We still have a couple of weeks before summer racing heats up with the opening of Saratoga and Del Mar, but we have an outstanding Saturday of racing on tap, with 10 graded stakes around the country.
We have the Summit of Speed at Calder, and a couple of graded stakes at Belmont Park, Hollywood Park and Monmouth Park.
Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner Little Mike is in action in the $500,000 United Nations (G1) at Monmouth park, and Game On Dude will be the chalk as he goes for his fifth win in a row in the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (G1).
The stakes at Belmont Park came up on the light side. Only five will line up in the $350,000 Suburban Handicap (G2), but it is an interesting matchup between Flat Out, Last Gunfighter and Alpha.
The co-feature in New York today is the $200,000 Dwyer (G2) for three-year-olds that drew a compact field of six. Trainer Todd Pletcher sends out the two likely favorites in Battier and Abraham.
In the ridiculous battle of the dates in Florida, Calder and Gulfstream Park will go head to head this afternoon.
Calder will win today’s battle with an outstanding 11-race card featuring six stakes, four of which are graded. Gulfstream Park has a weak eight race card with mostly cheap races, with two of the first three races on the card having fields of six.
Analysis: Hepatologist drew a tough spot last out when returning off a seven month layoff and came up short in the stretch in a sixth place finish at this level behind repeat winner Royal Blessing, who came back to beat state bred Alw-2 optional claimers in his next outing on June 21 here. He draws a better spot here and figures to move forward second off the bench for the Servis barn that has hit with 10 of the last 15 runners (with a +ROI) sent out making their second start off a +180 day layoff.
Mobridge faces winners for the first time here after breaking his maiden in his fourth career start last out. The colt has shown steady improvement in each outing and makes his third start here since the Bill Mott took over calling the shots. The colt has a decent pedigree, out of the stakes winner River Nore ($188,655) and the colt appears to still have more upside than most of these state breds.
WIN: #6 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 4,6 / 1,4,5,6
TRI: 4,6 / 1,4,5,6 / 1,3,4,5,6
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 9 The Dwyer G2 (5:17 ET) 3 Saint Vigeur 4-1 1 Battier 2-1 6 Abraham 5-2 4 For Greater Glory 5-1
Analysis: Saint Vigeur makes his first start since running a distant second in the slop in the Peter Pan (G2) behind the freaking Freedom Child who won by better than 13 lengths and then came back to bounce in the Belmont Stakes (G1) in his next outing. Our top pick beat Alw-2L optional claimers two back in his first go against winners, catching a muddy track. He has raced on turf twice and wet tracks twice and I have a feeling the Chad Brown barn still has not gotten the best out of this guy yet. He will likely have to run a career best to beat the Pletcher duo but is going to offer more value than either of those two in this short field.
Battier is the better of the two Pletcher runners as Abraham has been over-hyped since before he ever went into the starting gate for his debut. Battier is coming off a third place finish in the Gygistar behind a good runner in Declan's Warrior. He is the lone stakes winner in the field, taking the restricted Fit to Fight two back going a one turn mile at the Big A. Note Johnny V sticks with this guy here.
WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 1,3 / 1,3,6
TRI: no play
Analysis: Sweet Cassiopeia has won on turf, dirt, and the fake stuff and now makes just her second career start on conventional dirt. Her lone start on dirt was a win in the West Virginia Secretary of State at Mountaineer Park last summer at six furlongs. She is a three time winner on turf and a five time winner over synthetic surfaces. Her last win came three back at Keeneland in the Giant's Causeway going five furlongs on turf. She just has one breeze over the main track here and comes into the race with a good tune up in a runner up finish against non-conditioned allowance foes where she could not get to the talented Good Deed, who is a multiple stakes winner. Decent value if this gal goes off near her 8-1 morning line.
Judy the Beauty has labeled in the exacta in all nine of her career start, last out a runner up finish in the Winning Colors (G3) at Churchill Downs. She missed winning the Prioress (G1) last summer at the Spa in a photo to Emma's Encore and also ran second in the Gallant Bloom (G2). These do not look as tough as what she faced in New York and she fits here with her best. She popped a bullet work on the morning tab at Keeneland on June 25. She looks primed for a top effort here third off the bench for the Wesley Ward barn but her price may end up a bit on the light side.
WIN: #9 to win at 9-2 or better.
EX: 5,9 / 5,6,9,11
TRI: 5,9 / 5,6,9,11 / 1,5,6,9,11
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.
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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