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Last Updated Oct 15, 2021, 00:00 AM

Friday's Picks from Belmont Park

We got knocked around pretty good on Thursday to kick off the week. I would go into more detail but I ripped my Belmont Park report in shreds and used it to light the grill.

Friday is going to be an interesting day. The early Pick 5 features horses with morning line odds of 1-2, 1-1 and 4-5 among the five races. The other two morning line favs are both 8-5. I think we can beat two or three of them, which may give us a shot at a decent Pick 5, but it is not one of the better sequences we have seen.

The Late Pick 5 looks better but that could come up chalky as well. I have four live longshots in the sequence and we will need to nail a couple of them to get a decent payoff.

We have just three weeks until the Breeders’ Cup and there is not much stakes action this weekend. We do have British Champions Day at Ascot with five Group 1 races on tap. Two of those races are Breeders’ Cup Challenge races.

The only Grade 1 race in the U.S. is the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland. A field of 10 three-year-old fillies will go 1 1/8 miles on turf. The race may produce a starter or two for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).

The Aiden O’Brien trained Empress Josephine is wheeling back off a week break after running third last Saturday in the First Lady (G1). She adds blinkers and after taking on older last out is back in with straight three-year-olds.

Trainer Chad Brown, who won the race in 2018 and 2019 has a solid duo in Jockey Club Invitational winner Shantisara (7-2) and Lake Placid (G2) winner Technical Analysis (4-1).

I’ll have my selection and analysis for the race in tomorrow’s column.

“America’s Day at the Races” is on FS2 from 12:30 to 5:00 ET 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 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, Best Plays Report each Saturday and Sunday and my Breeders’ Cup Reports.

Here is the second race (I don’t like the opener) from Belmont Park to get the day off to a good start: 


BEL Race 2 Clm $35,000B

  • #6 La Hara   8-5
  • #5 Blue Lou Boyle   3-1
  • #3 Stanford   5-2
  • #9 Somethingtotellyou   5-1               

Analysis: La Hara came off a five-month layoff last out and after racing rank early he did not have any punch in the stretch in a sixth-place finish against Alw-1 foes over yielding ground. This guy earned solid numbers in his previous starts including a couple of runner up finishes at the Alw-1 level. He drops in for a tag here while picking up Irad. The barn is 27% winners with runners making their second start off a 45–180-day break. He has been better on firmer footing which he gets today.

Blue Lou Boyle tracked the early pace and weakened to finish fourth last out against restricted $50,000 claimers at the Spa off a 3 1/2-month break. The winner was Price Talk, who came back to beat Alw-2 optional claimers in his next start here on Sept. 25. Two back this gelding came with a good late rally to beat $50,000 starter allowance foes here. He broke his maiden three back at Gulfstream Park going a mile. He looks capable of moving forward off his last effort here for the Casse barn. 


BEL Race 6 Md Sp Wt

  • #6 Pruning   3-1
  • #2 Except Temptation   20-1
  • #3 Sitting Pretty   2-1
  • #1 Mezcal   5-2               

Analysis: Pruning tracked a slow early pace while saving ground and finished gamely in a third-place finish last out at the Spa going nine furlongs. The Shug trainee has shown improvement with each ting and she looks as if she is going to be able to handle the 1 1/4 miles here. She is out of a Forestry mare that has dropped five other runners including three turf winners, top earner turf stakes winner Onus ($320,006). She looks tough in this spot.

Except Temptation made a mild late rally to finish third last out at Monmouth Park. The top pair came back to win next out, the winner Dream About Me beating Alw-1 foes at Delaware Park in her next start on Oct. 2. Her last out speed fig is light, and it really looks too light. Our top pick earned a 73 compared to this gal's 54. The BRIS numbers tell a different story with our second choice earning a 76 to 74 edge. Six runners that have come out of her last race all improved their next out number by an average of five points. She is by Temple City out of a stakes placed Louie Quatorze mare. She was seventh three back in her lone trip at this distance, beaten 4 1/2 lengths. She seems capable of better than her last and the price will be right. 


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: #6 Napoleon Complex   15-1
  • R3: #3 Mission Trail   10-1
  • R4: #8 Pipito   8-1
  • R4: #4 Open Til Midnight   8-1
  • R5: #7 Luna Fortuna   12-1
  • R6: #2 Except Tempation   20-1
  • R7: #12 Honey Pants   10-1
  • R9: #1 Jerusalem Gates   8-1

Good luck today!

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