Saturday Free Horse Racing Picks: Late Pick Four at Belmont
We’ve got plenty of business to take care of this weekend at Belmont Park before the eyes of the racing world go upstate to Saratoga. Saturday’s card is packed with 11 races, including three graded stakes events. Two of them kick off the late Pick Four, a sequence where I’ve put together a $9 ticket that will hopefully extract some value out of a heavy favorite. Let’s take a look!
The first leg of the sequence is the Grade 3 Victory Ride for 3-year-old fillies. It’s attracted a field of eight runners, and I’m going two-deep.
#7 AUSTRALASIA makes a lot of sense. All she’s done to this point is go 6-for-6 with four wins against stakes company. One of them came in last month’s Jersey Girl against several rivals she’ll face here, and it helps that she sure looks like the lone closing type in a race full of early speed.
I’m also using #6 RED GHOST, who hits me as a significant overlay at or near her 10-1 morning line price. She won the Grade 3 Miss Preakness last time out, and the only poor effort of her career came on turf at Kentucky Downs. When Wesley Ward has young sprinters on the right track, they tend to stay there, and the presence of John Velazquez is a big plus.
I can’t get cute in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby. The American runners are far from bad, but this race has attracted one of Europe’s best 3-year-olds, and that one looms large enough to where he’ll be a popular single on Saturday afternoon.
#2 BOLSHOI BALLET was a 6/5 favorite in the Group 1 Epsom Derby, but he regressed off a monstrous performance two back and was seventh of 11. As absurd as it is to say this about a Grade 1 race, this spot represents significant class relief, and the connections of Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore must be respected. If the Bolshoi Ballet who won a Group 3 by six lengths in May shows up, the race will be for second money.
The last two races of the card hit me as pretty wide-open. With the big fields that will be present, you’ll likely get bettable prices on any strong opinions you have.
I’m going three-deep in both races, and #8 MIGRATE intrigues me in here. I liked him a lot in his debut on the Belmont undercard, but he broke last and was left with too much to do. He’s bred to be a good horse, showed some potential first time out, and has every right to take a big step forward at second asking.
#3 RANGER FOX and #11 DEREGULATION are both on my ticket as well. The former has been close twice and sure seems like the main speed in this race, while the latter made a middle move in his debut back in May and ships up from Monmouth for trainer Chad Brown.
Older claimers will go long on the inner turf to finish off the Saturday program. #3 SOGLIO is the 5/2 morning line favorite in his first start for the Orlando Noda barn, and I’m using him, but I’m more attracted to two runners breaking on the outside.
It sure looks like there’s some speed signed on, so #11 NOBLE THOUGHT could be in a prime position to pick up the pieces. His last two starts have come against much better horses, and his two most recent starts for this tag saw him run second both times. Joel Rosario has the mount, and I think he’ll be the one they have to fend off in the final strides.
#12 BORU makes sense as well. Trainer Michael Miceli saw fit to jump him up in class first off the claim last month, and he ran admirably to be beaten just a length for a $40,000 tag. He’s back in for $25,000 here, and his usual race could be enough to get him the money in the Saturday nightcap.