Exacta Bet of the Day for Saturday, July 6, at Belmont Park

Profile Picture: Noel Michaels

Noel Michaels

July 4th, 2019

The last big hurrah of the Belmont Park spring/summer meet comes on Saturday, July 6, when the meet goes out with a bang with the Stars & Stripes Racing Festival, which encompasses five graded races worth a total of $3 million. One of the highlights of the loaded 11-race Belmont Saturday card will be the running of the $700,000 Suburban Stakes (G2) at 1 1/4 miles on the main track. The Suburban drew a diverse 11-horse field led by favored Catholic Boy, who will face a murderer’s row of challengers including fellow Grade 1 winner Pavel and many more. The race looks like a solid handicapping scramble well suited to betting the exacta boxes. Here is a recommended four-horse exacta box play in the Suburban. Good luck and enjoy! BELMONT PARK RACE 10 EXACTA BOX PICKS CATHOLIC BOY (#1) (9-5) is a dual-surface star, the standout morning-line favorite and horse to beat in the Suburban. He is a multiple Grade 1 winner at this 1 1/4-mile distance, and while a lot of people believe he is actually better on the turf than on the dirt, he seems to have very few weaknesses either way, especially at this wheelhouse distance for him. Perhaps he was vulnerable last out when returning from a six-month layoff in the Dixie Stakes (G2) on Preakness Day at Pimlico, but he did enough to win that race and now figures to be legged-up for an even better effort second off the layoff and back in a Grade 1 as he begins his four-year-old campaign in earnest. The bay will be tough to beat, so you need him in all of your exactas, but if you are betting a four-horse box you are certainly hoping that some other horse(s) in this field jumps up with a career-best kind of race to beat him. LONE SAILOR (#5) (8-1) is in midseason form and putting together a solid year at the Grade 1 and 2 level with in-the-money finishes in races such as the New Orleans Handicap (G2) at Fair Grounds, Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and Gold Cup at Santa Anita Stakes (G1), where he finished third behind Vino Rosso and Gift Box last time out. The main thing missing from his resume this season is an elusive victory, but at very least this horse loves to finish second and therefore should be used in the exactas. The bay four-year-old will be sporting blinkers for only the second time in his career and reunites with jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. CORDMAKER (#10) (12-1) seems to have ascended to the level of “best horse in the country that nobody’s heard of” status in 2019 with a series of victories at Laurel Park combined with a near-miss, fast-closing third-place finish in the Pimlico Special (G3) at this 1 1/4-mile distance on May 17. A stakes winner this season both sprinting and routing, this versatile and underrated runner ships in with regular rider Victor Carrasco aboard. He also brings a solid and consistent series of BRIS Speed figures that indicate he belongs against this kind of competition. At 12-1 odds on the morning line, the chestnut gelding is capable of adding value in your exacta boxes, even with the favorite. PAVEL (#11) (8-1) is the other Grade 1 winner in the Suburban field, having accomplished that status with a win last season in the Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs. Since then, Pavel has become a world traveler with trips to both Japan and Dubai for Grade/Group 1 races spaced in-between U.S graded tries, including a tough one last out in the Met Mile (G1). His effort in the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1) this March was actually pretty solid when fourth in that 12-horse field, and it has become apparent that distances between 1 1/8 miles and 1 1/4 miles are this horse’s best. The five-year-old gray lacks consistency throughout his career, but his best efforts are good enough to put him in with a chance versus these. There are many challengers and contenders in this field behind the obvious favorite and horse to beat, Catholic Boy, including horses not mentioned above like Preservationist (#2) (5-1), Marconi (#4) (6-1) and others. However, the deep field should create an exacta-friendly environment in which to beat this race, so go ahead and delve into the exactas with a four-horse box. If Catholic Boy gets beat, you could find yourself sitting on a big ticket. Best of luck! EXACTA WAGER $2 Exacta Box:  1, 5, 10, 11 = $24 PHOTO: Catholic Boy and jockey Javier Castellano run away with the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on August 25, 2018 (c) Adam Coglianesey Photography