Friday's Free Horse Racing Picks: The Late Pick Four at Belmont

Friday's late Pick Four ticket at Belmont from handicapper Andrew Champagne
Andrew Champagne
Fri, July 9, 7:54 AM EDT

Friday's Free Horse Racing Picks: The Late Pick Four at Belmont

The final Friday card of Belmont Park’s spring/summer meet is upon us, and it brings an intriguing late Pick Four sequence to the table. I’ll take an economical approach, as I’ve got a ticket you can play for just $9. Here’s how I’ve constructed it.

RACE #6

We kick things off with a classy optional claiming race on the turf, and I’m going against #8 DREAMS OF TOMORROW, the 9/5 morning line favorite. His last-out win was impressive, to be sure, but that race fell apart in his favor and the waters are deeper here.

I’ll try to beat him by going three-deep, and I’m most intrigued by the biggest price. #7 ISLAND COMMISH hasn’t run since November, but among his victories is a Grade 3 triumph, and he’s been very competitive against classy opposition. Saffie Joseph, Jr., is very good with horses coming back off of long breaks, and this one’s best efforts are certainly good enough to win this.

I’m also using the two entries. #1 PRINCIPLED STAND has done nothing wrong to this point with two wins in as many starts, while #2 MO READY was third in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby last fall and goes second off the layoff for Todd Pletcher. Using those two also means I get #1A PRICE TALK and #2B MICROSECOND for free.

RACE #7

I’ll take my stand in this optional claimer for New York-breds. Unlike in the first leg, I think the morning line favorite gets a terrific setup, one that will make him tough to beat.

#4 TOO EARLY is incredibly consistent and has hit the board in six consecutive outings. He also should get plenty of early speed to run at, which should allow him to come rolling late. If the first part of the race goes as quickly as I think it will, Too Early should be formidable late, and for that reason, he’s a single on my Pick Four ticket.

RACE #8

Fillies and mares will head to the turf for this event, one that’s drawn a big field. #11 FLIGHTY LADY will almost certainly go favored dropping down in class for trainer Chad Brown. I’m using her, but I’m also throwing in two others, and one of them is my top pick.

#10 ALWAYZ LATE has spent her last two starts going against Grade 3 company, and this seems like the correct level. In addition, her two best efforts came with Lasix, which she gets for a third time in this spot (Lasix is not allowed in graded stakes races). I think she’s a major candidate to improve, and if she does, she has a big chance at a nice price.

#2 SUN SUMMERS is on my ticket as well. She goes second off a freshening for Mike Maker, and she has a win and a second in two starts over the Belmont Park turf course. Luis Saez will be aboard, and she has the tactical speed to make the inside draw a real asset.

RACE #9

We finish with a wide-open claiming event for older turf distaffers. Many of these horses haven’t won in a while, which makes this one heck of a puzzle.

I’ll go two-deep to finish things out, and my top pick is #7 MS BOOMBASTIC. She broke her maiden two starts back over this turf course and was claimed out of that event. New trainer Mike Trombetta then jumped her up into starter allowance company, and that was just too tough a spot. I think she comes back to the right level here, and it’s not like she needs to be terrific in order to beat these, either.

Finally, #10 FREDDYMO FACTOR has shown ample early speed and gets back to the turf. She ran second against non-winners of two three times in a row at Gulfstream, and if she’s able to dictate terms early against a field of horses that might not want to win, that could make her tough to run down.

THE TICKET

R6: 1,2,7

R7: 4

R8: 2,10,11

R9: 7,10

Andrew Champagne
AndrewChampagne
Andrew Champagne is a horse racing handicapper with a specialism in juveniles. One thing is for certain, Champagne gets the party started.
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