SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Belmont Park Selections & Analysis - 9/19


Nice opening day for us yesterday with a profitable grand slam, a $10 cold quinella, a $26 cold exacta, a $42 cold triple, and a $45 cold double.

Just a reminder that for today's selections & analysis for the Woodbine Mile, merely go back one page. 

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.


Please visit the Old Friends at Cabin Creek website ( by clicking the image to the left ) and consider helping out in these challenging times.

I want to thank those that read my column, and have recently opened up accounts as a result of their fondness for what they see here. If you have any questions at any time, you can reach me here on Disqus, or on Twitter @brooklyncowboy1. For those who dig the scene here, and would like to be part of it, registration on our home page is easy, and if you'd like, feel free to include my name in the referral box, and let me know, so I can try and get ya' some cool swag!


Belmont Park - 9/19


Race  1


2.Later Cat

3.Manifest Destiny

#1 ZONIC is confidently doubled up in class after besting 12.5K foes up in the Adirondacks at the end of August, and the figure earned that day tells us that it's probably a wise decision. Gelding has fared decently at this trip & over this strip, while laying over all but our second choice, #4 LATER CAT. Aforementioned Papa Englehart charge was smartly shipped down to the Shore for a confidence building score a dozen days back, and although the number came back a bit low, the penultimate figaro ( from an adjusted standpoint ) tells us that he can pose a threat to the above. We've always had a soft spot in our heart for #2 MANIFEST DESTINY. Despite having never cashed in on him, given the Chang/Younghans connections, and the fact that this one owns a nice 40:6-2-1 "declining" mark with payouts of $93, $10, $66, $124 & $23 x 2, we have no problem chunking in.  NOTE: AS OF 11:47, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #7 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION. 


Race  2


2.Love That Face


#4 SNICKET crushes. #3 LOVE THAT FACE broke slowly from the inside when debuting on a wet track two back, then followed that up by getting smacked around in Saratoga 29 days later. We'll give her a puncher's chance going over the blades for the first time at what will likely be a solid mutual offering. We always give an animal two opportunities under a particular set of circumstances before writing them off, and that's what we'll do with the #3 MONIFICENT. The initial turf foray left a lot to be desired, but hey, how were you the first time dad took the training wheels off? That being said, the grass pedigree is exceptional, and blinkers are now a part of the equation.  OFF TURF: 4-3-2-10-7


Race  3

1.Epic Bromance 

2.Spirit Animal

3.Conviction Trade

#2 EPIC BROMANCE was a lively runner up in a career best performance at Monmouth on 8/1, and aside from an outing that was "pre & post layoff", this lightly raced four year old always seems to give a good account of himself. The bullet breeze since the most recent tells us that the effort didn't take too much starch out of the collar, and we'll pin our hopes to a second off the shelf improvement. #3 SPIRIT ANIMAL ( who was claimed two back, but had that claim "voided" for a "technicality" ) is but a head shy of shooting for the grand slam today, and will be hard to down. #1 CONVICTION TRADE is two for four at this trip, compared to being winless from four starts at other distances, and is a sensible inclusion.  OFF TURF: 1-2-5-7-3


Race  4 

1.Flying Finish

2.Beach Front

3.Big Boy Mo

We have three tidy but tight sets of DRF Formulator stats in play for today's fourth race, so let's get right to 'em in a no frills manner.  #3 FLYING FINISH: Margotta ( from a limited sampling ) has won both of his starts with dirt sprinters who finished off the money less than 40 days ago, being put up for sale for the first time. #9 BEACH FRONT ( who is back at the level claimed from two back ) will be brought over by a shotcaller who's scored w/half of his mid level 2nd off the snag dirt stock who were OTB 6-50 days back. #6 BIG BOY MO ( finding himself at his lowest level to date ) is conditioned by an hombre who's 2-5 when dropping his dirt horsies 50% or more ( 18-50 days ) with the winners returning $8 & $6. 


Race  5

1.Setting the Mood

2.Neige Blanche ( Fr )

3.Key Biscayne 

Featured race of the day is upon us, and it's a truncated but competitive affair. #1 SETTING THE MOOD has improved with each and every passing turf start, so right off the bat, who knows where her ceiling is in that regards. Gal displayed a change of tactics last time out, when setting all the fractions but the final one, and with just one other speedster signed on, we wouldn't be surprised to see Looie send from the springing of the latches. #4 NEIGE BLANCHE (FR) ships cross country in search of a Grade 1 win, which would improve her black type town the road, and you can feel free to draw an upwards arrow alongside the Timeform figures leading up to the North American bow, and we'll give this one a live shot. #3 KEY BISCAYNE has yet to miss the board in any route try, and could be coming late should a duel ensue between the inside & outside runners.  OFF TURF: 1-2-5-3-4


Race  6 


2.Rational Choice


#6 ENGRAVE overcame a bit of trouble ( and a disadvantageous slot ) to grab 20% of the purse when beginning his working life a bit over a month ago, and the pedigree ( as well as the $900,000 sales price ) tells us that this one may be earmarked for bigger things. Four returnees from the overture came back to amass a 4:1-0-1 record in their followup engagements ( three separate heats ) with an average BSF improvement of 14.3 points. #3 RATIONAL CHOICE ( second half of the uncoupled entry with the above ) has been outworked by his barnmate over the last duet, but fared better in some prior morning moves and looks to be sitting on a good one. #1A LIKEABLE was extremely gamely when starting things out in SAR 24 days in the rear, and although the # came back a bit on the low side, January foal is eligible to show improvement. 


Race  7

1.Contained ( AE )


3.Amortization ( Ire ) 

#14 CONTAINED (AE) needs a lot of help to make it to the frontside this afternoon, but should that come to bear, would be toting along some nice pedigree for the gramma in today's second try over the stuff, and this one should most definitely appreciate today's added ground. #7 BRYNBELLA was a bit tardy to the party first time out, but having the same pappy as the above, we think there's a bit of upside with this one. #6 AMORTIZATION (IRE) is fantastically bred for this sort of deal, and we'd be remiss in excluding.  OFF TURF: 4-9-11-5-2  NOTE: AS OF 11:59, DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #10 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.


Race  8 

1.Firenze Freedom


3.Fight On Lucy 

#6 FIRENZE FREEDOM bested more than half the field in the return engagement 200 miles northward three weeks back, but as she has never broken as slowly as she did that day, we're expecting a step forward with that outing beneath her girthstrap. For what it's worth, the only horse to exit that heat and run again, found the line first up at the Lakes. #1 FLASHPACKINBARBIE finished just 3/4's of a length in front of the above in their most recent encounter, and while this one slides in four slots off that effort, why would we accept exponentially lower odds? #5 FIGHT ON LUCY -- eased when last in action -- could spice things up a bit if able to get back to the adj. 61.6 from two back. 


Race  9 

1.Noble Emotion

2.Maxwell Esquire

3.Call Me Harry

#10 NOBLE EMOTION is the clear speed of this deal, has won both of his turf dashes, and as they came at odds of 4-1 & 10-1, we have no qualms whatsoever at swinging away with this fella at similar odds as the most recent once again. Slight edge in a race with just one first draft elimination. #7 MAXWELL ESQUIRE simply keeps getting better and better and better, has yet to miss a super going short, and is a must use for all your rolling action. #3 CALL ME HARRY posted a strong adjusted numero in his sole "2nd off the bench" jammie, and did such without the benefit of blinks & juice which are now a part of the makeup. We like that Johnny returns despite the recent disappointment.  OFF TURF: 3-7-2(MTO)-8-9(MTO)


Race  10

1.Forest Spirit 


3.Freudian Analyst

#5 FOREST SPIRIT has been beset by two layoff lines after as many trips to the races, but the leap year debut was honest enough ( a 3rd at 13-1 ), and this one is decently bred for today's initial surface switch. Note that the jockey trainer combination fare better together ( 17% ) than apart, and that's something we always pay heed to. #10 DISCIPLINARIAN has yet to finish out of the money in any turf attempt, but is beginning to give the impression of becoming that kind of maiden, and we're not at all enamored with the switch to Cardenas. #2 FREUDIAN ANALYST has been a different animal since Keith took over for the old man, but we ain't taking no 7-2 on no 1 fer 32 runnah. Leaving beneath.  OFF TURF: 14(MTO)-10-4-7-6 


Belmont          ( Current ):     4-10        ( $31.30 )  Beatable    Favorites    N/A  ( N/A )      Favorites Win %         2-10    ( 20% )

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