Will Take Charge was beaten a combined 45 ¼ lengths in the Triple Crown races, but now the colt is at the top of the three-year-old division after winning the Travers (G1) last month and yesterday's Pennsylvania Derby (G2) at Parx Racing.
The D. Wayne Lukas trainee has now beaten Moreno three times in a row, and I doubt his trainer Eric Guillot will have any excuses for the defeat. Guillot accused Will Take Charge jockey Luis Saez of using an electrical device to shock his mount in the Travers.
The New York Gaming Commission and the New York State Police are reportedly still investigating the incident.
On Saturday Will Take Charge stalked the early pace, had to wait for some running room when blocked behind foes nearing the quarterpole and finished up strongly when clear to win by 2 ¼ lengths, returning $6.60 as the betting favorite.
Moreno set the early fractions started to weaken at the eighth pole and came back to grab the runner up spot and complete a $21.00 exacta.
Next up for the colt, who is out of the multiple Grade 1 winner Take Charge Lady and a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Take Charge Indy, is the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) where he will face older for the first time.
A solid effort and he will wrap up the Eclipse Award for the top three-year-old, which certainly would be hard to believe after he finished 17 lengths behind Palace Malice in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
We have a $123,229 Pick 6 carryover at Belmont Park today.
Here is today’s opening race from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:
BEL Race 1 Clm $35,000B (1:05 ET) 7 Viva Allegiance 3-1 5 Beverage Queen 5-1 3 Belle of the West 6-1 6 Blossom's Trail 7-2
Analysis: Viva Allegiance was a good looking maiden winner in her debut and came back with a good effort last out in a fourth against $35,000 starter optional claimers,beaten just a half length for the top spot. This gal still has some upside and a nice pedigree, by Proud Citizen out of a stakes placed mare that has dropped a couple of other turf winners.
Beverage Queen returns off a two month break after checking in seventh last out when dropping in for a tag for the first time. She was claimed out of the race by the Servis barn that is 28% winners first off the claim. She showed some promise in the spring breaking her maiden in her debut and McPeek though enough of her to try her in the Regret (G3) where she checked in sixth.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 5,7 / 3,5,6,7
TRI: 5,7 / 3,5,6,7 / 3,5,6,7,9
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
BEL Race 8 Alw $77,000N1X (4:45 ET) 3 Sophie's Turn 4-1 5 The Lady Says Yes 7-2 1 Satin Sheeks / 1a Strike Accord 3-1 7 Flirtatious Spring 5-1
Analysis: Sophie's Turn was a good looking maiden winner last out at the Spa in her third career start. The filly saved ground in the early going and came with a good late run and drew away late. She is getting better with each outing and looks as if she still has plenty of upside. She is a half to a couple of dirt stakes winners, top earner Bag of Mischief ($195,715).
The Lady Says Yes returns off a two month break after a last to first run to break her maiden last out in her fifth career start. She beat our top pick in that outing. The $180,000 Keeneland purchase has a solid pedigree, by Scat Daddy out of a stakes placed Strike the Gold mare that has dropped two other winners including stakes winner Bellacourt (2 for 5, $110,550). The Brown barn is solid off short breaks although I doubt we see the 7-2 morning line on this gal.
WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,5 / 1,3,5,7
TRI: 3,5 / 1,3,5,7 / 1,3,5,7,9
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Churchill Downs:
CD Race 9 Md Sp Wt (4:59 ET) 4 Reign 3-1 11 Academic Probation 10-1 8 Aline's Secret 7-2 3 Any Day Now 10-1
Analysis: Reign stalked the early pace and weakened to finish sixth in her debut going 5 1/2 furlongs on the Spa turf. She should move forward with a race under her belt for the Motion barn that is 14% winners with second out maidens. This gal has a decent turf pedigree, by Speightstown out of the stakes winner Angela's Love ($347,135).
Academic Probation makes her debut for the Gorder barn that is 17% winners with firsters. She sports a bullet work on the morning tab and is bred to like turf, by Grade 1 turf winner Einstein out of a Proud Citizen mare, her first foal to race. She draws a tough post but the 10-1 morning line looks more than fair.
WIN: #4 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 4,11 / 3,4,8,11
TRI: 4,11 / 3,4,8,11 / 3,4,6,8,11
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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