Belmont Park: How to bet the Met Mile
Saturday’s $1 million Metropolitan H. (G1) at Belmont Park has drawn a smaller field than usual, with just six horses in the mix. But the historic “Met Mile” is a competitive handicapping challenge.
The favorite is logical, but can he be trusted?
Many bettors will be keen to support #6 Knicks Go (6-5), and understandably so. The gray five-year-old has four wins from five starts since he was transferred to the care of trainer Brad Cox. He used his abundant speed to dominate the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and Pegasus World Cup (G1) during the fall and winter.
Knicks Go has posted strong Brisnet Speed ratings, in the 109-110 range, in his last three U.S. starts, so he is the fastest horse on paper in the Met Mile.
But could the son of Paynter be vulnerable to an upset?
He hasn’t run since February, when he traveled to Saudi Arabia and weakened to finish fourth in the $20 million Saudi Cup. Knicks Go has also done his best work in two-turn races, so as brilliant as he might be on his best day, the cut back to one turn for the Met Mile is a question mark.
Mid-range longshot offers chance for big payday
Assuming Knicks Go carves out a fast pace detrimental to the other speed horses, #3 Silver State (7-2) can take advantage. Trained by Steve Asmussen (who has won two of the last three editions of the Met Mile), Silver State has competed in two-turn route races this winter. He most recently rallied to victory against a deep field in the 1 1/8-mile Oaklawn H. (G2).
But Silver State is also undefeated in three starts sprinting, and he is a nose away from being undefeated in four races around one turn. His flashiest victories have come in one-turn events, including a seven-length romp against allowance company at Keeneland last fall.
Silver State enters with five consecutive victories , so it’s hard to knock his form. He is the 7-2 third choice on the morning line, but I suspect he’ll drift a bit higher by post time.
How to bet the Met Mile
To take advantage of the Belmont Stakes and Churchill Downs Money Back Offer, we’ll place a $10 win bet on Silver State and receive a refund if he finishes second. Then we’ll play him on top of exacta and trifecta tickets, with graded stakes winners #1 Mischevious Alex (5-2) and #2 Dr Post (9-2) in equal strength with Knicks Go. If the favorite runs out of the money, we’ll be rewarded with big payoffs.
$10 to win on #3 Silver State
$5 exacta: 3 with 1,2,6 ($15)
$2.50 trifecta: 3 with 1,2,6 with 1,2,6 ($15)