$100 Budget Belmont Stakes Festival: Saturday All-Stakes Pick 4

Profile Picture: James Scully

June 10th, 2017

The Belmont Stakes anchors a $1.5 million guaranteed Late Pick 4 (Races 8-11) and it’s a challenging sequence. I am going after it with a $100 budget.

Here are my thoughts on the races:

8th race, Just a Game (G1):

Very keen on #5 Celestine for Christophe Clement. 5-year-old Scat Daddy mare will make a title defense, dominating in a 3 ¾-length score last year, and she’s been impeccable on Belmont’s turf (3-for-3). Llike how she’s prepped with a pair of front-running stakes wins and Celestine should seize control turning for home.

#7 Antonoe, one of two for the ever-dangerous Chad Brown, is the main challenger. I’m trying to beat her stablemate #2 Roca Rojo, the lowest-priced favorite by far at 9-5 on the morning line, but will add her to a saver with #1 Dickinson.

9th race, Metropolitan (G1):

Twelve are set for the Met Mile and #8 Tom’s Ready is my top choice off a close third in his 2017 bow, the May 6 Churchill Downs (G2). Multiple graded stakes winner rallied impressively to capture the Woody Stephens (G2) on the 2016 Belmont Stakes undercard and I’m expecting a nice step forward off.

#5 Sharp Azteca rates as a serious front-end threat and will be used prominently on tickets. #12 Awesome Slew brings strong form into the race for Mark Casse and is eligible to make an impact from off the pace. #2 Rally Cry and #7 Economic Model are also on the main ticket.

10th race, Manhattan (G1):

Brown has three of the nine entrants and I’ll make a case for #1 Beach Patrol and #4 Time Test. Beach Patrol will show speed from his innermost post and rates as a wire-to-wire candidate under Florent Geroux. Multiple Group 2 scorer Time Test looks poised to move forward off a nose second in his 2017 opener, the May 6 Fort Marcy (G3) at Belmont.

I will also use #5 Ascend, who has the look of a rapidly improving gelding for Graham Motion. He’s registered century-topping BRIS Late Pace Ratings winning his last two outings and could outperform his odds.

#3 World Approval and #7 Divisidero can’t be dismissed from consideration but I’m using the short-priced horses reluctantly. The former hasn’t run well at Belmont or at the distance and the latter showed little in the 2016 Manhattan after winning the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill.

11th race, Belmont Stakes:

#8 Senior Investment rallied boldly late for third in the Preakness and enters on the upswing for Kenny McPeek, winning four of his last six starts. He should receive plenty of stamina from his dam side and is eligible to finish up best of all for the win.

#7 Irish War Cry, an impressive winner of the Wood Memorial (G2) and Holy Bull (G2), could receive a plum trip from just off the pace and the probable favorite will be used on most tickets.

#2 Tapwrit is my third choice and #1 Twisted Tom rates as an interesting longshot for Brown/Castellano.

50-cent Late Pick 4 Tickets

Here is how I am playing the Late Pick 4 on a $100 budget:

5 with 2,5,7,8,12 with 1,3,4,5,7 with 1,2,7,8 ($50)

1,2,7 with 5,8,12 with 1,4,5 with 7,8 ($27)

5,7 with 5,8,12 with 1,4,5 with 6,12 ($18)

5 with 5,8 with 2,6,9 with 8 ($3)

5 with 3,9 with 1,4 with 8 ($2)

Good luck on the Pick 4!

Check out the 2017 Belmont Stakes News & Notes page at the TwinSpires Blog