Horses to single in Belmont's $47,777 Pick 6 carryover
The Pick 6 gets underway in Race 5 (post time 2:43 p.m. ET), and we’ve identified a pair of possible singles to build tickets around:
Race 5, Maiden Special Weight: #12 Excursionniste (2-1)
The opening leg of the Pick 6 is a 1 1/16-mile turf test for New York-bred juveniles. An overflow field of 16 horses has been entered, from which 12 will be allowed to start. It might seem risky to play a single in a full field, but Excursionniste looks tough to beat as the morning-line favorite.
A son of Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner Tourist, Excursionniste really should have broken his maiden over this course, distance, and class level on Sept. 23. Coming off a third-place effort in his debut over the Saratoga dirt, Excursionniste endured a tough trip while switching to grass at Belmont. Checking hard in traffic early on left the dark bay colt racing in eighth place through slow fractions of :25.68, :51.02, and 1:14.77.
However, Excursionniste hit another gear down the homestretch, gaining seven lengths through the final furlong to miss victory by half a length. If he gets a cleaner trip while sticking to the same conditions on Saturday, Excursionniste can rally to victory.
Race 8, Noble Damsel S. (G3): #10 Tamahere (9-5)
Trainer Chad Brown has won the last five editions of the Noble Damsel, and he’ll have every chance to pick up a sixth victory courtesy of Tamahere. Winner of the Sands Point S. (G2) over this course and one-mile distance last year, Tamahere placed in the Jenny Wiley S. (G1) during the spring and recently returned to peak form with a 7 1/4-length romp in the 1 1/16-mile Violet S. at Monmouth Park.
Tamahere is facing a large field in the Noble Damsel, but she appears to hold a class advantage. She is also remarkably versatile in terms of running style, setting the stage for a perfect trip under three-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. If there’s a reliable horse to single in the Pick 6 sequence, Tamahere is probably the one.