SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Belmont Selections & Analysis - 6/4


Just one chalky winner for us on an opening day laden with the stuff, as favorites went 10:5-3-2 on the afternoon.  

I'd like to leave this bit of info here for y'all. When we're using the DRF Formulator platform while writing our columns, if we say "Sprints", for the most part we mean any one turn race, and when we say "Routes", we mean any TWO turn race. ( For example, we consider a 1 1/8th mile race at Belmont an elongated sprint, and a 6 1/2 furlong race at a Charles Town a route. ) We feel this way, because in our eyes, it's the number of turns that necessitate more energy than being relaxed on a straightaway. Sometimes the sample size for our study can be too large to manually break down, so there may be a few from one category in another, but usually the end result is pretty much the same. Additionally, when it comes to layoffs, we consider more than 50 days in a dirt to dirt scenario a layoff, more than 58 days in D to T or T to D a layoff, and more than 67 days in a turf to turf deal a L/O.

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 10 - #6 La Kara Mia


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Belmont - 6/4


Race  1


2.Our Ticket

3.First Dawn

#4 DESBORDES got the diploma when winning by a pole at Aqueduct back in February ( her lone try at the dx. ), and seems properly spotted for her first tangle with winners. There's a sensational DRF Formulator stat in play here, as Weaver is super dreamy with his NYRA dirt stock off breaks of 51-155 days ( 10-1 or undah ), as he owns a 10:8-1-0-1 mark in that regards ( $4.15 ROI ). #8 OUR TICKET gets an appreciable trainer upgrade for today's opener, and from an itty bitty sampling, Seymor has won with both of his sirt sprinters in the 51-117 day zip code ( $5 & $8 ). #2 FIRST DAWN is a nibbler by rote ( 17:1-3-6 ), and that includes a a win & a showing from her last two starts off the bench. 


Race  2

1.Snappy Cat



#1 SNAPPY CAT hasn't displayed much in the mornings for the start to his career, but new trainer has started out his career honestly enough ( 5:0-2-2 on the sand ), and there's some decent pedigree for the brown stuff if you go out a couple of generations. Most timid of selections. #11 FRAT showed absolutely nada in the bow a year & eleven days back, and has been gelded since that day while getting blinkers this afternoon. #10 TALESPIN was a lively runner up when last facing the starter, and pre-layoff pilot aboard for a return engagement. Seems like a logical "unders" candidate. 


Race  3

1.Manifest Destiny

2.San Juan Diego

3.Vicar's Legend

#5 MANIFEST DESTINY is 2 of 7 at Big Sandy ( 3-30 elsewhere ), and although we'd prefer a Tzeon Chang sighting for the first start off the re-claim, we like that the blinkers have been removed, as this  one blew up the tote board to the tune of $140 the only other time that equipment change was in play. #4 SAN JUAN DIEGO has hit the board in two of three dirt sprints off the bench, and the lone blemish was by less than two lengths. Gelding was in decent form before the hiatus and owns a win over the strip. #1A VICAR'S LEGEND has done his best work at the trip, won his last start when available for purchase, and may have appreciated his first ever layoff in 41 starts.


Race  4 

1.Freedom and Whisky

2.Book of Delancey

3.Noble Mischief

#1 FREEDOM AND WHISKEY was in the rear with the gear first time out, but late bloomer, ( this first foal out of an unraced dam ) was sired by a turf routing specialist ( 5 for 7 on firm ground ), and is now a recipient of blinks and the wonder drug. #8 BOOK OF DELANCEY is another one now receiving juice & eye cups, and we see City Zip on the 2nd generation topside ( whose offspring have done well at times on the green ), and a maternal granddam who won two of three turf starts. #9 NOBLE MISCHIEF is showing a decent gate move for today's initial foray, and although the dam was unproven on the gramma, we see Galileo & Rock of Gibraltar in the family tree.  OFF TURF: 14(AE)-2-7-12-15(MTO)


Race  5



3.Queen Kahen

#8 DEVANT has performed okay in both "2nd off the L/O" spins, and may perk up with Jose taking the helm.  Another meeeeeeek selection. #2 KREESIE got the job done in her only turf start off a break in the action, and is two for three at the dist. while owning a one for two mark going long on the Widener. The ol' grey mare is a gem of consistency. #3 QUEEN KAHEN is an extremely zippy sort on the sod & is 3 for 5 when available for purchase.  OFF TURF: 7-8-13(MTO)-5-1   NOTE: AS OF 2:41 P.M. TUESDAY, WE ARE FLIP FLOPPING OUR TOP TWO SELECTIONS.


Race  6 

1.Sassy Secret

2.Love and Luck


#3 SASSY SECRET outran her odds when showing some nice early zip in the primary dirt try over a fast track, but was then marooned from the 10 hole in the followup engagement, in essence losing all hope when five wide. Gomez is winless on the year, but he's a solid "send" rider, and this mare has a couple of nice morning moves for today's comeback attempt. #5 LOVE AND LUCK hasn't seen the scene since last Independence Day, but has since been transferred to a guy who's having a decent year and we'll give her another shot. #11 QUENTIGUA as bad as any for the show dough.   NOTE: AS OF 3:33, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #13 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  7

1.Blue Skies Forever

2.Macha's Reward

3.Fleet Warrior

#9 BLUE SKIES FOREVER hasn't made it over to the frontside since National Hangover Day, but bay gelding got one of his two wins right here ( at $78 ) beneath Heman, and we like when hard knockers have had their first break in the action, as hey -- don't we all need a break once in a while? #11 MACHA'S REWARD goes two turns to one for the first time in this spot, and has a 4th best of 45 breeze on display for his Big Apple debut. #14 FLEET WARRIOR got to the line first in his lone try when last to load, and it came at this distance.   NOTE: AS OF 4:12, DUE TO TWO LATE SCRATCHES, #'S 2 & 6 WILL BE OUR 2ND & 3RD CHOICES RESPECTFULLY.


Race  8 

1.Country Grammer

2.Tap It to Win

3.Nothing Better

You can feel free to draw an upwards arrow next to the #8 COUNTRY GRAMMER, as this one has shown improvement in the BSF department with each start, and aside from the Florida Derby ( where he was clumsy at the onset ) this one was victorious in his only other dirt start. We were on the #3 TAP IT TO WIN for his confidence building tally down in Gulfstream Park, and would not be surprised to see another strong effort. #7 NOTHING BETTER went all the way vs. slightly weaker first time out, but may need a race.


Race  9 


2.Highland Sky

3.Channel Maker

#3 CORELLI was next to last in a 16 horse engagement way back in September, but don't sweat the respite, as this one is but a half length shy of a 3 for 3 mark off a break in the action. Like many Euro shippers, this one sheds a boatload of tonnage, and has lost his reproductive abilities as well. We've always had a soft spot in our heart for #4 HIGHLAND SKY, as Tagg charge often outruns his odds, cashing a bunch of checks along the way. Pretty much now or never time, but we'll chunk in. #12 CHANNEL MAKER is a classy sort who has a two for 5 mark at the trip.  OFF TURF: 14(MTO)-1-7-8-4


Race  10


2.Dancing Kiki


These three and no more for all our rolling action. #2 SNICKET ( cleverly monikered, as she's a descendant of "Lemon" Drop Kid -- 'Lemon'-y Snicket...ya get it? ) took the overland route in the Gulfstrem Park bow, but is likely better bred for the blades, and gets Rosario in the irons today. #9 DANCING KIKI has been a part of the superfecta in six of seven and should handle the surface switch just fine. #10 CAKE has been working fairly steadily for today's initial start, and has some excellent pedigree on the 2nd generation dam side.  OFF TURF: 1-6-10-13(MTO)-2  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #6 LA KARA MIA doesn't make our first draft, so why would we accept favoritism?


Belmont          ( Current ):       1-10      ( $3.80 )     Beatable Favorites    N/A                     Favorites Win %        5-10   ( 50.0% )

Gulfstream           ( Final ):     58-468    ( $865.50 )  Beatable  Favorites  2-22  ( 9.1% )      Favorites Win %    161-468 ( 34.4% )

Aqueduct Winter  ( Final ):     65-427    ( $615.10 )  Beatable  Favorites  8-18  ( 44.4% )    Favorites Win %:   174-427 ( 40.8% ) 

Graded Stakes ( Current ):       2-12        ( $25.60 )  Beatable Favorites    N/A   (  N/A )      Favorites Win %:     4-12     ( 33.3% )

All Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Selected Grade 1's and Travers full days  ( These are also counted in the "Dirt Tracks" category ):

( 2013-2020 Final ) 64-411  ( $581.30 ) Beatable Favorites: 18-56 ( 32.1% ) Favorite's Win %: 139-411 (33.8%)  +/-: -29.2% against a 16.8% takeout  

Poly Tracks2013-16  (All Final): 85-568          ( $819.20 )  Beatable Favorites : 15-68      ( 22.1% )Favorite's Win %: 163-587      ( 27.7% ) +/-: -27.6%  against a 15.6% takeout

Dirt Tracks  2013-20 (All Final):2569-12918 ($21,998.80) Beatable Favorites : 345-1244( 27.7% )Favorite's Win %: 4914-13001 ( 37.8% ) +/-: -14.8%  against a 16.8% takeout

Cumulative Stats    (All Final): 2664-13466 ($22,818.50)  Beatable Favorites : 360-1312( 27.4% )Favorite's Win %: 5076-13588 ( 37.4% ) +/-: -15.3%  against a 16.6% takeout