After having Discreet Marq ($4.70) as my top pick in the Eventail and second choice Samitar ($3.80) winning the Fairy Garden, it looked as if all of the stakes on the July 4th card at Belmont Park were going to be chalk.
Data Link was my top pick in the Poker (G3) and was bet down to 3-5, but it was the New York bred King Kreesa who jumped out to a relatively easy lead and took the field gate to wire, returning $11.00.
The gelding came into the race off an impressive win against state breds in the Kingston but I did not think he could hold off better in open company.
But the gelding got a perfect ride by Irad Ortiz to pull off the mild upset, with Howe Great chasing the entire trip and landing second, the $2 exacta returning $69.50.
The favorite Data Link came into the race off a runner up finish in the Makers 46 Mile (G1), beaten just a length by 2012 Horse of the Year Wise Dan.
However, it was a case of pace makes the race and he checked in fourth in a disappointing effort.
It was a pretty chalky day at Belmont Park, and Friday’s card holds a bit more promise for a couple of longshots to land. The card gets underway at 3:00 ET.
Coming up on Saturday my Best Plays Report will include the Summit of Speed from Calder and my strongest plays from Belmont Park.
Analysis: King Balthasar set thee early fractions and weakened in the stretch to finish fourth last out trying to get 1 1/4 miles. The gelding cuts back in distance and adds lasix today for the McLaughlin barn. He looks to be heading in the right direction and his 8-1 morning line looks fair enough to give him a look here. He has a couple of sibs that are grass winners and is a half to a couple of talented dirt runners in Infinite Faith ($262,255) and Uncle Denny ($291,981).
Defiant earned the top last out speed fig in a runner up finish in his first go on turf, catching yielding going. The colt moved forward off his debut on the main track where he was not a threat in a fifth place finish, beaten 14 1/2 lengths. By Tiznow out of a Maria's Mon mare this guy does not have a real strong turf pedigree but he looks more talented than most of these.
WIN: #3 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 3,5 / 2,3,4,5
TRI: 3,5 / 2,3,4,5 / 2,3,4,5,7
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
Analysis: Yes It's Pink was a good looking winner last out against state bred Alw-2 optional claimers and now steps outside of the New York bred ranks here. Two she beat last out came back to win their next starts including Frosty Bay, who came back to win the New York Stallion Series Cupecoy's Joy. The filly broke her maiden at today's seven furlong distance and just looks like she is getting better with each outing.
Unabashed did not have the best of trips last out at this level. The filly was bumped coming out of the gate, was down along the inside and was forced to wait for room around the far turn and did not fire when clear in the stretch. The runner up Finder's Key came back to win at this level in her next outing on May 20 at Delaware Park. The blinkers come off as she tries grass for the first time. She is out of the stakes winner Golden Temper ($347,413) who has dropped two other winners including one turf winner. Pletcher is 18% winners with runners trying the turf for the first time.
WIN: #3 to win at 9-5 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,4,5
TRI: 1,3 / 1,3,4,5 / 1,3,4,5,6
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.
R1: #3 King Balthasar 8-1
R1: #4 Slews Best Quality 8-1
R2: #1 Neitherion 15-1
R6: #7 Tassinaia 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 daily with top picks from Belmont Park or grab winners in the Weekend Best Plays Report in the horse racing Multi-Track package. Want more action? 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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