SaratogaBets Handicapping - Kevin Cox's Belmont Park Selections & Analysis - 9/26


Just a reminder that if you would like today's selections & analysis for the three Grade One events at Santa Anita, merely go back one page. 

Today's Beatable Favorite(s): Race 6 - #7 Checksandbalances ( Ire )  Race 10 - #11 Barleewon

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 - 9/26


Race  1

1.Heavy Roller

2.Control Group

3.Direct Order

#4 HEAVY ROLLER lost by just a length at this level up in 'Toga Town a bit over a month ago, and gelding found the line first in his lone try over a local glib surface. Logical contender, but take a look pre-race, as this one had a claim voided two starts back. Slim margin in an open opener. #2 CONTROL GROUP had no palpable excuse for the recent disappointment, but six year old "horse" ( you hang on to those dangling participles, buddy boy ! ) has always been a win machine, and that includes having won half of his starts right here in Elmont. Giving him another chance. #6 DIRECT ORDER got a confidence building score when besting conditional platers at Philadelphia Park at the end of August, and sheds a few pounds off that score -- which we always dig. 


Race  2

1.Kaz's Beach

2.Eccoci Qua

3.A Vow of Beauty

#1 KAZ'S BEACH has posted two solid figaros to date, and it was probably a blessing in disguise that he didn't win the opener at the Natty, as now he's still eligible for these heftier NYB purses. In a bit of an anomaly, gelding draws the wood for the third straight time, but with this tricky run into the first turn, we like having the bug assigned, as perhaps it will enable them to get some solid tactical position early on. #10 ECCOCI QUA ( "Here we go" ) showed little in the bow, but we like failing dirt sprinters going long on the lawn for the first time, and not only was the dam 8-23 in turf routes ( 261K ), but this one is a half to a 2 fer 18 turf stayer who netted 135 large. #2 A VOW OF BEAUTY is eligible to improve in today's second off the L/O spin.  OFF TURF: 11(MTO)-1-6-7(MTO)-8


Race  3

1.Suspended Campaign

2.Leia Marie


#4 SUSPENDED CAMPAIGN didn't show a whole heck of a lot when beginning her working life in SAR on August 23rd, but the pedigree says there's some room for improvement, and filly breaks from a better slot today. Most humdrum of selections. #5 LEI MARIE showed stark improvement when switching over to the sand last time out, and while the result is nothing to sneeze at, keep in mind that there's an asterisk next to the Tomlinson for the trip, so we'll leave beneath until we see one more solid effort. #1 JOUSTER overcame a bit of trouble to be a well beaten but well clear runner up vs. similar up in the Adirondacks, and deserves your respect once again. 


Race  4 

1.Tuned ( GB )


3.Stone Tornado ( GB )

#1 TUNED (GB) got the job done in her initial North American outing ( off a six month hiatus ), but obviously something went amiss that day or shortly thereafter, as gal subsequently entered the H.P.P. ( Horsewitness Protection Program ). Barn knows how to have 'em ready off the shelf, and fifth different pilot in as many outings is a good one in Jose. #7 TRAIPSING is one for two going over firm ground and makes her third start off the layoff this afternoon. #2 STONE TORNADO (GB) usually gives a good account of herself, and lost by only a half ( behind a return winner ) in her sole try off an absence.  OFF TURF: 2-4-3-1-7  NOTE: AS OF 1:24 P.M. ThURSDAY, WE ARE FLIP FLOPPING OUR TOP TWO SELECTIONS.


Race  5


2.Pivotal Run

3.Tom's Choice

#2 ARROWHEART outran his odds when completing the triple at 18-1 a bit over three weeks ago, and the bloodlines are saying that the solid performance was likely not an aberration. May get a bit overlooked again due to the low percentage rider, but we'll take a shot in today's first try over firm ground. #10 PIVOTAL RUN nearly blew up the tote board at 50-1+ first out for Nevin, and we were impressed how this one closed into a slow second quarter ( 25.90 ). While a bounce is always possible, we'd be remiss in excluding. #5 TOM'S CHOICE can be forgiven both starts to date -- rail in the bow, and got smacked around in the followup -- and we'll chunk in at a big number beneath a hungry pilot.  OFF TURF: 3-8-6-2-4


Race  6 


2.Wicked Happy

3.Hard Won

#2 VALLETTA has produced a troika of solid grass Beyers to date, and 23% shotcaller more than doubles that rate ( 8:4-1-1 ) with freshly purchased turfers going long off respites of 49-67 days ( 13-1 or lower ) with an R.O.I. of $2.45 in that department. Should be no worse than second for all you place punters out there. We feel the #4 WICKED HAPPY is the only legit threat to the above, based on the adj. # of 82.1 two back -- which was the same class level as here. #6 HARD WON ( uncoupled barnmate with our secondary choice ) has improved with each & every turf try, so who knows where her ceiling is in that regards.  OFF TURF: 2-1-7-6-10  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #7 CHECKSANDBALANCES (IRE)


Race  7

1.Mount Travers

2.Big Engine


#7 MOUNT TRAVERS ( cross entered yesterday, so check the scratches ) lost by just a sliver in this race 200 miles northward 34 days in the rear, and ( according to DRF Formulator ) Rice is a more than nice 9 of 20 w/ locally based optional dirt stock who crashed the fiesta 8-50 days ago & are 4-1 or below. #3 BIG ENGINE ( uncoupled entrymate with the above, who was also spotted on Friday ) had his largest margin victory to date in his only "3rd off the shelf" attempt, and has done fine work at this distance of ground. #6 TRIBECCA has a sensational 10-24 career mark at this dist., has found the line first in his last three starts with a "For Sale" sticker attached to his rump, owns oodles of speed, and won by a pole in his only "2nd off the break" deal on the dirt; watch out, suckahs !!


Race  8 

1.Feel Glorious ( GB )

2.Chaleur ( GB )

3.Blowout ( GB )

#9 FEEL GLORIOUS (GB) got up in time to best slightly weaker in Saratoga back in mid Aug., and was a solid third in the Pebbles right here on the Widener last year. One of those kinds of horses where while nothing stands out, we'd be kicking ourselves if she won at a solid price without our backing. #3 CHALEUR (GB) has had the lead turning for home in all three of her N.A. forays -- winning in one & hitting the board in the other two -- with the aforementioned tally coming right here. Logical. #4 BLOWOUT (GB) completes the "God save the queen!" triple, based on having NEVER finished off the board in nine starts to date.  OFF TURF: 2-8(MTO)-3-5-4


Race  9 

1.Share the Ride


3.Firenze Fire 

#4 SHARE THE RIDE went coast to coast like butter and toast in a listed stakes down at The Shore a fortnight back, and we see no reason why a repeat isn't within reach in a very weak rendition of the Vosburgh, which may be dropped to G3 status in 2021 after looking at the entrants signed on. #6 ENGAGE ( who hasn't faced the starter since last year's Breeders' Cup ) has done fine work at this trip ( 5 for 9 ) and over this trip ( 2 for 3 ). Recognize the fact hat this one got the job done in both starts when last to load. #5 FIRENZE FIRE ( one of just two graded winners in the field ) must be left in because of the back class alone. 


Race  10

1.McElmore Avenue ( AE )

2.Mr. Vincent

3.Beachside ( AE )

#13 MCELMORE AVENUE (AE) needs one to get out in order to make it over to the races today, but should that come to bear, would be backed by a solid trainer stat which has this barn more than doubling their normative 25% batting average w/mid level stock going long on the lawn off breaks of < 49 days ( $6, $5 x 2 & $23 ). Gelding is in with a tag for the 1st time. #10 MR. VINCENT gets in light and has done well on this course. #14 BEACHSIDE (AE) is another on the outside looking in, but has a decent overall body of work and should probably be tossed into the cake batter.  OFF TURF: 14(AE)-13(AE)-8-3-6  BEATABLE FAVORITE: #11 BARLEEWON doesn't make our first draft, so why would we take 7/2 ?   NOTE: AS OF 11:11 ( Make a wish ! ), DUE TO A LATE SCRATCH THE #3 WILL BE OUR 3RD SELECTION.

Belmont          ( Current ):     6-50        ( $46.70 )  Beatable    Favorites    0-3  ( 0% )       Favorites Win %      13-50    ( 26.0% ) ( As of Saturday morning )

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 ):       6-34       ( $55.40 )  Beatable Favorites    N/A   (  N/A )      Favorites Win %:     14-34   ( 41.2% )

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