Sunday Pedigree Handicapping With & Doug Salvatore: Belmont race 1

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TwinSpires Staff

June 1st, 2014

At long last, two-year-old racing returns to New York when juveniles sprint five furlongs in the Sunday opener (click for FREE Ultimate Past Performances for this race).

From a wagering standpoint, the two expected favorites must not be opposed. The 8-to-5 morning line favorite Daredevil goes for the Todd Pletcher machine. Daredevil is bred extremely well for speed and precocity. His sire More Than Ready was one of the most brilliant early-season two-year-olds in recent memory. Daredevil is also out of a Forty Niner mare who produced Breeders Cup Dirt Mile winner Albertus Maximus.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has been exceptional with debut runners in these early season two-year-old dashes going five furlongs at Belmont Park. Indeed, his last 13 starters in this exact type of race, have produced six wins and seven second place finishes. The last time a Pletcher baby missed the exacta in a five-furlong debut race at Belmont? That would be July 1, 2011 when Big Creek finished third to fellow Pletcher-trained winner Overdriven. The second-place finisher that day, JC's Pride, came back and broke a five-furlong track record at Saratoga in his next start for Bobby Barbara.

The most dangerous opposition to Daredevil will come from Big Trouble. This daughter of Tiz Wonderful sold for an eye-catching $230,000 as a yearling. She was the most expensive of 50 different Tiz Wonderful yearlings offered at public auction.

Tiz Wonderful has proven to be an exceptional debut stallion. Just take a look at his record with debut runners over the last year and a half:

2014: 5-for-20 (25% wins) $3.36 ROI

2013: 17-for-65 (26% wins) $4.92 ROI

Not only does Big Trouble have excellent breeding for this type of race, but his trainer, Tony Dutrow, has performed suitable with debut runners in this situation. Indeed, throughout his career, Tony Dutrow has won three times from eight entrants going five furlongs at Belmont in their first career starts.

Not only do Daredevil and Big Trouble have impressive credentials, but their opposition lack a whole lot of intrigue. The 3-to-1 morning line third-choice in the wagering is Richie's Trix. She's a long-striding sort who wasn't that impressive in her under-tack drill for the Fasig Tipton March sale. Sure, Wesley Ward is good with debuting babies, but it would be a surprise if this one is up to the task against the promising Pletcher and Dutrow colts.



1st: Daredevil

2nd: Big Trouble

3rd: Francis Freud

Betting Strategy: Box Daredevil and Big Trouble in the exacta. And if you're committed to handicapping this card, use both of those two horses in the multi-win wagers such as the Daily Double, Pick 3, and Pick 5.