SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Belmont Park Selections & Analysis - 9/18 - Opening Day


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Today's Beatable Favorite(s): None

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 Park - 9/18 - Opening Day


Race  1


2.Treasure Lane

3.Jade Empress

#1 ZAINALARAB begins her professional working life this afternoon, and does such with some crisp morning moves in tow. $250,000 bred animal went for four times that at auction, so is obviously well meant. Pedigree is telling us turf more than dirt, and if you notice, this one took a spin on the Oklahoma lawn at the end of August. This is the first foal out of a dam who earned a small check in his lone start on the sand, but the genealogy for the brown stuff is exceptional as well. #5 TREASURE LANE is another one starting things out in the meet's opener, and Shug ( who has done precipitously better with firsters in recent years ) has given this one a couple'a solid breezes for he overture. Another well bred runner who can be any kind. #3 JADE EMPRESS was a solid & decently clear runner up in the bow, and must be left in the mix because of such. 


Race  2


2.Doubly Blessed


#1 GRAVITAS has yet to miss an exacta in four calls to the post, and being the apparent lone speed signed on, can easily complete the pole position early double for Javy. #2 DOUBLY BLESSED had an awkward & troubled return to action on Labor Day weekend up north, but the Oldsmar finale yielded a solid adjusted speed figure, and is an obvious factor if able to get back to that effort. #9 ZIPALONG has improved with each & every turf start, so right off the bat, who knows where his ceiling is in that regards. Recognize the fact that this one's lone tally came in his only start right here -- and his only start when available for purchase.  OFF TURF: 2-3-1-5(MTO)-8


Race  3

1.Hetty G.


3.Miss Lianna

#4 HETTY G. overcame some difficulty to be a daylight clear runner up in this race up in the Adirondacks on 7/24, and has done some fine work since being transferred over to the Wesley Ward barn. Draw a line through the initial Elmont attempt, as he got smacked around a bit at the beginning, and J/T trainer combo have done decently here of late. #7 APPLETINI has lost ground in the lane in each & every outing, but found the line first the only time she toted less than 118, and bug who had a grisly Saratoga gets a fresh start today. #5 MISS LIANNA has partaken in the superfecta in all of her main track spins & finds herself at her lowest level to date. 


Race  4 

1.Danny California

2.You're to Blame


These three & no more for all our rolling action.  #3 DANNY CALIFORNIA shoots for the hat trick in today's initial stakes attempt, and it's well within reach, as 5YO gelding sheds 48 ounces off a win ( something we always dig ), and sans the debut ( where there were issues ) this one is 2:1-0-1 over a local glib surface. #1 YOU'RE TO BLAME seems to be the clear class of this allotment ( who will undoubtedly be overbet because of such ), but as a chronic nibblah here on Big Sandy, we'll keep beneath. #4 ROCKETRY owns a win & a third from as many "3rd off the L/O" engagements, but has been camera shy for nearly two years, so we'll toss in the "unders".


Race  5

1.Cross Keys


3.Bankers Beast

Feel free to draw a line through the most recent of #2 CROSS KEYS, as the grey gal encountered a grotesque beginning that day, and ended up in a new barn afterwards. 'Miah kept her in jail after the purchase, so he 's now eligible to bring her back for a quarter once again. Aforementioned shotcaller is a snazzy 7-15 with New York dirt runners off breaks of 51 days, and the payouts for that survey were $23, $3, $4 x 2, $7, $14 & $6. #6 BELLEZA has hit the board in all three sand starts to date, and the lone returnee from the July 29th deal ( who finished directly in front of this one ) came back to get her photograph taken, improving her Beyer by 25% in the process. #3 BANKERS BEAST will be led over by an 18% bossman who doubles that batting average ( 4 of 11 ) with dirt dashers of this ilk taking the biggest drop in the game ( $18, $2 x 2 & $14 ).


Race  6 

1.Bunker Hill 

2.Scarlett Sky

3.Crew Dragon

#5 BUNKER HILL ( a famous battle in the revolutionary war ) has a couple of so so morning moves for today's initial afternoon trek to the track, but is bred up the Yin Yang ( War Front out of a Galileo mare ) for this sorta deal, and jock scored for this barn with a turf FTS'er ( at big balloons ) the day before the Derby. #7 SCARLETT SKY was an honest runner up in a near identical spot when starting things out at 'Toga Town back in mid August, and is sensible once again. #8 CREW DRAGON has a maturity edge over the entire field, and after a couple of breezes in Saratoga, Mott brought him back down here, as he apparently felt he wasn't ready for prime time. Tossing beneath, but may need one.  OFF TURF: 7-1-8-2-6


Race  7

1.Big Wonder

2.River Knight


Today's ( hopefully ) the day for #2 BIG WONDER. You have to admire a soon to be 12 year old like #4 RIVER KNIGHT still hanging in there, and although the 1 fer 65 career mark is from hunger, there's nothing wrong with the 11 placings during that time. Needs to reverse the recent form, but has done some nice work off the shelf. #6 QUINTARELLI outran his odds when completing the triple at 43-1 the last time he had a "For Sale" sticker attached to his rump, and accomplished the same in two of her most recent three turf attempts.  With a slightly suspect top choice, and no true feel for the supporting players, this might be a good race to go walk the marmot.  OFF TURF: 3-11(MTO)-9-4-5


Race  8 

1.Good Credence

2.Baby Boss


You can feel free to put an upwards arrow alongside the recent quartet of #3 GOOD CREDENCE, as this one has shown steady improvement over that time. Filly was rightfully set down in the August 16th affair, ( a race in which four of five comebackers displayed improvement in their followup jammies ) and Margotta charge digs it here. #5 BABY BOSS is two fer four off the bench ( 3-14 otherwise ), and despite having disappointed in the race where claimed from back in January, is confidently hiked up in class for today's return. #1 LETMETAKETHISCALL has been ITM in eight straight, 10 of 11, and was snagged out of a similar spot in which she went coast to coast like butter and toast. Jimmy's best work isn't with first off the claim stock, but we wouldn't be surprised if this shrewd purchase didn't find the line first.


Race  9 

1.Mary's France ( Fr )

2.Lashara ( GB )

3.Una Luna

#2 MARY'S FRANCE (FR) makes her North American debut in this spot, and like so many Euro shippers, sheds some tonnage while being administered the wonder drug for the first time. On that note, new conditioner has a crisp 4 for 11 record when getting a horse with the categories listed above, and spotting them in a turf route ( 68-118 days ) w/payouts of $7, $10, $14 & $15. Manny has some live ones today, and this is one of them. #8 LASHARA (GB) has had but one turf clunker from four outings over the stuff, but we'll keep beneath as Casse is on a 2-45 run on this circuit. #4 UNA LUNA is a very consistent sort who's completed the exacta in both starts off a respite, and we can't fault those taking a favorable view.  OFF TURF: 4-5-7(MTO)-2-3


Race  10

1.Unbridled John


3.Noble Mischief

#4 UNBRIDLED JOHN showed some decent early zip in the initial turf attempt, and may move forward off that effort ( at a price ). #10 BRICCO has hit the board in all four starts thus far, and has he eye cups removed in an effort to get him over the hump. Logical, but will take some pounding at the ( virtual ) windows. #1 NOBLE MISCHIEF is another one losing the hood and takes the biggest drop in the game. Expecting Luzzi to send & possibly hang for a share.  OFF TURF: 10-11-16(MTO)-12-13(MTO) 


Saratoga             ( Final ):     71-396     ( $570.30 ) Beatable   Favorites   5-21 ( 23.8% )   Favorites Win %     143-396 ( 36.1% )

Belmont               ( Final ):     30-249     ( $278.60 ) Beatable  Favorites  7-19  ( 36.8% )    Favorites Win %      92-249 ( 36.9% )

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 ):       6-31       ( $55.40 )  Beatable Favorites    N/A   (  N/A )      Favorites Win %:     12-31   ( 37.5% )

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):2670-13563 ($22,847.70) Beatable Favorites : 357-1284( 27.8% )Favorite's Win %: 5149-13646 ( 37.7% ) +/-: -16.3%  against a 16.8% takeout

Cumulative Stats    (All Final): 2755-14131 ($23,666.60)  Beatable Favorites : 372-1352( 27.5% )Favorite's Win %: 5331-14233 ( 37.6% ) +/-: -16.2%  against a 16.7% takeout