! Mike's Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card. Join Mike each day with daily picks from Belmont and Churchill Downs or capture the 2nd jewel in the Triple Crown with Mike's Preakness Stakes package. You can also get his Weekend Best Plays Report in his Multi-Track package or sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
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Jerry SessaJerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to VegasInsider.com. When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins. Jerry opened the 2016 Triple Crown season by hitting his Derby Day best bet, Nyquist. He also nailed the Derby exacta for a $30.60 payout. On 4/16/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.
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