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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

UPDATE: THREE SATURDAY STAKES FROM BELMONT PARK WITH SUGGESTED WAGERS

Handicapping research from this point forward will be devoted to all Breeders’ Cup all the time, not because we’re a glutton for punishment but because, like looking into the eyes of the sun, that’s where the fun–and money–is.

But horseplayers still need to work on their bankrolls because there’s not enough money on the planet for the average player to attack the 14 races with a complete game plan.

Two-thousand dollar Dime Supers only come along when the conditions are right, namely highly competitive races with big fields. Even with layover favorites, verticals and horizontals can provide scores. If you’re right, you are likely to be rewarded accordingly.

There are three interesting stakes on Saturday’s Belmont Park program and that’s where we will take our swings: we’ll

The Zagora Stakes is at a mile and a half on the Widener course, ground which will have some cut and moisture in it.

Mutamakina is making her U. S. debut for Christophe Clement of a near three-month layup with Lasix and stable rider Joel Rosario in the boot. When last seen in the Group 1 Jean Romanet at Deauville he finished eighth beaten less than six lengths. She finished second in a Gr. 2 last year at 3.

Lemon Zip (15-1) is interesting even if she is winless this year. She’s been meeting consistently tougher and very likely has been pointed here after finishing third in this race last year. Dylan Davis sticks off a 17-length defeat and trainer Niall Saville re-adds blinkers.

Olympic Games is an uncoupled mate of Mutamakina also coming off a brief freshening and dropping out of the Grade 3 Waya. But her prior was a game placing over this course and at this trip. The presence of Irad Ortiz suggests she’s not in here just for an outing.

I wish that’s all there were, but not so. Cap De Creus, Lucky Stride, Luck Money and Cambeliza are all either fast enough or forward looking on figures. It’s a skull buster that will be, obviously, trip and odds dependent at the bottom line. The right mix would be a certain Breeders’ Cup bankroll maker.

The Awad Stakes for juveniles at a mile and a sixteenth on the inner has attracted a field of 12, excluding one also-eligible, and precisely half of them can win. From the rail out:

ShawdyshawdyShawdy (5-1) deserves another chance after being virtually eliminated at the start of the G2 Pilgrim at Saratoga. Catman won the Laurel Futurity last out for Mike Maker, who’s 18% effective with horses attempting to repeat.

Kidnapped was third to Catman in that event with an eventful journey, getting caught in tight when the running began after giving his handlers fits at the gate. Space Launch sat cozily off slow fractions as a perfect trip winner in debut, but did so running his final quarter-mile in 22.20–assuming the timing poles were correctly placed.

Finally, It Can Be Done did it, wire to wire taking Monmouth’s Nownownow with a very solid turf mile in in 1:37 2/5–but can he repeat with Lasix off?

Wooten Asset nearly won his U. S. debut despite a troubled beginning and laughably slow fractions, narrowly beaten by Catman but moved forward nicely, as did Step Dancer despite the rise to graded company off a lone maiden debut win.

The nominal feature is the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap; that’s no typo, an actual handicap and not a stakes.

Share the Ride (5-2)is the main speed and could shake loose. He finished a competitive third in his lone Belmont start but never has gone 7 furlongs.

Arch Cat (10-1) lacks Belmont experience but has hit the board in 4 of 5 starts at this trip, including a win. Danny Velasquez and Kendrick Carmouche certainly had a lot of fun on Empire Showcase Day and reunite here. Velazquez is a worthy 28% with his beaten favorites and interestingly, profitable in his career with sprinters with a huge sample.

However, Phat Man is a deserving 2-1 early favorite as he gets major class relief, dropping from three consecutive stakes vs. tougher rivals. The rub is that he hasn’t started since February and this might be a get-started-for-winter outing.

Mitigating that is the fact this gelded six-year-old has a (2) 1-1-0 Belmont slate. He’s not gone 7 furlongs but he’s won twice at a mile, once at today’s one-turn configuration. Trainer Kent Sweeney caught the eye last winter at Tampa and of his runner’s five most recent workouts, four have been of the bullet variety.

Check back on Saturday morning for a betting template with suggested plays. Below, ICYMI, a reprint from last weekend’s Empire Showcase Day grid

“BELMONT PARK EMPIRE SHOWCASE DAY

Mohawk — Race 8

PROJECTED WINNER: Somelikeithotbrown (9-5)

VALUE BET: Cross Border (5-2) to win at early odds or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta box top two. Trifecta box top two with Therapist (5-1). Trifecta box top two with Rinaldi (3-1).

Iroquois

PROJECTED WINNER: Prairie Fire (8-1) 2nd at 12.80-1

VALUE BET: Prairie Fire to win at 6-1 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta key-box Prairie Fire with newly Minted (5-2), Officer Hutchy (6-1) and Collegeville Girl (15-1).Dime Super Key Prairie Fire first and second with exacta horses, using them plus Spin A Yarn (8-1) and Timely Tradition (5-1) third and fourth.

Empire Classic

PROJECTED WINNER: Mr. Buff (5-2)

VALUE BET: Mr. Buff to win at 2-1 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta and Trifecta box Mr. Buff, Funny Guy (2-1) and Evaluator (10-1)”

Iroquois Results:

$1 Exacta: $207.00

50-Cent Trifecta: $980.00

Dime Super: $2,081.95

BELMONT PARK: Saturday, OCT 31, 2020

ZAGORA STAKES

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Mutamakina (5-2)

VALUE BET: Luck Money (8-1) to win at 5-1 or greater

EXOTICA: Three horse exacta box Beau Belle (4-1), Mutamakina (5-2) and Luck Money (8-1). Dime Super wheel three exacta horses in top three slots, adding Lemon Zip (15-1) and Cambeliza (15-1) in third and fourth positions

AWAD STAKES

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Wootten Asset (4-1)

VALUE BET: Kidnapped (10-1) at 5-1 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta box Wootten Asset and Kidnapped. Trifecta key wheel the exacta horses first and second and first and third, completing the play with Shawdyshawdyshawdy (5-1), Step Dancer (8-1) and It Can Be Done in second and third positions.

G3 BOLD RULER HANDICAP

MOST PROBABLE WINNER: Phat Man (2-1) to win at 8-5 or greater

VALUE BET: None

EXOTICA: Exacta box Phat Man and Share the Ride (5-2)

(Suggested Wagers always at minimums available; the rest is your call)

NOTE: Starting with BREEDERS’ CUP, and for every MAJOR EVENT DAY thereafter (e.g. NYRA Mile Day, Pegasus Stakes Day, etc.) Value Bets and Exotic Plays will only be made available for purchase and priced accordingly.

Breeders’ Cup Friday is priced at $10; Breeders’ Cup Saturday is $20; Breeders’ Cup 2-day package is $25 complete, via PayPal. Deadline for payment is 9 AM Thursday, NOV 5: Remit to [email protected]

Taking advantage of latest information and conditions from Breeders’ Cup Ltd. and Keeneland Race Course, products will be e-mailed by 9AM on day of each event.

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10 Responses

  1. 10/31/20

    One week before the Breeders’ Cup. I offer up the Belmont card. Here is my 2 cents.

    Race 1- #2 Brilliant Brooks (4-1) Box and play with the 3,4,7

    Race 2-#5 Princess Fawzia (3-1) Box and play with the 1,2,9

    Race 3-Pass or box the 5,6

    Race 4-Pass

    Race 5-Pass

    Race 6-#7 Lucky Stride (6-1) Good betting race, box and use the 2,3,4. If you really want to spread the 5 is available.

    Race 7 #4 It’s Jerry the Nipper (5/2) or I have no idea. Pass.

    Race 8 #9 Heat of the Night (10-1) Great value. Don’t lose the horse. Play logical contenders for your exotics.

    Race 9 #4 Arch Cat (10-1) Good betting race. Don’t lose the horse. Exotics and boxes with the 2,5,6.

    Race 10 #8 Belleza (8-1) Box and use with the 4,10 and 14 if she get’s in.

    All these races are contingent on the race being run on Turf. No dirt options

    Good luck to all and “Let’s go get the bad guys.”-Vin

    Back next Friday and Saturday for the Breeders’ Cup

  2. Thanks again for contributing Mr. O’Connell. Just got out of the shower, checked the comments and looks like you did it again, this time from jump street; Key-box Exacta and Tri. Hope I do that well later on–although this exacta did quite pay $400 like last week’s!

    Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to contribute. I’m sure the readers appreciate your effort. Well, almost sure…

    1. Strange that Mike Smith won’t have Any mounts on BC day! Between injuries and retirements he’s left without any horses to ride and will stay at Del Mar. I am sure that his experience
      would be more valuable than some, if not most, of the so called young guns who will sooner or later make a mistake on a big money race making some owners and trainers wish that they should have had him on their pricey equine investments. Tonight there was a $400 plus Win payoff at Hoosier’s 13th race and even with two chalks behind the longshot, Sandinmyshoes, it still had a tremendous exacta and triple!! Never cashed a ticket when I was occasionally playing that track. What makes made me successful at the swamp, Meadowlands, and at Yonkers, a track in a coma run by a bunch of drivers-trainers since MGM splurged over $800 mil for it, it Does Not work at Hoosier which fine with me. Got the last race Belmont triple, exacta and if my XR$ horse number 9 would have moved sooner from the rear it would have been a better day even if second behind either 11 or 14. Spent $ 42 and got over $1200. Gonna miss old Sandy when it goes out for the season. Any reality to having it, some day, with a longer schedule? The Big A is depressing.

  3. One would think there may be some chance after the new arena opens that the Belmont meet could be extended, if for no other reason that the brand within the overall NYRA brand is stronger than Aqueduct and most New York horses are stabled there.

    And, it’s been talked about a million times, how the state takes over the Aqueduct property and it will be all Belmont all the time. But for that to happen, they will either have to build a winterized track inside the Inner Turf course or convert the training track for winter racing, or some variation thereof. Above my pay grade.

    NYRA (ready NYS) needs to have the laws changed so that Belmont could put in lights to see if that would result in an attendance bump. If not, it would make it safer for morning training with robotics and actual camera persons to record the workouts as is done in SoCal.

    1. On this closing day it was prophetic that Richard Migliore at post time mentioned that veteran jockey Mike Luzzi ,finally,had a shot to win with his mount,unlike too many other futile tries with longshots. And there he was, coming off the pace in the middle of the track on this rainy day, reaching the wire first. Long time between photos and drinks but I was happy for him since a few days ago i was tempted to mention why is this man, athlete still,part time riding. I got his answer , beating my main selection.

  4. ….and i thought that it was a Republic ! No wonder i never trusted history.from the Roman Empire to 9-11 to today`s news , stories and personalities. No matters who gets elected,grin and bear it.It IS out of our hands,i mean ,really, why Would Million$ be spent for a job that pays less than $ 400 K ? That is NOT smart consumerism,investment,,Unless,,well ,you know the rest that’s why most senators,former presidents become millionaires,from the Kennedys to the Bushes to the Clintons and Obamas. Omerta ‘ !! Protests do not solve anything,not after an election.Same thing happens in most other countries in all continents and Russia ‘ s Putin is a monstrous example of that. Secret agent becomes Billionaire..PS: Secret Agent,OO7,we’ll miss you,from my first Thunderball across the Atlantic Ocean while a passenger on the Raffaello ship to the magnificent pic The Untouchables for which you got the Deserved Oscar.RIP.

  5. BitNPieces,
    As Benjamin Franklin departed the Constitutional Convention, he was asked if the framers had created a monarchy or a republic.
    “A republic,” he famously replied, and then added, “if you can keep it.” Hopefully in 2020 we can still hold on to it.

    From Russia with Love was the first date I ever went on. Sean Connery RIP indeed. Thinking back to the summer of ’63, age 13. Right about the age I fell in love with racing as well. What year was Carry Back’s Derby? That was my first horserace viewing on an old black and white in the basement. Color came a few years after. Thanks for the road trip down the old roads.

    1. McD
      Is “into” a verb or an adverb? LOL

      Rome was a republic too before Octavian took control and later declared himself God.

  6. From Russia w/Love had a great fight scene on a train. 007’s tricked out briefcase saved the day. Also liked Goldfinger. Watched many times. Not as many as GF, Pt. 2 (DeNiro) but still quite a few times. Goldfinger himself owned a farm with trotting horses (in the movie). Cool when he got sucked out of the plane at 33,000 feet at the end. Bond and Pussy Galore parachute to safety, just in time. He won an Oscar for his role as an old school cop in The Untouchables. Brian DePalma movie, like Scarface. Love DePalma. “Say hello to my little friend.” “You wanna go to war I take you to war (Tony Montana).” Jackie’s Warrior is going to take ’em all to war in BC Juvie. The other horses will need a jet engine to catch him. Then again, I liked Dennis’ Moment last year and he finished last. Bad break at start and it was all over. Storm the Court came stormin’ home at telephone numbers. Has not won a race since, tho. Should be good.

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