The wagering week kicks off with a little added incentive to fire up the wagering account as there is a $248,140 Pick 6 carryover at Belmont Park after the wager went unsolved over the weekend.
The weather looks good and the pool may top $1 million by the time the fourth race goes off at 2:38 ET.
At first glance the six race sequence is not nearly as challenging as many recent cards, and the first two races could be telling.
The fourth race features 7-5 morning line favorite Cay to Pomeroy and the favorite in the fifth race is Crackerjack Jones, who is listed at 3-5 in a field of eight.
I have a tough time backing chalk in New York bred races, and neither of the chalks are my top picks in those races. If we can beat at least one of them it will make things interesting as the day goes on.
If both win it could be the start of a chalky afternoon as I had a tough time coming up with many live longshots. My list below includes just four during the six races, and only one of them is my top pick.
While I am pretty sure we are going to have quite a few of us with winning tickets, sharing a $1 million pot is a good way to spend a Wednesday afternoon.
Analysis: Puzzling stalked a moderate early pace, came with a four wide rally and picked it up late in a runner up finish last out over yielding footing. Two back at Gulfstream Park this gal was outrun in the early going and came with a good late rally to just miss, coming up a neck shy of the top spot. The Shug runner just needs to see some pace to run at here.
Scenario Analysis returns off a 2 1/2 month break after checking in fifth last out at Tampa Bay Downs in the Florida bred Distaff Turf, beaten 1 3/4 lengths for the top spot. Two back this gal beat Alw-1 optional claimers at Gulfstream Park and is a four time winner on turf. She fits well in this spot and the Brown barn is 29% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 46-90 day break.
WIN: #6 to win at 3-1 or better.
EX: 1,6 / 1,2,5,6
TRI: 1,6 / 1,2,5,6 / 1,2,3,5,6
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 The Lion Cavern (4:45 ET) 3 Strapping Groom 5-1 6 Hardened Wildcat 2-1 2 Big Business 5-2 4 Smash 4-1
Analysis: Strapping Groom is one of two in here sent out by the David Jacobson barn and among the top three is likely going to offer the best value for the top spot. The six-year-old missed by just a head last out in a game effort against $35,000 non-winners of three or a race since Jan. 1. The outing was his first go off an 11 month layoff and the new barn is 26% winners first off the claim and is coming off a big weekend where the barn won five races. This guy is a two-time winner over the main track here and while he is stepping into a tougher spot here he is the main speed as the rest of the field likes to sit off the pace. If he is able to shake loose early he is a danger to take this group gate to wire.
Hardened Wildcat made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out in the Maryland Sprint Handicap (G3) at Pimlico on the Preakness Day card. Two back he beat Alw-3 optional claimers off a 4 ½ month break. He won three of seven starts last year and mixed it up in graded stakes, running second in the Bay Shore (G2) behind Trinniberg. He showed two back in his career top effort he can be closer to the pace than he was last out when he was a dozen lengths back. Castellano will need to keep this guy closer here.
Big Business is the second runner in here sent out by Jacobson. The gelding is coming off back to back wins and has landed in the exacta in 11 straight starts. He is perfect in four starts over the Belmont Park main track. The runner he beat last out was N.F.’s Destiny, who came back with a 97 Beyer in a runner up finish against Alw-2 optional claimers last Saturday, beaten a neck. He looks as if he is sitting on a good one here in his third start of his current form cycle, but his price may end up on the light side.
WIN: #3 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 3,6 / 2,3,6
TRI: no play
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: #4 Shkspeare Shaliyah 10-1
R3: #9 Fluent 15-1
R4: #4 Silent Thunder 12-1
R5: #6 Sunnysider 8-1
R6: #6 Centrina 10-1
R9: #5 Double O One 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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