Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

Friday's Picks from Belmont Park and Pimlico

It seems as if we have been talking about drugs, ointments and dermatitis entirely too much this week. However, now it’s time to fire up the betting account and get busy as we have 28 races including 15 stakes on tap at Pimlico not to mention another 20 races over the next two days at Belmont Park.

It is Black Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico and we will see the first Bob Baffert runner of the weekend in the feature. Beautiful Gift is the 9-5 morning line favorite in the $250,000 Black Eyed Susan (G2) which drew a competitive field of 10 three-year-old fillies.

The Maryland Jockey Club agreed to let Baffert enter horses this weekend including Medina Spirit and Concert Tour in the Preakness Stakes (G1) tomorrow, but with some conditions that his horses are tested before the race.

The Maryland Jockey Club released this statement on Thursday evening:

Per the condition of entry agreement into Preakness 146 between the Maryland Jockey Club and trainer Bob Baffert reached earlier this week, Baffert trained horses Medina Spirit, Concert Tour and Beautiful Gift underwent three rounds of out-of-competition blood sample testing. The Maryland Racing Commission (MRC) took two samples, one on May 6th and the other on May 10th. A third sample was taken by 1/ST RACING and the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) on May 11th

Samples drawn on May 6th and May 10th by the MRC were sent to Industrial Laboratories in Colorado while the samples drawn by 1/ST RACING and MJC on May 11th were sent to the University of California at Davis Maddy Laboratory.

The May 6th samples were screened for both prohibited and therapeutic substances and were reported clear for all horses on May 13th by Industrial Laboratories.

Results for the May 10th and May 11th samples will be available on Friday, May 14th and are expected by 3:00 pm ET in advance of the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (GII) for which Beautiful Gift is currently entered. The outcome of those results will be announced publicly by 1/ST RACING and MJC upon receipt.

It looks as if Baffert’s runners will be allowed to compete, and at least for now Medina Spirit’s Triple Crown hopes are still alive. Although they certainly could be dashed when the split sample comes back. The first test showed an overage of the therapeutic drug betamethasone in case you have been living under a rock this week.

Baffert said he is going to fight the positive “tooth and nail” so it seems the drama will not end when the winner crosses the finish line on Saturday evening in the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

I plan on fading most of Baffert’s runners the next few days, so feel free to join me in rooting and betting against them.

My Preakness Stakes Package is now available with my selections, analysis and fair odds line for all 14 races for Friday’s Black Eyed Susan Day and Saturday’s Preakness Day. My Best Plays Report for Friday includes my 10 strongest plays from Belmont Park and Pimlico

The Black Eyed Susan Stakes will be broadcast from 5:00 to 6:00 ET on NBCSN. “America’s Day at the Races” today is from 12:30 to 3:00 ET on FS1 and 5:00 to 5:30 on FS2 with the action from Belmont Park. TVG is offering new players up to a $300 Risk Free wager . In addition, AmWager is offering up to a $500 bonus for new horseplayers.

To purchase my Belmont Park, Pimlico and Best Plays Reports for Friday click here .

Now is the perfect time to purchase my Monthly Package. It gives you a month of Belmont Park Reports daily and my Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday as well as my Preakness Stakes Day reports.

Here is the second race (the opener is chalky) from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start:


Race 2 Clm $14,000N3L

  • #4 Tri Saint Lorenzo 6-1
  • #3 Beach Front 6-1
  • #2 Joycee Haz Pizzaz 3-1
  • #1 The Big S / 1a Road to Meath 5-2

Analysis: Tri Saint Lorenzo caught a sloppy track last out and faded to finish a well beaten sixth against $35,000 non-winners of three going long. He cuts back to a sprint and takes the blinkers off here for the Marti barn. Two back at a mile at the Big A this guy made a mild late run to finish third. He is light with the bug and drops in for a $14,000 tag here. He may wake up here on the cut back and this guy should end up a fair price in a wide open race.

Beach Front stalked the early pace and made a mild late rally while wide to finish third last out at this level going six furlongs. Rice claimed this guy for $14,000 three back and he ran a good second two back in his first go for the barn. The trainer started off the meet chilly but is back on track. Since he beat non-winners of two he has landed in the money in 4 of his 6 trips at this level. He looks capable of moving forward off his last two starts and is going to end up a fair price in this spot.


Race 8 The Allaire Dupont Distaff G3

  • #8 Lucky Stride 6-1
  • #3 Spice Is Nice 7-2
  • #5 Horologist 3-1
  • #4 Getridofwhatailesu 7-2

Analysis: Lucky Stride was off about 1 1/2 lengths behind the field last out in the Top Flight at Aqueduct. The mare stalked a slow early pace and could not get to the top pair late in a third-place finish, beaten 1 1/4 lengths. Two back at Laurel Park she won the Nellie Morse in a sharp effort. She picks up Irad and with a better start she should get a good tracking trip a bit closer to the pace here. She has won at nine furlongs and can turn the tables on the pair that finished ahead of her last out and she should end up a decent price in this spot.

Spice Is Nice tracked the early pace and took over the lead in the stretch to go to a 2 1/4 length win cover Alw-2 optional claimers last out at Keeneland. She was making her first start off nearly an eight-month layoff. She showed some promise last year breaking her maiden by a dozen lengths and then running second in the Davona Dale (G2). She should move forward in her second start off the bench for the Pletcher barn. This gal was a $1.05 million Keeneland purchase back in 2018.


Race 7 OClm $45,000N2X

  • #2 Rossa Veloce 8-1
  • #1 Fierce Lady 5-2
  • #5 Awesome Debate 8-5
  • #7 Irish Constitution 7-2

Analysis: Rossa Veloce makes her first start since January where she set the early fractions down along the 2-3 paths in the mud on a day the outer paths were the place to be and she weakened to finish fourth in the state bred Franklin Square. Two back this gal beat state bred Alw-1 optional claimers with a gate to wire score. She returns off a four month break here with lasix added. The Handal barn is 11% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a 61–180-day layoff. She has mixed it up with mostly tougher and looks like a good fit here at a decent price.

Fierce Lady is making her first start since last November as she lands with the Russel barn that is 34% winners with newcomers to the barn. Last out she tracked the early pace and weakened to finish third at this level. The winner of that race was Letmetakethiscall who came back to beat Alw-1 and Alw-2 outside of the state bred ranks in her next two starts and won the Xtra Heat in her most recent start on March 27. Good works on the morning tab for a barn that is 22% winners with runners coming back off a 61–180-day break.


These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win wager.

Belmont Park

  • R5: #5 Front Man 8-1
  • R7: #2 Rossa Veloce 8-1
  • R8: #4 Civil War 10-1

Good luck today!

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