Weekend Racing Picks: Belmont, Santa Anita & Newmarket
Saturday, June 6 kicks off the second half of the horse racing season, with top class contests to be held all over the world.
Newmarket - QIPCO 2000 Guineas (G1)
Best Bet of the Day: #12 Pinatubo is unbeaten in six starts and has been rated higher than the likes of Frankel as a two-year-old. He kicks off his season in this one-mile contest against the best the United Kingdom has to offer.
Longshot: #7 Kinross won on debut by eight lengths over this same track in October, then was fifth in Grade 1 company November 1 with a troubled trip. He has been off since then.
Belmont Park – Runhappy Carter Handicap (G1)
Best Bet: #10 Mind Control is on a three-race win streak, including the Grade 1 H Allen Jerkens at Saratoga in August. He has two wins in New York this year already, and is four for six at the distance.
Longshot: This race is wide open, so why not take a stab with #6 Midnightcharly? 50-1 on the morning line, he is unbeaten in two starts at the distance, just ran second behind race top choice Firenze Fire last out, and has been first or second in 12 of his 15 lifetime starts.
Santa Anita – Santa Anita Derby (G1)
Best Bet: #7 Authentic seeks to extend his unbeaten streak to four. The $350,000 son of Into Mischief is trained by Bob Baffert, and truly stepped up when defeating a strong field in the March 7 San Felipe. He has been off since then, pointing for this very race, while stablemates Nadal and Charlatan hit the road.
Longshot: #2 Rushie is coming in off a sharp allowance score at Oaklawn Park in May. He has improved, figures-wise, with every start, and offers more value than a horse like #6 Honor A. P., who is also a legitimate contender.
Santa Anita – Santa Anita Oaks (G2)
Best Bet: #3 Speech is graded stakes placed around this same trip of 1 1/16 miles on the Santa Anita surface, and has a May 23 bullet workout in preparation for this. Hot riding Flavien Prat will be aboard.
Longshot: #5 Regal Beauty is 10-1 morning line, despite being a recent winner against older horses and trained by Bob Baffert, who won last weekend’s feature race with 10-1 Fighting Mad.
Santa Anita – Hollywood Gold Cup (G1)
Best Bet: #2 Midcourt was third, beaten less than a length, in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) over this same trip last out, and has won half his 10 lifetime starts. Three of those wins came over this track, including the San Pasqual (G2) here in February. He takes the blinkers off for this.
Longshot: Brown Storm (Chi) performed well when fourth in the Santa Anita Handicap at 24-1, beaten just three lengths. He does have a win over the distance, and trainer Michael McCarthy is doing well of late.
Tokyo – Yasuda Kinen (G1)
Best Bet: #5 Almond Eye is one of the best horses in the world. She made her 2020 debut May 17 with a stunning score in the Victoria Mile, running just .01 off the stakes record. She is seeking the eighth Grade 1 score of her career.
Longshot: #14 Danon Smash is coming off a May 16 win in the Keio Hai Spring Cup (G2) in thrilling fashion. He is a two-time graded winner this year in three starts, and could be dangerous on the front end.