Saturday’s Picks from Belmont and Pimlico

State bred taken center stage this afternoon with Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park and Maryland Million Day at Laurel Park.

We have eight stakes for New York breds in the Big Apple and at Laurel Park Maryland breds will compete for over $1 million with a dozen stakes on their card.

My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my 10 strongest plays from Belmont Park and Pimlico.

The feature below at Belmont Park is the $125,000 Iroquois for fillies and mares going 6 ½ furlongs on the main track. The race drew a competitive field of 10.

Newly Minted is the 5-2 morning line favorite and comes into the race off a victory in the state bred Union Avenue in her last outing, her sixth win in 11 career starts.

Fair Regis, who ran second in the race last year is coming off a third versus open Alw-2 foes and may end up offering a bit more value.

The following race is the richest on the card, the $175,000 Empire Classic Handicap. The race boils down to a showdown between Mr. Buff (5-2) and Funny Guy (2-1).


It is a very challenging card at Laurel Park this afternoon, the highlight the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic. The race drew seven that will travel 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

It looks as if Cordmaker (4-1) may be able to turn the tables on Harpers First Ride, the duo both exiting the Pimlico Special (G3).

You can catch the action from Belmont Park today from 12:00 to 6:00 ET on FS2. In addition, you can stream the action on YouTube or by using the TVG App. The horse betting company based in the U.S. is offering a bet up to $300 for new players.

To purchase my Belmont Park Report for Saturday, click here.

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Belmont Park Reports daily, my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday and my two-day Breeders’ Cup Reports.

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


BEL Race 1 Md Sp Wt

  • #8 He's a Lucky Devil 10-1
  • #10 Swashbuckle 4-1
  • #12 Cotton 7-2
  • #1 Arrowheart 8-1

Analysis: He's a Lucky Devil debuts for the Thomas barn that is 13% winner with first timers. This colt is by Temple City out of the turf stakes winner Devilwenttogeorgia ($162,471). The colt has been working over the main track here and put in a good gate drill. The barn is capable and this is not a very tough looking group of state breds.

Swashbuckle debuts for the Clement barn that is 25% winners (with a +ROI) with first timers. The colt is by Quality Road out of the turf stakes winner Sea Coast ($223,488), her first foal to race. The colt has a drill over turf for a barn that has been very live both here at the Spa meet earlier this summer. He figures to be ready to go at first asking.


BEL Race 9 The Iroquois

  • #3 Fair Regis 9-2
  • #1 Newly Minted 5-2
  • #2 Officer Hutchy 6-1
  • #9 Timely Tradition 5-1

Analysis: Fair Regis is one of two in here sent out by the Atras barn. The mare faced open Alw-2 optional claimers last out at the Spa. She was bumped and pinched back coming out of the gate, tracked the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish. She ran second at the same level two and three back. She has landed in the exacta in 9 of her 13 trips over the Belmont Park main track including running second in this race last year. She is back in with state beds here for the first time since last December and fits here with her best. The barn has been sending out live runners at eh meet, 12 of 24 starters lading in the exacta.

Newly Minted was a game winner of the state bred Union Avenue last out at seven furlongs in her first go off a five-month break. her speed fig is coming up on the light side but she has back numbers good enough to win here. The Rice trainee has worked well since her last effort and has landed in the exact in 9 of her 11 career starts. She has run well from six to nine furlongs and owns a solid pace profile throughout. She went in the Empire Distaff here last October at a mile but looks like a better fit here at 6 1/2 furlongs.


LRL Race 11 The Maryland Million Classic

  • #4 Cordmaker 4-1
  • #3 Monday Morning Qb 5-1
  • #5 Harpers First Ride 8-5
  • #7 Top Line Growth 2-1

Analysis: The question here is if Cordmaker can turn the tables on Harpers First Ride, who has beaten him three times this year. Last out our top pick tracked the early pace while saving ground and finished up well for third while the winner set a pressured pace, but the fractions were not that fast. There figures to be more pace in here which could set things up nicely for our top pick. The Jenkins trainee is a six-time winner over the Laurel Park main track including three stakes. He looks headed in the right direction form wise and is getting seven pounds from the Pimlico Special winner and is going to end up offering more value for the top spot.

Monday Morning Qb faded to finish 11th last out in the James W. Murphy but that was over yielding ground on turf. We will toss that effort and hope he can move forward off a solid second in the Federico Tesio here two back at nine furlongs. That outing came off a seven-month layoff. The winner Happy Saver came back to beat older in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park in his next outing. He also is getting seven pounds from the likely favorite. No three-year-old has won this race which was first run in 1986. The Reid trainee looks as if he still has plenty of upside and figures to bounce back with the surface switch as he makes his third start off the bench.

Harpers First Ride earned a career top speed figure in his win in the Pimlico Special. The gelding dueled for the early lead and finished well to win by two lengths over Owendale. He won the Deputed Testimony two back for his first stakes win. That was his sixth win in seven trips over the Laurel Park main track. He picks up four pounds and is going to face some pace pressure. He could regress off back to back career tops and his price may end up on the light side.


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: #8 He’s a Lucky Devil 10-1
  • R1: #1 Arrowheart 8-1
  • R4: #6 Niko’s Dream 8-1
  • R5: #5 Pretty Clever 8-1
  • R7: #4 Dugout 10-1
  • R10: #4 Chestertown 10-1
  • R11: #5 Three Outlaws 8-1
  • R11: #11 On the Couch 12-1

Good luck today!

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