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HomeHorse RacingBelmontLouie's Look Ahead - The Belmont Stakes

Louie’s Look Ahead – The Belmont Stakes

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Belmont Stakes Picks

Louie Rabaut, Horse Racing Happy Hour

Happy Belmont Day!  Good luck!

Race 1 MSW $90k F&M 3+up (P5, P3, DD)


Top Selections: 9, 5


A turf sprint for the ladies here, and I think two horses stand out both in class and appropriate experience for this one: 9 Love to Shop, for Pletcher and Gaffalione, and 5 Accept the Outcome.  I think one of those two will pick off the first race of the day.


Race 2 $80k allowance. F&M 3+up. (P4, P3, DD)


Top selections: 2, 5, 4, 1


Another turf sprint, this time one turf course over.  I love the 4/1 price on 2 Solib, who won on last asking off the layoff, and ready to go 2nd off here.  All of the numbers make sense here for jockey Manny Franco and trainer Mike Maker, so we’ll put Solib on top.


5 U Should Be Dancing is excellent value at 8/1, third up this year and been running close to the front in all of her races.  Should get a boost from jockey Jose Ortiz, and be competitive in this one.


Race 3 Grade 2 True North 4+up, 6.5F sprint (P3, DD)


Top Selections: 4, 1, 5


4 Elite Power is back stateside, and if you’re going to make money in the early part of the card, it might be fading him after the trip to and from the Arabian Peninsula.  If he runs his race, he wins, and I think we’re had the appropriate amount of time off around that flight that he should run well.


I think 1 Today’s Flavor just runs fast times, and if he runs a 1:09 or thereabouts, he can be a factor here.  Step up in competition, but held his own in the Carter, finishing within two lengths.  Should be a factor at 5/1, which could be come 6/1 easily.


Race 4 $95k Allowance 3+up, 7F sprint (P4, P3, DD)


Top selections: 5, 7, 1


 I really like the landing spot for 5 Allaboutthemoney, second of a short layoff and ready after a win at Penn National.  Gets Irad for the mount, and trainer David Jacobson’s winners go back-to-back at 30%.  Love that 5/1 price here.


Look for 7 Life Changer and 1 American Law to both run well, the 7 a consistent runner and the 1 in a vein of good recent form.


Race 5 Grade 3 Poker 4+up, 1M turf (P3, DD, Triple Play)


Top Selections: 1, 7, 2


This is a ‘grab one or spread’ race, period – the 1 Chez Pierre is either going to win or the bettors will get some value.  I think he does.  I’ll be using him as a single in longer sequences.


I think 7 Filo Di Arianna is an interesting entrant here; back-to-back G2 turf wins at Woodbine last year, and brought him off the layoff in a synthetic sprint to get his legs under him.  Trainer Mark Casse is good off the layoff, so that 4/1 might be a play.


Race 6 Grade 2 Brooklyn 4+up, 1 ½ M dirt (P4, P3, DD)


Top Selections: 2, 8, 7, 5, 4


I think this is the toughest race to handicap on the card, given the specialized distance and the range of runners in this one.  I loved 2 Red Run last out in the Isaac Murphy at the distance for the first time; I think he’s going to like another opportunity at the distance, and will get a good rid from Tyler.  


The 8 Lone Rock won this race last year; he hasn’t run his best race yet this year.


Race 7 Grade 1 Ogden Phipps F&M 4+up (P6, P3, DD)


Top selections: 1, 6, 5, 4, 2


I’ll go with a touch of a longer shot here, 1 Pass The Champagne, who won last out over this one turn course at Belmont in the G2 Ruffian.  Trainer George Weaver’s winners go back-to-back at a respectable 17%; asking the horse to simply go half a furlong longer over the same route is reasonable.


I think it’s a logjam in this one – and 5 Played Hard at 6/1 is another mare with a serious shot; I think using five mares here makes a lot of sense in longer tickets.


Race 8 Grade 1 Woody Stephens 3YO (P5, P3, DD)


Top selections: 4, 13, 12, 3


Cool race here, 7F on the dirt restricted to 3YO.  Lots of talent here.  Landed on the favorite 4 General Jim, coming out of an impressive win in the Pat Day Mile at Churchill.  I do think the 13 Drew’s Gold and 12 Gilmore are both good value on the outside.  Drew’s Gold is 4-for-4, including a swift 6F win last out on Belmont; Gilmore will get a more manageable 7F here.  8/1 and 12/1 are both solid numbers.


Race 9 Grade 1 Jaipur 3+up (P4, GS, P3, DD)


Top selections: 12, 11, 9, 10, 5


12 Caravel is the clear class of North American sprinting; is she gets her trip, she should win here.  11 Casa Creed has shown class as well, and is 3-for-4 at Belmont.  The 10 Big Invasion has hit the board 9 of 10 runs, with 7 wins; 9 Nothing Better is a nose from being perfect this year; 5 Dr Zempf is off the layoff for Chad Brown – and we’re on grass in NY.


Race 10 Grade 1 Met Mile 3+up (P4, P3, DD)


Top selections: 1, 7, 9, 8


1 Cody’s Wish is back, the BC Mile winner from last year, and 6-for-6 lifetime at the distance.  Since the move to jockey Junior Alvarado, he’s recorded only 100+ Beyer Speed Figures, with 5 straight wins.  He might be the single of the day. 


7 Repo Rocks is a NY staple who picks off a ton of races on the circuit.  2-for-3 at the distance and has won three times at Belmont – if anyone picks off the champ, it’ll be RR.


9 White Abarrio lost the 1 mile G1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct by less than a length; if he runs his race, he could be part of the final equation.  8 Doppelganger beat Repo Rocks last out, and has won three straight.  At 20/1, he’s excellent value.


Race 11 G1 Manhattan 4+up (P3, DD)


Top selections: 4, 6, 8


Even without the ML, I would take 4 Ottoman Fleet on top with 6 Red Knight in second.  Ottoman Fleet has been strategically moved stateside by trainer Charlie Appleby, and jockey Ryan Moore isn’t flying in by accident.  Red Knight is 5-for-11 lifetime at Belmont, and 2-for-2 at the distance.  He likes a full 12 furlongs, but 10 here over this course should give him enough time to run.  The 8 Up To The Mark won the G1 Turf Classic at Churchill last time out; he’s never traveled this far, so we’ll put him in the 3rd spot.


Race 12 G1 Belmont Stakes 3YO (DD)


Top selections: 2, 7, 8, 9, 4


We’re going to try to beat Forte here, who I think will be in a bit over his head starting in this one after that long of a layoff.  


2 Tapit Trice is bred for this race, and I’ll put him on top.  He ran an OK KY Derby; before that, he rolled out 4 straight wins.  7 Hit Show ran well in the Withers, and then had too much to do in the Wood Memorial.  8 Angel of Empire ran a great KY Derby, after back-to-back graded stakes win.  9 Red Route One needs as much time as possible in a race, so the 12 furlongs might be helpful for him.  And it’s impossible to not notice how good 4 National Treasure looks in workouts at Belmont; if his Preakness form is there, he’ll be part of the equation.


Race 13 $80k Allowance 3+up


Top Selections: 5, 1, 3, 2


I like a touch of a longer shot here, 5 Sell Something has run two good races this year, and should do well at this distance.  The 1 Spirit of St Louis is trying turf for the first time – trainer Chad Brown switches surface at 26%.  3 Clear Conscience is coming out of a maiden win, and may have another in him; the 2 Let’s Go Big Blue is dropping in to State-Bred company, and likely will benefit from just that.

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