I love the big days. I get excited at seeing the best in the sport race on the same day, and in our declining sport, these days are fewer and fewer and less and less spectacular. This isn't the blog that analyzes ways to improve the sport. If you unfortunately wandered into this blog all you can expect is no BS, no bravado, free opinions that will reward you the opportunity to turn big piles of cash into slightly smaller piles of cash more often then not. That's the game, its stacked mostly against players. Be diligent, be smart, bet and handicap with consistency and with time, skill and luck, you'll scratch out a break even or positive ROI, return on investment. It's very cool if you just like to drop a few bets every year with friends. In that case, ignore me, and my picks are in the chart below. If you're a horse player more than a few times a year, work at your craft, study the losses as much as you study the wins, bet responsibly and have fun.
The Belmont isn't a race I particularly like to handicap, with it's extra quarter mile and long straight, it's been a bit of a graveyard for me. When I stepped back after handicapping, I thought I'd share my all Grade 1 Pick 3 (Race 9-10-11) with you instead of trying to read the tea leaves on a race 11 exotic.
Multi Race betting is a great way to think about the card horizontally , with less of a focus on single race vertical slotting. As an exotic player, I can typically roll through a card pretty quickly if I'm just identifying exacta possibilities, and that's how I approach multi race horizontal bets, just as a series of exacta's. How many you cover, taking a strong view and singling, and how much value you can find, is always the key.
Let's get after this!
Race 9-10-11; First Post 4:41 ET
In Race 9 we have the Grade 1 Met Mile. I'm still not sure I'm happy the race moved from Memorial Day, but again, this isn't the sort of blog that has much credibility with such topics, you can find all sorts of haughty, elitist opinions if you try harder.
I have 5 horses in my Exacta possibles, with two covers for the Pick 3. I don't think I'm really offering value as I suspect both Sharp Azteca and Mor Spirit will both be bet hard. Rally Cry, a Pletcher/Velazquez Up combo, is 3 of 3 in the money at the distance and BEL and the 4 YO Uncle Mo colt will be 3rd or 4th on the Tote Board. Economic Model/7 goes Blinkers off, something Trainer Chad Brown has mixed sucess with at 17%, but its his second effort off a long layoff and Brown is 28% on that angle and he's a hot 30% on dirt. Mark Casse's Awesome Slew will also be 4-6 on the tote board and has a fantastic late burst, on display in his last two races at 7f.
In Race 10, we have one of the premier turf races of the year, The G1 Manhattan. I also am covering horses here that should be bet heavily. Beach Patrol, winner of G1 Secretariat on Arlington Million Day 2016, is a front runner less of a late turn of footer and I typically prefer the latter to the former over a route of grass. Time Test (GB) has monster numbers and Chad Brown's Juddmonte invader may be setting up for a big summer. This may be the race he steps forward and joins his barn's plans. Leparoux's choice of mounts, World Approval, a beauty of a 5 YO Northern Afleet, must be respected. Three horses I think represent opportunity and value: Potemkin (Ger), on Lasix for first time, and Divisidero, both have great late moves. I'm not covering and may regret it, Sadler's Joy from the 9 spot.
In Race 11, The G1 Belmont Stakes, The Turk looks at Tapwrit and can't help but think, why not? He came late in the Kentucky Derby, Late in the Blue Grass, Late in Tampa Bay Derby and SF Davis. He'll have a long straight and targets to aim for. Pletcher's Graded Stakes over past year down to 17%. Looking at Lee and Irish War Cry are obvious choices but not very wiseguy of me. Solid is still solid, don't buy into that feeling you have have to be wiseguy-ish. This is the sort of race where there are a lot of similar runners so don't be shocked by the winner, no matter what the price.
So what to do? Have fun with it. Find some value on the toteboard with what I suggested here or with your own handicapping. I'm not sure what I'll do: I may try to single one of these races and cover a few more Belmont Stakes runners. I'll pay a few exactas working off my base handicap and the toteboard, not getting sentimental about the names or the human connections but thinking of value propositions only. I'd rather gamble $20 with a 10% chance of winning >$100 then gamble $36 with a 45% chance of winning $50. The numbers may be skewed but you get the idea.