Monday’s Big Apple Showcase Day card at Belmont Park features six stakes races with $900,000 up for grabs. The feature is the $200,000 Commentator, a one mile test on the main track that drew a competitive field of 11 led by the speedy Diversify for the Rick Violette barn.
The gelding set the early fractions and could not hold off Rally Cry in a solid runner up finish earning a 103 Beyer Speed Figure in his last outing. Jose Ortiz has the return call on the son of Bellamy Road, who is the 5-2 morning line favorite.
The stakes action kicks off with the $125,000 Mt. Vernon at a mile on turf for fillies and mares. Fourstar Crook is the 2-1 morning line favorite and is coming off a victory in the state bred John Hettinger in her last outing.
The $200,000 Critical Eye drew a 11 fillies and mares that will do battle at one mile on the main track. Pico Uno (4-1) is looking for her fifth consecutive win, while the Chad Brown trained Kathryn the Wise (2-1) looks to keep her record perfect in her third career start.
The $150,000 Mike Lee drew 10 three-year-olds that will go seven furlongs on the main track. The race features the Todd Pletcher trained Syndergaard (2-1), who came back off the shelf last out to run fifth as the beaten favorite at Churchill Downs in the William Walker. He was beaten just a nose in last year’s Champagne (G1).
The $125,000 Kingston drew some familiar faces including $1.4 million earner Lubash (5-1), $1.3 million earner King Kreesa (8-1) and fellow millionaire Kharafa (5-1) who have faced off against each other too many times to count in their careers.
The finale on the 10-race card is the $125,000 Bouwerie for three-year-old fillies. A field of 11 go to the post led by Bluegrass Flag (3-1) and Holiday Surprise (7-2).
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Monday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 8 The Commentator (5:13 ET)
#5 Diversify 5-2
#3 Eye Luv Lulu 15-1
#8 Weekend Hideaway 6-1
#9 Governor Malibu 5-1
Analysis: Diversify is back with state bred after setting the early fractions and unable to hold off the winner in a runner up finish against Alw-2 foes, the gelding earning a career top speed fig in the effort. He was five lengths clear of third place finisher Backsideofthemoon, who beat non-conditioned allowance company in his next outing on May 20 here on turf. Our top pick flashed some ability last year rolling over state bred Alw-2 optional claimers by 12 3/4 lengths in his third career start, earning a 100 Beyer. He owns the edge in early and mid pace numbers and a one turn mile looks perfect for him. He has won two of his three starts over the main track and while he has not raced on a wet track, he has a strong off track pedigree in case the rains come.
Eye Luv Lulu stalked the early pace, made a good run to grab short led and then got caught in the final strides to come up a neck short in the state bred Affirmed Success at six furlongs. He ran third in this race last year which was won by our third choice in here. He has a second and third in two trips at a mile and has a strong off track record, winning seven of his dozen starts on wet tracks. The RRod barn is 17% winners moving runners from sprint to route.
Weekend Hideaway also stretches out from the six furlong Affirmed Success. He makes his third start off the bench here for the Serpe barn and stretches back out to a mile. The barn is 16% winners moving runners from sprint to route. he won this race in the mud last year and has won four of his seven starts on wet tracks.
WIN: #5 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 3,5 / 3,5,8,9
TRI: 3,5 / 3,5,8,9 / 3,5,8,9,10
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, $1.2 million Metropolitan Handicap, the Grade 1, $750,000 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. Report available on Friday, June 9.