Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

Friday's Picks from Belmont Park

The first day of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival on Thursday worked out pretty well for us including knocking down the exacta in the feature.

My top pick in the Wonder Again (G3) came rolling late but came up short with no pace to run at, as my second choice Con Lima got the win, paying $18.60. The $2 exacta paid $98.50 and the $1 trifecta with my third choice returned $187.50.

The day would have been better if Equal Pay would not have stumbled in deep stretch as she was headed to victory as our top pick at 5-1. She crossed the wire in front but without jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. who fell off and appeared to be clipped by two trailing horses.

Ortiz was taken to the hospital by ambulance and as of Thursday night there was no word on his condition.

It looked as if we were going to end the day on a good note. I was alive in the late Pick 4 and Pick 5 and watched as my top three picks came running late. However. Star Commander snuck up the rail and nailed my second choice by a head.

We have another big day on Friday with five stakes on the 11-race card. There are quite a few wagers combining the Friday and Saturday cards:

Two-day Pick 6
The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival two-day Pick 6 features a low 15% takeout and $0.20 base wager. The two-day Pick 6 opens on Friday and continues on Saturday, ending with the Belmont Stakes.

The sequence begins on Friday with the Grade 3, $300,000 True North, the Grade 2, $400,000 Belmont Gold Cup and the Grade 2, $750,000 New York. Saturday’s three-race sequence will include the Grade 1, $400,000 Jaipur, the Grade 1, $1 million Metropolitan Handicap and the Belmont Stakes.

Two-day Pick 4
The two-day Pick 4 opens with the Belmont Gold Cup and the New York on Friday followed by the Grade 1, $750,000 Manhattan and Belmont Stakes on Saturday. The base wager is $2.

The New York Double
The New York Double opens with the New York on Friday and concludes with the Metropolitan Handicap on Saturday. The base wager is $1.

Belmont Gold Cup/Belmont Stakes Double
The Belmont Gold Cup/Belmont Stakes Double opens with the Belmont Gold Cup on Friday and concludes with the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. The base wager is $1.

Two-day Filly and Mare Double
The Filly and Mare Double opens with the Grade 3, $300,000 Bed O’Roses on Friday and concludes with the Grade 1, $500,000 Acorn on Saturday. The base wager is $1.

Two-day Belmont Sprint Double
The two-day Belmont Sprint Double opens with the True North on Friday and concludes with the Grade 1, $400,000 Woody Stephens on Saturday. The base wager is $1.

“America’s Day at the Races” is on FS2 today 12:30 to 5:00 and 6:00 to 6:30 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 Report for Friday click here . . My Belmont Stakes Day Report for Saturday will be posted no later than 12:00 ET on Friday.

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 OClm $80,000N2X

  • #6 Flower Point 5-1
  • #2 Platinum Paynter 8-5
  • #1a Classic Lady 2-1
  • #8 Kissing Frogs 6-1

Analysis: Flower Point stretches out to a mile for her second start off a 15-month layoff here for the Shug barn. In her return she went six furlongs on turf where she made a mild late run to finish fifth. The runner up Robin Sparkles came back to win the state bred Mount Vernon in her next start and the third-place finisher Caravel came back to win the The Very One at Pimlico. Both of her wins have come in turf sprints but she does have enough pedigree to handle the stretch out to a mile. The barn is 20% winners moving runners from sprint to route. Ortiz gets the call for Shug and this mare should move forward second off the bench and the 5-1 morning line looks fair enough.

Platinum Paynter set the early fractions and weakened to finish third last out in the Beaugay (G3) last out over good ground. The Vazquez barn claimed this gal for just $12,5000 last October and she was a decent fourth in the Forever Together and then a game second in the Plenty of Grace in her first two starts for the new connections. She makes her third start of her current form cycle and gets a jock upgrade to Lezcano. She has handled ground with give to it which likely will be the case this afternoon.


Race 8 The Bed O' Roses G3

  • #8 Estilo Talentoso 9-2
  • #4 Bayerness 10-1
  • #6 Chub Wagon 9-5
  • #5 Victim of Love 7-2

Analysis: Estilo Talentoso exits a couple of solid tries against G1 company in her last two outings. Last out she tracked the early pace and finished evenly in a third-place finish in the Derby City Distaff (G1) behind Gamine. The runner up Sconsin came back to win the Winning Colors (G3) in her next start at Churchill Downs on May 22. Two back she stalked the early pace and finished gamely in a runner up finish in the Madison (G1), beaten 3/4 of a length for the top spot.; She has a habit off landing in the bottom half of the exacta, but she should get a good tracking trip behind what should be a solid early pace. She has run ell on wet tracks and is bred to handle an off track.

Bayerness came off a 7 1/2-month layoff with a sharp win versus Alw-2 optional claimers going six furlongs in the slop at Churchill Downs. The runner up, fourth and sixth place finishers all came out of that race to win next out. This gal ran third in a couple of G3 races last year including the seven furlong Dogwood at Churchill Downs behind a pair of next out winners. The extra furlong should suit this gal here and she figures to move forward second off the bench for the DeVaux barn. Worth tossing in the mix if she goes off near her 10-1 morning line.


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

  • R2: #9 Strong Moment 10-1
  • R3: #4 Trust Our Journey 8-1
  • R3: #2 Kavod 10-1
  • R4: #3 Lemon Drop Road 12-1
  • R5: #4 Original 8-1
  • R5: #3 Sotoro 10-1
  • R6: #1 Kaz’s Beach 8-1
  • R8: #4 Bayerness 10-1
  • R9: #6 Civil Union 12-1
  • R10: #9 Ajourneyofreedom 8-1
  • R11: #2 Neotropic 10-1
  • R11: #1 Q F Seventy Five 8-1

Good luck today!

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