9/29/17 By Shawn Rychling
Don’t look now, but we are just about half way through the Fall Championship Meet at Belmont Park as NYRA gears up for the first of two big Saturday cards full of stakes. This week we have three Grade I races and a Grade III. This latest in a series of NYRA “Big Days,” which is their solid strategy, is stacked nicely with an All-Stakes Late Pick 4 wager.
The sequence will be anchored by the Grade-I Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at 1 ½ miles and featuring Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Oscar Performance who is 6 for 9 in his career and a perfect 3 for 3 at Belmont Park.
There are plenty of other big horses entered in the sequence including El Deal in the 6-furlong Vosburgh which kicks off the sequence. The Jorge Navarro trainee posted 112 speed figure when romping in the Vanderbilt by eight lengths at Saratoga last start.
In the Grade I Beldame, Elate is the 3-5 morning line favorite coming off a career-best speed figure in winning the Alabama for Bill Mott.
Let’s take close look at the sequence and lay out a play for you.
Race 7: 1-Stallwalkin’ Dude had an inexplicable strategy in the Forego chasing Drefong and getting hemmed in on the rail. He faded badly and while he isn’t the best horse in this race, there is a ton of speed signed on and this guy is the top closer in the field. 2-El Deal is the speed of the speed here and the “Dude” needs someone to stick with this one if he wants to pull the upset. That said, El Deal is eligible to regress after his off the charts performance in the Vanderbilt. 4-Takaful has a little bit of tactical speed. 5-Mr. Crow has been outstanding, but has only beaten maidens and first-level allowance types so he jumps into the deep end of the pool here. 7-Weekend Hideaway is 5 for 16 at Belmont.
Race 8: 5-Voting Control owns the best race and it is only a maiden win, but it isn’t like the others in here have done much more. 4-Seabhac has got to be better than what we saw last time and blinkers may help. 1-Desert Stone rallied well last time and enters off a best-of-24 bullet work. 6-Maraud makes second start for Pletcher.
Race 9: 1-Elate may be a free square in this sequence off an Alabama that looks well beyond what others in here are capable of. That was a longer race, however, so who knows. 7-Eskenformoney enters off a career best and lost to a pair of excellent horses that day. 2-Verve’s Tale likes the distance. 4-Presumptuous is the Hot List entry so we must mention, but is an 0 for 14 maidens so how did she get into this race?
Race 10: 4-Sadler’s Joy enters third off a layoff and after a hug closing win in the Sword Dancer on Travers Day at the Spa. Has won 3 for 4 at this distance and is able to run on late even when the early pace isn’t all that fast. 1-Money Multiplier ran just behind out top pick last time and should be ready here third off a layoff. 3-Oscar Performance has won 6 of 9 starts, but will be trying to get 2 furlongs more than he has ever gotten. He is 3 for 3 at Belmont and this will be toughest test. 5-Beach Patrol is a threat off five straight 100-plus speed figures.
Race 7 1, 2 5 4, 7
Race 8 4, 5 1 6
Race 9 1 7 2, 4
Race 10 1, 4 3 5
Don’t forget all the Hot List picks and Belmont analysis is on the Interbets site right here. Good luck!