Spot plays for betting Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes day

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Ed DeRosa

June 11th, 2016

Success on the Belmont Stakes day program will require not only solid handicapping but also judicious wagering strategy, as the quality and depth of these fields means you need to plan to be wrong. You just can't expect to beat quality horses in every race.

That doesn't mean we won't try. Action is action, but with rolling doubles and Pick 3s among the trio of Pick 4s (races 2-5, 8-11, and 10-13) some opportunities are just going to be better than others. My full ABC grid is below, but there are some races (and sequences) I'm more excited about than others, and things get going right off the rip with the Easy Goer Stakes where #1 Race Me Home should get pace to run at despite the short field. We'll play him across the board as well as up and down in exactas and keyed underneath the favorite.

Race 3 is among the best races on the card with Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia taking on Eight Belles Stakes winner Carina Mia and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes winner Go Maggie Go in the one-turn mile Acorn Stakes. Go Maggie Go was made the 2nd choice on the morning line, but I don't see how Carina Mia isn't the second choice behind Cathryn Sophia and a lot lower than her 4-to-1 morning line. I will play the multi-race wagers through these two only and lean on Carina Mia if the doubles indicate that their odds are too far apart (i.e. Cathryn Sophia odds on and Caria Mia greater than 2-to-1). I expect Cathryn Sophia to be around even money or 6-to-5, though, with Carina Mia about 9-to-5, and at those prices I'll just use both and hope prices come in elsewhere to justify doubling the cost of my tickets by not leaning on one of them. Beating Cupid would be a good start to the early Pick 3!

Race 5 is the Phipps, a win-and-you're-in race for the Breeders' Cup Distaff, and low and behold the winner of last year's edition--Stopchargingmaria--shows up here. She's the 7-to-2 second choice behind Curalina, her stablemate who she beat last year in the Distaff. At that price, I would play Stopchargingmaria to win.

Race 7 is the Woody Stephens, and #10 Imperial Hint is worth a stab at 30-to-1 that maybe he keeps going this time turning back to seven furlongs versus dueling with Sharp Azteca at a mile. #8 Awesome Gent gets a fast track and John Velazquez and appeals at 20-to-1 morning line.

Race 8 begins the all-Grade 1 Pick 4, and one ticket I'm absolutely playing is ALL with ALL with #10 Flintshire with #11 Exaggerator. Speaking of Flintshire, he's the morning line favorite in the Manhattan and my most likely winner on the whole card. I've done well this week leaning on Chad Brown in turf races, and I'll try to keep those good times rolling today.

For my Belmont Stakes wagering strategy, CLICK HERE.