Hanson: Spreading in Belmont eve all-stakes Pick 4

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

June 9th, 2017

Aside from the $150,000 Tremont, Friday's other stakes action at Belmont Park is neatly tied into a 50-cent Pick 4 that runs from races 8-11. The likely favorites look very solid in several of the legs, but the potential for upsets, mild and otherwise, means I'm not willing to single anyone. If a favorite or two do prevail, I'm hoping the other legs are won by some middle-priced contenders that will help boost the payoff.

Race 8 (True North [G2]) -- Whitmore (#8, 2-1) is the hottest horse in the division at the moment. He was game in victory at Pimlico three weeks ago, but on the chance his narrow win wasn't just him not handling the track all that well but a possible sign of forthcoming regression I'll be using a couple others. Noholdingback Bear (#3, 4-1) turned in a credible effort in his debut for trainer Brian Lynch and should move forward in his second start off a lengthy spell. With the scratch of one of my original selections, El Deal (#9), I'll also include logical second choice Stallwalkin' Dude (#4, 3-1).

Race 9 (New York [G2]) -- The class mares of the field are last year's one-two finishers, Dacita (#8, 3-1) and Sea Calisi (#6, 5-2). Dacita got the better trip of the two in last year's renewal and comes off a solid second in the Beaugay (G3). Sea Calisi was explosive in the Sheepshead Bay (G2) and is arguably the better all-around mare. I'm also inclined to throw in Quidura (#1, 5-1). An import from Germany last term, she was third behind Dickinson and Lady Eli in the Jenny Wiley (G1) in her season debut. She has a bright future ahead of her and should relish the step up in trip, though her forte might be ground softer than what she'll likely have Friday.

Suffused (#2, 6-1) is as genuine as they come, but I'll be standing against her overturning the result of the Sheepshead Bay when 2 1/2 lengths second to Sea Calisi.

Race 10 (Belmont Gold Cup [G3]) -- The six European shippers appear viable and so I'll use all of them hoping one of them, at least, will prove to have more endurance than the American contingent in this two-mile heat. Now We Can (#3, 8-1) was a clear second in this event last year; Wall of Fire (#4, 8-1) was a credible fourth in the Ormonde (G3) at Chester last time; Clondaw Warrior (#5, 12-1) was runner-up in the American St Leger at Arlington in his last outing on these shores; Red Cardinal (#10, 7-2) exits a German Group 2 win at this distance and missed by less than a length in the Preis von Europa (G1) last fall; Wicklow Brace (#12, 5-1) upset the mighty Order of St George in the Irish St Leger (G1) last fall; and St Michel (#13, 4-1), third in last year's Doncaster Cup (G2), should improve second off the layoff.

Race 11 (Bed o' Roses [G3]) -- With a 4-3-1-0 mark over the Belmont main track, By the Moon (#9, 2-1) is obviously the one to beat. However, she's hardly invincible. Quezon (#4, 6-1), third to that rival in the Vagrancy H. (G3) last time, could be better for that season debut.

Here's the 50-cent ticket: 3/4/8 with 1/6/8 with 3/4/5/10/12/13 with 4/9 = $54.

Those wanting coverage with Suffused will note the total outlay stays under $100 if included.

(Quidura photo: Coady Photography)