Tackling deep Late Pick 4 on Belmont Park's Stars and Stripes Racing Festival

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TwinSpires Staff

July 5th, 2018


The late Pick-4 (Races 7-10) at Belmont on Saturday features two Grade 1 fields, as well as a pair of Grade 2 tilts. With no standouts that I can see in the sequence, the potential for a nice payday awaits. I’ll give it my best shot.

Belmont Sprint Championship (G2)

The smallest field gets things started with just six to go postward. #1 LIMOUSINE LIBERAL and #2 WHITMORE are the class of the field. The former was a good third in a fine cast in the Met Mile (G1) on Belmont Day, while Whitmore just missed the prior afternoon in the True North (G2).

The duo each likes to come from off the pace. And I could envision a scenario where the pace is not especially fast or contested. So while I wanted to go thin in this first leg, I simply can’t. I will hit the all button.

Belmont Oaks (G1)

Ten sophomore fillies will go 10 furlongs on the inner turf in a superb field. And I am omitting a few really good ones.

I have always been a fan of #1 SIGNIFICANT FORM. Chad Brown filly burned money when second in the Wonder Again (G2) most recently, but she is classy and draws well on the rail. She figures to handle the 1 1/4 miles beneath Irad.

2017 Natalma (G1) starlet #4 CARLA TEMPTRESS was a close fourth in a French Group-1 in her seasonal debut and is a must use. Aidan O’Brien’s #6 ATHENA, multiple graded heroine #8 THEWAYIAM and Brown’s lightly raced #10 MIGHTY SCARLETT, will be among the quintet I am using.

Suburban (G2)

The 1 1/4-mile endeavor attracts another fine and well-matched field. I fully expect there to be an honest and contested early tempo, especially with main players #5 DR. DORR and #10 DIVERSIFY potentially knocking heads from the start. And I am forecasting a winner coming from off of it.

#8 HOPPERTUNITY continues to roll along at age seven and earned a lifetime-best BRIS Speed figure when best in the Brooklyn (G2) on Belmont Day. Baffert pupil is as durable and enjoyable a horse in training in my view and has to be on the ticket.

#2 WAR STORY was second to the aforementioned in the Brooklyn a year after winning it. Jorge Navarro trainee has fine current form and will get first run from the two slot under Castellano.

I am marching on to the final leg going two-deep in this spot.

Belmont Derby (G1)

If I had supreme confidence that #8 HAWKISH would thrive at 1 1/4 miles at this stage of his development, he would be a single. Jimmy Toner trainee is brilliant. His decisive romp over a nice field in the Penn Mile (G2) was even better than it appears on paper. Gelding is a win bet for me, but I seek additional coverage for Pick-4 purposes.

#3 ANALYZE IT and #7 CATHOLIC BOY ran a virtual match-race on this lawn in the Pennine Ridge (G3), with the latter bravely re-rallying on the inside to win. I have a ton of respect for both of these sophomores. But in keeping the ticket affordable, I am going to let both of them beat me off of such a taxing race.

Aidan O’Brien’s #4 HUNTING HORN and Team Valor’s #6 KINGSTAR each have enough appeal to me to use in this closer. I feel the 10-furlong distance gives the Euros a slight edge over many in this cast. And a potentially swift pace could aid both in the stretch, too.


50-cent Pick 4: All with 1,4,6,8,10 with 2,8 with 4,6,8 = $90

Best of Luck!

Photo of Hoppertunity defeating War Story courtesy of NYRA/Coglianese Photography/Susie Raiser