New York breds will take center stage at Belmont Park on Saturday, with seven stakes with $1 million in purses up for grabs on Big Apple Showcase Day.
The stakes action starts early with the third race, which is the $125,000 Bouwerie for three-year-old fillies going seven furlongs. The undefeated Lovely Syn, who is perfect in three starts, is the 7-5 morning line favorite.
The stakes action wraps up with the ninth race, which is the $125,000 Kingston for three-year-olds and upward going one mile on the turf. The race is one of two stakes that will be contested on the grass this afternoon.
Ft. Marcy (G1) winner Lubash is the 9-5 morning line favorite as the Christophe Clement trainee returns to the state bred ranks. The six-year-old is a for-time winner over the Belmont Park turf.
One of the more intriguing races on the card is the fourth race which is the $100,000 Affirmed Success for three-year-olds and upward.
The race matches up last year’s King’s Bishop (G1) winner Willy Beamin with gritty former claimer Saginaw.
Willy Beamin makes his first start since tossing in a dud in the Fall Highweight (G3) last fall. The gelding won six of his 10 starts last year including taking the Kings Bishop (G1), not bad for a runner taken for $25,000 at the claim box. With Tricky Rick Dutrow sitting on the sidelines for ten years the Rudy Rodriguez barn takes over the training duties.
Saginaw has won 12 of 15 races since the David Jacobson barn claimed him for just $30,000 back in March of ’12. Over that span he has won seven New York bred stakes. The gelding also likes the main track at Belmont Park, landing in the exacta in eight of 11 starts. There is not much to knock about this him except for the short price and fact he can’t keep this up forever can he?
I am going to try to beat them both with a longshot.
My Best Plays Report for Saturday includes my nine strongest plays from Belmont Park and Churchill Downs.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 9 The Kingston (Post time 5:17 ET)
2 King Kreesa 3-1
3 Kharafa 6-1
9 Lubash 9-5
8 Street Game 4-1
Analysis: King Kreesa set a sharp early pace and weakened in the stretch to finish third last out in the Ft. Marcy (G3) beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Lubash, who is the 9-5 chalk in here. Two back our top pick set the early fractions and weakened to finish third behind repeat winner Za Approval in the Appleton (G3) at Gulfstream Park off nearly a four month break. Za Approval came back to win the Red Bank (G3) in his next outing on May 18 at Monmouth Park. The gelding has run well over the turf here, landing in the exacta in four of five trips. The jock Ortiz needs to avoid hooking up early with Abilio, but the gelding looks primed for a top effort third off the bench and the cut back to a mile and return to the state bred ranks will suit him. He is getting a seven pound break from the chalk.
Kharafa made a good late rally to finish in the runner up spot last out against Alw-1 optional claimers in his first go off a 4 1/2 month layoff. He ran a solid second two back in the El Prado at Gulfstream Park last December and has landed in the exacta in seven of 10 trips on turf in his career. It took him six tries to break through the state bred Alw-1 level but he earned solid numbers in his last three starts and should be tighter second off the shelf.
Lubash is going to be the favorite off his win in the Ft. Marcy. He ran second to Street game two back in the Dave over yielding turf, which was his first start off a five month layoff. He won a pair of New York bred stakes last year including the Ashley T. Cole here. He is the obvious one to beat but likely gets bet down from his 9-5 morning line.
WIN: #2 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 2,3 / 2,3,8,9
TRI: 2,3 / 2,3,8,9 / 2,3,4,8,9
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. The supporting stakes include the $500,000 Manhattan Handicap (G1), $500,000 Longines Just a Game (G1), $400,000 True North Handicap (G2) and the $400,000 Woody Stephens (G2). Michael’s Report will be available on Thursday June 6.