There is no Triple Crown hanging in the balance like in the past two seasons, but Belmont Stakes Day will still be one of the best wagering days of the year, with 13 races on the card, 10 stakes, with six Grade 1 races on tap.
The highlight of course is the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (G1) where a field of 13 will head to the gate to go 1 ½ miles. Exaggerator was installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite but figures to go off closer to 6-5 by the time the gate pops.
The Grade 1 action starts early with a field of six going in the third race, the $700,000 Acorn at one mile on the main track for three-year-old fillies.
Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Cathryn Sophia leads the field and is the 6-5 morning line favorite. She won’t face Songbird, who is still on the sidelines, but catches a couple of tough fillies in Go Maggie Go (3-1), winner of the Black Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico on May 20 and Carina Mia (4-1) who won the Eight Belles (G2) at Churchill Downs.
The $1 million Ogden Phipps for fillies and mares drew a strong field of seven led by Curalina (3-1) who came off a six-month layoff with a dazzling victory in the La Troien (G1) at Churchill Downs on Oaks Day.
The $700,000 Just a Game drew a field of 13 that will go one mile on the turf. Mrs McDougal, winner of the Plenty of Grace at Aqueduct is the tepid 4-1 morning line favorite.
The $1.25 million Met Mile (G1) drew a field of 13 (12 will start with the late scratch of Sloane Avenue) including Frosted (7-2) who was fourth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and second in the Belmont Stakes last year.
He faces a tough group that includes Charles Town Classic (G2) winner Stanford (5-1), Razorback Handicap (G3) winner Upstart (20-1), Pimlico Special (G2) victor Noble Bird (9-2) and Ami’s Flatter (6-1), who won the Commonwealth (G3) at Keeneland in his last outing.
The NBC Sports Network will broadcast live from Belmont Park starting at 3:00 ET and the action will shift over to NBC at 5:00 ET for the Belmont Stakes, which has a post time of 6:37 ET.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my nine strongest plays from Belmont Park and Monmouth Park including the Belmont Stakes.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Saturday’s featured betting race of the day:
BEL Race 9 The Metropolitan Hcp G1 (4:41 ET)
#8 Ami’s Flatter 6-1
#7 Stanford 5-1
#5 Frosted 7-2
#4 Noble Bird 9-2
Analysis: Ami’s Flatter tracked the early pace and finished strongly to win the seven-furlong Commonwealth (G3) last out at Keeneland off a two-month break. He bounced back after failing to fire his best two back going a mile in the Fred Hooper (G3) at Gulfstream Park. He comes back here off a two month freshening for the Carroll barn that is 17% winners with runners coming back off a 46-90-day break. He should get a good tracking trip and may end up getting overlooked on the tote in this spot.
Stanford took the field gate to wire over the tight turns at Chuck Town to win the Charles Town Classic (G2) at nine furlongs. Two back at a one turn mile in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) he was a game second, beaten just a head. The Pletcher trainee has back to back career tops but the cut back to a one turn mile should suit. Pletcher has won this race in two of the last editions, Palace Malice in 204 and Quality Road in 2010.
Frosted makes his first start since returning from Dubai where he made two starts, winning the Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (G2) and then checking in fifth in the Dubai World Cup (G1). The McLaughlin barn is 22% winners with runners coming back off a 61-180-day layoff. His lone try at a one turn mile was his maiden win back in October of ’14. He reunited with Rosario who was aboard for his last win in the Pa Derby (G2).
WIN: #8 to win at 5-1 or better.
EX: 7,8 / 4,5,7,8
TRI: 7,8 / 4,5,7,8 / 4,5,7,8,11
Michael’s Report includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire Belmont Stakes Day card.
The third jewel of the Triple Crown features an outstanding day of horse betting that also includes the Grade 1, $1 million Manhattan, the Grade 1, $700,000 Longines Just a Game, the Grade 2, $500,000 Woody Stephens, the Grade 1, $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap, the Grade 1, $1 million Ogden Phipps, the Grade 1, $700,000 Acorn, the Grade 2, $400,000 Brooklyn Invitational, the Grade 3, $300,000 Jaipur Invitational, and the $150,000 Easy Goer.