Sunday’s Picks from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs

After an 11-hour day/night wagering on Belmont Park and Churchill Downs on Saturday, today will seem like a half day as both tracks will be running at the same time.

Both tracks have solid cards this afternoon and it is a rare occasion neither track has a stakes race carded.

In the $100,000 Seek Again yesterday at Belmont Park my top pick Flavius could not get to my second choice Get Smokin who took the field gate to wire to pull off the mild upset and return $10.80. The $2 exacta paid a solid $35.20.

Get Smokin got a heady ride from jockey Junior Alvarado who was able to set fractions of 24.25 and 48.61, leaving something left in the tank to hold off the favorite by three-quarters of a length for the win.

Next week at Belmont Park we are on a Friday to Monday schedule with racing on Memorial Day. Then after a two day break the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival gets underway with 18 stakes over the three days highlighted by the Belmont Stakes (G1) which looks like we are going to see a large and competitive field.

My Best Plays Report for Sunday includes my 10 strongest plays from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.

“America’s Day at the Races” is on FS2 today from 12:30 to 3:00 and 4:00 to 5:30 ET with the action from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs. 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 and Best Plays Reports for Sunday 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 Belmont Stakes Day reports.

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


Race 1 Alw $80,000N1X

  • #1 English Breeze 8-1
  • #2 Straw Into Gold 7-5
  • #6 Grape Nuts Warrior 2-1
  • #5 Albie 6-1

Analysis: English Breeze makes her third start off the long layoff here for the Donk barn. off the bench two back she was outrun in a seventh-place finish on the main track at Aqueduct. Last out she switches back to turf and woke up, rallying to finish in the runner up spot. She looks capable of moving forward off that effort and that would put her in the mix in this spot at a decent price.

Straw Into Gold broke his maiden in his debut last November for the Clement barn. He came back off a five-month layoff last out and just missed in a game second, beaten a head. He earned the top last out speed fig and is the obvious one to beat in this spot. The barn has been quite live at the meet, hitting at a 32% clip. This gal is out of the turf stakes winner Strike It Rich ($193,966) who has dropped three other winners including dirt stakes winner Sea Foam ($565,495).


Race 6 Md Sp Wt

  • #7 Naughty Rendezvous 3-1
  • #8 Bold Confection 8-1
  • #3 Megan's Clara 5-2
  • #2 Dynamite Gift 10-1

Analysis: Naughty Rendezvous is back on turf after a fourth and a third in her last two starts at Fair Grounds in races washed off the turf. She ran into repeat winners in both of those outings. She ran into a repeater three back as well in her last trip on turf. She tracked the early pace and finished gamely to come up just 3/4 of a length short. The winner Inajiffy came back to beat Alw-1 optional claimers in her next outing on March 4 at Fair Grounds, then as eighth and sixth in a cope of stakes. She has worked sharply since her last outing for the Stall barn that has been sending out live runners at the meet.

Bold Confection makes her first start on turf here as she lands with the Gargan barn that is 37% winners (with a +ROI) with newcomers to the barn. Turf is not exactly this barn's strong suit however. She showed some ability in her debut where she set the early fractions and held on for the runner up spot. She then was beaten double digit lengths in her next two starts, two back going long in the slop. She is by Candy Ride out of the dirt stakes winner Bold Union ($356,416) who has dropped three dirt winners but no turf winners. She has some early speed and if she takes to the turf, she can be in the mix here at a decent price.


Race 7 Alw $50,000s

  • #3 Summer in the City 9-2
  • #7 Mopolka 7-2
  • #8 Mirabell Mei 8-1
  • #2 Killer Dress 5-1

Analysis: Summer in the City makes her first start since her maiden score last June at Gulfstream Park against maiden special eight company. Three she beat that day all came back to break their maidens in their next starts. She ran for a $50,000 tag two back where she was second making her eligible to run in this spot. The Pletcher barn is 29% winners (with a +ROI) with runners coming back off a +180-day layoff. Decent looking works on the morning tab for her return and Irad lands here for Pletcher.

Mopolka took the field gate to wire to beat $35,000 non-winners of three last out over the grass here in her first start off a 5 1/2-month layoff. The filly was claimed out of the race by the Rice barn that is 23% winners first off the claim. She has won 3 of 6 on turf and six of these have not beaten winners yet. She should move forward in her second go off the break here.


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

  • R1: #1 English Breeze 8-1
  • R2: #4 Little M Scarlet 8-1
  • R3: #3 Liam’s Fire 8-1
  • R4: #10 Perpetual Change 8-1
  • R7: #8 Mirabell Mel 8-1
  • R9: #1 Forgotten Mission 8-1
  • R9: #10 Dee Bo 10-1

Good luck today!