SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Belmont Selections & Analysis - 6/20 - Belmont Stakes Day


Enjoy the big day, everyone !

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 5 - #7 Rare Stripe

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.


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Belmont - 6/20 - Belmont Stakes Day


Race  1

1.Holy Emperor


3.Turn of Events

#7 HOLY EMPEROR put forth an honest showing in his lone try going over the blades, and has been posting some decent moves for today's comeback attempt. There's a decent DRF Formulator stat in play here, as Double-J is a snappy 6:4-1-0 with turf routers in the 68-68 day bracket at 14-1 or less, and the winners came back a healthy $9, $8, $5 & $23. Colt goes from a weak apprentice to a strong journeyman here. #8 SCANNO has the best overall body of work in the field, and the 11% shotcaller owns a 7:4-0-1 ledger with maiden claiming turf stayers who were in the money less than three fortnights ago @ 6-1 or undah ( $5, $9, $10 & $14 ). #11 TURN OF EVENTS is available for purchase for the first time.  OFF TURF: 5-9-8-1-3


Race  2

1.Echo Town

2.Mischievous Alex


This has always been our favorite kind of race -- a Grade One going seven panels. One of several compact fields on the afternoon, and as there are three solid sets of trainer stats in play let's get to them directly.  #4 ECHO TOWN has yet to finish out of the money, and The As-Man is a juicy 5-7 with locally based graded dirt stock who scored less than 51 days ago ( 8-1 or less ) with payouts of $2, $8, $9 x 2 & $13. #3 MISCHIEVOUS ALEX shoots for the grand salami today, and it's well within reach as Servis ( no, not that one ) has scored with half of his six graded dirt dashers in the 51-159 day bracket at 12-1 or beneath ( positive ROI ). #5 SHOPLIFTED has some nice back class, and uncoupled entrymate with our top selection has a 2 fer 4 stat behind him as his boss is just that with graded dirt horsies at Big Sandy off respites of 51-89 days. 


Race  3

1.Mrs. Danvers


3.Indian Pride

#7 MRS. DANVERS showed precipitous improvement from the first start to the next when procuring the sheepskin nearly a year ago, but therein lies the rub, as what exactly went wrong that day, or shortly thereafter? The good news tho, is that Shug doesn't send over any short animals, and the pre layoff pilot returns, which is always nice to see. Youngest horse in the field will need some pace to cut into, but we love the draw and will give this grey gal a slight edge. #2 CARRIZO owns a daylight win and a solid runner up directly in front of a next out winner in her only "second off the L/O" try on a fast track and has closed out the exacta in all three starts at the trip. #6 INDIAN PRIDE posted some decent numbers in her freshman season and is an obvious factor if sound.  NOTE: AS OF 11:28, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #4 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  4 

1.Maroon Maniac 


3.Decorated Invader 

#6 MAROON MANIAC has been beset by layoff lines after each of her two starts, but the outings were successful ones, and despite the lowish numeros posted, we like this one's versatility, and note the sizzling gate move since the tally down in Oldsmar. #7 FAMISHED hung up an adjusted 88.3 in her only 2nd off the shelf engagement, and picks up the meet's leading rider. #1 DECORATED INVADER has essentially improved with each passing start, and that includes a win when coming from out of the clouds in her only try off a break in the action. Deserving favorite.  OFF TURF: 3-1-6-2-7  NOTE: AS OF 11:32, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #2 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  5

1.Happy Saver 



#8 HAPPY SAVER has a couple of nice moves on the docket for today's initial spin, and over the last 60 months The Toddster is 14 for 40 with those fitting ALL this exact criteria ( sans age & jock ) w/a positive ROI in that regards. #1 MUTAAKAMIL was heading in the right direction before the crummy comebacker back in February, but deserves an opportunity to make amends, and Jose heating up with a four bagger on Thursday. Employing the "Diamond in the Rough" theory with the #3 ISLANDMAN, as there's one sharp morning move ( 35 & 4 ) amidst a bevy of ordinary workouts.  BEATABLE FAVORITE: So, you want to take 2-1 on #7 RARE STRIPE ? Well you should know that new trainer Sisterson is a woeful 1 fer 32 when being handed over a runner. 


Race  6 


2.Highland Glory


#5 SELFLESSLY hasn't been seen since a so-so Breeders' Cup event last year, but the adj. #'s from her last two deals were extremely solid, and obviously the barn knows how to have'em ready off an elongated break in the action. Mild choice in another truncated field. You can feel free to draw an upwards #3 HIGHLAND GLORY, as this one is really beginning to hit her stride from a Beyer perspective. Luis gets the boot after having this one in a traffic jam in the G.P stakes last month, and Manny Man now grabs the helm. #1 SPEAKTOMEOFSUMMER is two for two on the sod, and we like when a trainer isn't afraid to make an equipment or a medication change after a score, and C-Squared does both of that ( blinks and the wonder drug ).  OFF TURF: 5-4-3-2-1


Race  7


2.Light in the Sky 

3.Canarsie Angel

We seem to be landing on some animals today with an upwards swing, and #4 STRONGERTHANUKNOW is no exception. Duarte runner has been getting better and better and better since starting things out right here a year ago, and comes in off a wire to wire job on this course 2 1/2 weeks ago. Repeat quite feasible, especially as the barn is a decent 3 for 10 with 2nd off the L/O turf dashers ( 33 days or less ) and there's a sub category of 2-2 with those entering off a win. #10 LIGHT IN THE SKY has been transferred from the frigid Rice barn ( 2-50 ) to Horatio DePaz, and aside from the recent bullet and blinker addition, he reenlists the services of Jose Ortiz -- who piloted this one to her only win. #11 CANARSIE ANGEL is one for two on the gramma and may spice things up a bit.  OFF TURF: 5-16(MTO)-15(MTO)-2-3


Race  8 



3.Glass Ceiling

#4 CASUAL has started out her career on the right note with back to back scores at OP & CD, and there are two things that stand out to us: Firstly, we like how the BST from the debut was replicated in her first foray vs. winners, and the second is how she employed a change of tactics in that start, going wire to wire. Filly is bred to be a good thing, and 20% shedrow is a dynamite 7:5-1-0 with Elmont based graded runners who got the job done 8-50 days back ( 18-1 or undah ), and see today's 2nd race for the mutuels in that survey. #1 GAMINE is also a poyfect two for two, but the Bob Baffert's Baked Beans charge reportedly tested positive after the recent score, so that should be factored into the equation. Using, but with a bit of trepidation. #5 GLASS CEILING has won her last troika of dirt dashes, and that's cause enough to chunk in at 20-1. 


Race  9 

1.Oleksandra ( Aus )



#2 OLEKSANDRA is 13:6-3-3 in turf sprints, and that includes her only dash in a 2nd off the shelf scenario. Mare came flying home in 16.08 for the last 1 1/2 furlongs out in Arcadia, and drops a whopping seven pounds off that effort. #1 KANTHAKA hasn't been seen since Hector was a pup, but is a bit "lighter" today ( recently gelded ) and could show some newfound zip. #8 LOHNTWIST was a gamely runner up in between two next out winners in his only try off a similar layoff scenario, and ain't hopeless for a piece if able to get back to last year's figaros.  OFF TURF: 3-1-4-2-6


Race  10

1.Tiz the Law

2.Dr. Post

3.Max Player

Featured race of the day is upon us, and while we're disappointed about the distance cutback, it's still a Triple Crown race nonetheless. We were on the #8 TIZ THE LAW for the maiden breaker 200 miles northward last summer after we heard he was besting a stakes performer in the mornings, and have had him on top both other times he's appeared in our column since. New York bred was given no quarter down in Kentucky back in November, and that was the only deal keeping this $110,000 auction purchase from an unblemished record. Colt has won here, won off the bench, and during the recent hiatus, it's nice to have an old school trainer like Barclay calling the plays, isn't it? Speaking of that shotcaller, he's 3 for 4 with graded dirt stock off breaks of 51-117 day breaks ( 5-2 or < ), and there's a sub category of one for one at Big Sandy. You'd be quite fortunate to get that more than generous 6/5 M.L. offering, as this one will likely be 80 cents on the dollar at loading time. Scary thing is that we don't believe this animal has completely figured it all out yet. Would love to make a bolder prediction on this one for something down the road, but let's take 'em one at a time. #9 DR. POST handled the initial stretchout with aplomb after encountering some trouble in the 4/25 stakes in G.P., and may move up off of that for his 3rd off the layoff spin. T.P. wipes 'em clean with dirt runners at this level off absences of 51-61 days ( 17-1 or beneath ), w/ payoffs of $3, $5 x 2 & $8. #3 MAX PLAYER has steadily improved over his troika of outings, and owners wanted Rosario bad enough, that they're willing to pay a $55,000 double jock fee should this one surprise. 


Race  11

1.Talk or Listen ( Ire ) 

2.Breaking the Rules


#1 TALK OR LISTEN (IRE) hasn't been in action for more than ten months, but grey chap lost by a sliver in his only "true" start off an absence, and like many Euro shippers, sheds some poundage and adds some Lasix. Expect this one to be on or close to the lead with Ricardo getting the call. #2 BREAKING THE RULES is but a head shy of an unblemished 2-2 mark when coming in off a respite ( on firm ground ) & is but 1 1/4 shy of a 3 for 3 record when staring from the innermost two slots. None of those races overlap, so we have a live runner here. #11 BACKSIDEOFTHEMOON has gotten his photo taken the last two times he was available for purchase.  OFF TURF: 3-7-9-11-2  NOTE: AS OF 11:33, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #10 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  12 

1.What the Luck ( AE )


3.Big Wonder

#13 WHAT THE LUCK (AE) needs one to get the sniffles in order to make it into the body of the race, and although it would be quite a feat if he can pull it off after a nearly two calendar hibernation, Ward does well with these type and Javy sees fit to ride. Timid selection in a race with no first draft eliminations. #4 SIMPLY was visually impressive when winning in the Lone Star State at first asking back in March, but for some reason, received the unkindest cut of all afterwards. That being said, the turf pedigree tells us that the result was not an aberration, and we'd be remiss in excluding. #9 BIG WONDER is wheeled right back after flashing some speed on Sunday, and we'll chunk beneath at a big number.  OFF TURF: 1-14(MTO)-4-3-7


Belmont          ( Current ):       7-111      ( $86.00 )  Beatable Favorites    3-9   ( 33.3% )    Favorites Win %      34-111 ( 30.6% )( As of Saturday morning )

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