Belmont Stakes Day Plays
Justify bids to become the 13th winner of the U.S. Triple Crown and the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes highlights a dynamite 13-race card that includes 10 stakes. Here are some of my strongest opinions:
Race 4, Acorn Stakes (G1)
#3 Monomoy Girl will be a single in multi-race wagers and I will play a straight exacta over Talk Veuve to Me (3-7).
Race 6, Jaipur Stakes (G3)
#5 Disco Partner has dropped his last two starts at shorter distances but the gray 6-year-old relishes the 6-furlong trip on Belmont’s turf, recording a pair of awesome wins last season for Christophe Clement. Any price in his 5-2 morning line range makes him automatic win play.
Race 7, Woody Stephens (G2)
The 7-furlong sprint came up absolutely loaded with early speed, with Pure Shot, Promises Fulfilled, World of Trouble and Strike Power all candidates to try and be the speed of the speed, and it reminds me of the 2016 edition which featured a similar pace scenario and fell apart in the lane as Tom’s Ready rallied to post a minor surprise for Dallas Stewart. #4 Givemeaminit brings improving form into the Woody Stephens for Stewart, turning in a terrific effort last year at 7-furlongs when a neck third in the Hopeful (G1), and the late runner brings improving form into this event for Stewart, recording a fourth in the Louisiana Derby (G2) and a clear third in the Pat Day Mile (G3). Givemeaminit will receive the proper set-up for his late kick and I’m tabbing the Louisiana-bred for an upset.
Race 9, Metropolitan H. (G1)
The Met Mile came up the complete opposite of the Woody Stephens, with only one confirmed front-runner in the 11-horse field, and I expect to see #10 Bee Jersey dictating terms on the lead. His last two BRIS Speed ratings (103 and 106) certainly stamp him a major contender and I think he’ll make a seamless transition to Grade 1 company with his outstanding form. Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., Bee Jersey is one of my strongest plays of the day.
Race 10, Manhattan (G1)
A case can be made for many in the 13-horse cast and #13 Spring Quality rates as intriguing to me at a price. A gelded son of Quality Road, the 6-year-old raced sparingly earlier in his career and didn’t try the turf until three starts back, recording a fourth in the Knickerbocker (G2). He improved off that effort when capturing the Red Smith (G3) in his 2017 finale and opened this year with a fine second in the May 5 Fort Marcy (G3) at Belmont, missing by less than a length to Robert Bruce, who is listed as the 3-1 second choice here. Spring Quality has registered 105 and 107 BRIS Late Pace ratings in his last two outings and is eligible to keep stepping forward off the comebacker for Graham Motion, who upset this event last year with a horse who had a similar profile in Ascend. Spring Quality can settle just off the early leaders with his tactical speed and should be in position to fire turning for home.
Race 11, Belmont Stakes
I will be cheering if Justify does it but did not like the rail post. Tenfold is my pick and here is the link to my analysis of the Belmont Stakes.
Good luck on Belmont Stakes Day!