Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:50 AM

Friday's Picks from Belmont Park

Tropical Storm Elsa paid New York a visit overnight but it appears to the rain will stop a couple of hours before post time on Friday and won’t pick back up until later in the evening.

It looks as if we are going to be off the turf today and there are five races carded for the grass. We have two Grade 1 turf races coming up on Saturday and the New York Racing Association will likely want to preserve the turf for these two races.

The $700,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational (G1) drew a field of eight three-year-old fillies that will go 1 ¼ miles on the inner turf course. The Euro invader Santa Barbara is the even money favorite on the morning line.

She is trained by Aiden O’Brien who has started 26 runners on the New York circuit dating back five years but has only won with two—Athena who won this race in 2018 and Deauville won the Belmont Derby (G1) in 2016.

Santa Barbara was beaten a neck in the Pretty Polly Stakes (G1) at the Curragh in her last outing over good ground at 1 ¼ miles.

The $1 million Belmont Derby (G1) drew nine and again O’Brien will send out the favorite. Bolshoi Ballet is 7-5 on the morning line despite running seventh in the Cazoo Derby (G1) at Epsom in his last start. The colt won three of his first five starts including a pair of Group 3 races.

I’ll have all the stakes from Belmont Park in my Best Plays Report tomorrow. I will also head out to Delaware Park where the highlight is the $400,000 Delaware Handicap (G2).

“America’s Day at the Races” is on FS2 today 1:00 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 Report 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.

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


 Race 1 Clm $35,000B

  • #8 Zanno 5-2
  • #1 Therisastormbrewin / 1a Wicked Indeed 8-5
  • #3 Variant Perception 2-1
  • #4 Fair Catch 3-1

Analysis: Zanno drops in for a tag after coming up short in his last two starts versus Alw-1 optional claimers at Gulfstream Park on turf. He beat Florida bred Alw-1 optional claimers three back on grass. His only main track try came in his debut at Keeneland where he faded to finish a well beaten sixth. He owns a decent enough off track pedigree and owns solid early and mid pace numbers. Ward has been sending out live runners at the meet, hitting at a 36% clip and this guy looks as if he is well spotted here in a race likely to come off the turf.

Therisastormbrewin dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish fourth last out against restricted $50,000 claimers going lone. He caught a racing strip that was playing to outside stalkers and closers that day. He cuts back to a spirit and broke his maiden going 5 1/2 furlongs and has run well sprinting. The barn has been so chilly at the meet, currently 1 for 45. This guy has run well on off tracks


Race 7 OClm $45,000N2X

  • #6 Danebury 5-2
  • #4 Too Early 9-5
  • #1 Sea Foam 6-1
  • #3 Bourbon Bay 6-1

Analysis: Danebury set the early fractions, headed for home with the lead and got passed late, checking in third at this level while beaten 2 1/4 lengths at 8-1. He was making his first start for the Lynch barn that claimed him for $25,000 two back here where he took the field gate to wire. The gelding has a pair of wins over off tracks and after a couple of subpar efforts earlier this year looks back on track.

Too Early stalked the early pace and came with a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot in his first try at this condition. It took him eight tries to pass his first state bred condition, getting the job done two back here going nine furlongs. He has not won over a wet track in five trips but has run well with three in the money finishes. He owns solid early and mid pace numbers and should be forwardly placed here with Lezcano sticking for the Rice barn that has cooled off over the past six weeks.


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

  • R3: #4 Halo City 15-1
  • R4: #3 Bointheback 8-1
  • R5: #6 Spun for Lulu 15-1
  • R8: #3 Secure Connection 12-1
  • R9: #4 Appreciate 15-1

Good luck today!

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