Thursday’s Picks from Belmont Park and Keeneland

We have double the betting action on Thursday as we have both Belmont Park and Keeneland running this afternoon, 18 races in total and plenty of solid betting opportunities.

I am burning the midnight oil this week doing both tracks. The abbreviated Keeneland meeting ends on Sunday.

There is a nine-race card on tap today, and then over the final three days of the meeting we have 10 graded stakes, and the first Grade 1 of the meeting will be contested tomorrow.

A field of 10 will head to the gate in the $300,000 Maker’s Mark Mile. Trainer Chad Brown has the two runners that figure to take the most betting action.

Raging Bull is the 9-5 morning line favorite. The five-year-old won the Shoemaker Mile (G1) at Santa Anita on May 25 in his first start this year.

Without Parole is the 5-2 second choice. The Brown trainee was third in the Shoemaker Mile, beaten 2 ¾ lengths by his stablemate.

Also in the field is last year’s Preakness Stakes (G1) winner War of Will. Trained by Mark Casse, the colt has not won in five trips on turf and was fifth in the Shoemaker Mile and was disqualified and placed sixth.

The co-feature tomorrow at Keeneland is the $100,000 Beaumont (G3) for three-year-old fillies going seven furlongs on the main track. Speech (7-5) ships in from the west coast where she ran second in the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) in her last outing.

Coming up on Saturday we have six stakes at Keeneland including the $600,000 Blue Grass (G2), which is a Road to the Kentucky Derby points race.

You can catch the action from Belmont Park from 1:00 to 6:00 ET on FS2. In addition, you can stream the action from Keeneland on YouTube or by using the TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. is offering a risk free bet up to $300 for new players.

To purchase my Belmont Reports for Thursday click here and Keeneland Reports click here .
Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Belmont Park Reports daily, Keeneland this week and my Best Plays Report which will include all the major Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races.

Here is the opening race from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:

Belmont Race 1 Analysis - 7/9 (1:15 p.m. ET)

BEL Race 1 Md Sp Wt (1:15 ET)
#7 Steal My Sunshine 5-2
#2 Alda 9-5
#6 Frankel At Ascot 5-2
#4 Illegal Smile 8-1

Analysis: Steal My Sunshine
debuts for the Ward barn that is 29% winners overall with firs timers. This season his two-year-old seemed to get off to a slow start but he has now won with 9 of 30 debut juvies (with a +ROI). This gal is by Distorted Humor out of a Sky Mesa mare that has dropped four foals to race all winners including two turf winners and three stakes winners overseas. Solid works on the morning tab.

Alda was away last and made a good late rally to finish third last out in her debut, beaten 1 1/4 lengths at 10-1. She only missed the place spot by a nose. She is out of a Maria's Mon mare that has dropped three winners and they have all won on turf. Motion hits at a 16% clip with second out maidens. The extra furlong here should suit her.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Keeneland:

Keeneland Race 7 Analysis - 7/9 (4:24 p.m. ET)

KEE Race 7 Alw $77,000N1X (4:24 ET)
#6 A K's Song 6-1
#9 Ella Brilla 3-1
#11 Moral Reasoning 5-2
#4 Love Beach 10-1

Analysis: A K's Song
makes her first start since making a mild late run to finish fourth here last October in her first start against winners. That was a good group she faced that day, the three that finished in front of her are all stakes placed now. She graduated two back on the fake stuff at Presque Isle Downs. She has a solid turf pedigree, by Animal Kingdom out of an Unbridled's Song mare. The Motion barn is 23% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff.

Ella Brilla prompted the early pace and weakened late to finish third last out at this level, beaten 3 1/4 lengths for the top spot. The winner was Crystal Cliffs, who came back to run second and beaten just a head in the Regret (G3) in her next outing on June 27 at Churchill Downs. She graduated here on turf at nine furlongs last October and after three thirds at this condition she looks primed for a top effort in this spot for the Lynch barn.

Today’s Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:

Belmont Race 7 Analysis - 7/9 (4:32 p.m. ET)

BEL Race 7 OClm $80,000N1X (4:32 ET)
#1 Our Country 9-2
#4 Shamrocket 4-1
#5 No Word 2-1
#6 Buy Me Candy 8-1

Analysis: Our Country
tracked the early pace while saving ground and did not have any punch in the stretch in a sixth-place finish last out as the beaten favorite at Gulfstream Park last out. Two back of a five-month layoff he was a game third, beaten just 3/4 of a length for the top spot at 6-5. Last year he was fourth in the With Anticipation (G3) in his first start against winners and then was a good third in the Pilgrim (G3). That earned him a start in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) where he checked din ninth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths. Two of these have higher last out Beyers while his BRIS number is the top last out fig. The gelding is capable of better than we saw out of him last out and he ran well here last year.

Shamrocket made a good late rally to graduate last out in his sixth career start and first at 1 1/4 miles. This guy did run into a few toughies along the way including a second to Proven Strategies at Gulfstream Park back in March, that colt now multiple stakes placed. He is improving with each start and the nine furlongs should suit him. He is out of a Storm Cat mare that has dropped four other winners and two are stakes winners, top earner Believe in Charlie ($205,204). He fits here in his first start against winners.

Live Longshots:
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.

Belmont Park
R1: #4 Illegal Smile 8-1
R2: #9 Moneymeister 8-1
R4: #9 Giant Stella 20-1
R6: #9 Fast Chica 10-1
R7: #6 Buy Me Candy 8-1
R8: #3 The Great Johanna 8-1
R8: #6 Maiden Beauty 12-1

Good luck today!