Equidaily Racing Journal



Saturday, June 6, 2008
Picks and plays for some of the day's major stakes
by Seth Merrow

The final jewel of the 2009 Triple Crown highlights Saturday's action. We'll go on record as saying that we think Rachel Alexandra should be here [just as we thought Street Sense should have been here a couple of years ago]. You certainly can't require horses to participate but it would be nice if the sentiment among horsemen was to continue on in the Triple Crown series if their horse wins one of the early jewels. And sure, they can claim to be putting the horse first -- but if there was any notion in their minds that they would skip the last leg after winning the Preakness then they should have skipped the Preakness -- at least if their professed goals are "the good of the game." End of soapbox.

Without the "rubber match" between the Derby and Preakness winners the story actually moves away from the horses and squarely onto Calvin Borel -- who is going for the Cal-fecta, a unique personal Triple Crown.

Should be fun...

Turf wagers are turf only

Best Bets

Belmont: Race 7, exacta box, My Princess Jess/Forever Together.
Churchill: Race 2, exacta key, Stamp over Ksar Ghilane/Lookn Mighty Fast.
Churchill, Race 10, Acoma.
Hollywood: Race 3, Boy Named Shoe.

Belmont: True North Hcp G2 $250K

Two Step Salsa...Certainly flourished in Dubai -- gets tested today to see if that improvement carries back to the USA.
Benny the Bull...Eclipse champ returns from "retirement". Won this race last year and is capable again if ready -- but circumstances leave us a little bit iffy about using him on top today.
Fabulous Strike...Solid stakes-quality sprinter would not be a surprise in here.
Desert Key.

Wager: $5 WP on Two Step Salsa.
...$4 exacta box top two.
...$1 tri key Two Step Salsa over next three.

Belmont: Just A Game G1 $400K

My Princess Jess...Seasonal debut indicates she might have returned as an improved 4YO.
Forever Together...Reigning divisional champ was also successful in her first of 2009.
Raw Silk...Looks like the one to catch.
Carribean Sunset.

Wager: $5 WP on My Princess Jess.
...$5 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Belmont: Woody Stephens G2 $250K

Regal Ransom/Everyday Heroes...We scratched into Regal Ransom as our top pick in the G1 Ky Derby and he was in good position around the far turn. Cutback to 7F could be interesting. Everyday Heroes is lightly-raced, undefeated and improving.
Hull...Also undefeated. Solid win in stakes debut last time.
This Ones for Phil...His mission: To recapture the form shown in that big Sunshine Millions win. He's capable of doing that and would be no surprise here.
Hello Broadway.

Wager: $5 WP on Regal Ransom/Everyday Heroes.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Belmont: Acorn G1 $300K

Justwhistledixie...Scratched from the G1 Ky Oaks where she looked like the only real competition for Rachel Alexandra. Working well for return and brings in a five-race win-streak -- including four stakes.
Funny Moon...Lightly-raced and improving. Gets tested today but should still have some upside potential.
Dream Play...Barnmate of top pick has been going well in stakes company.
Living Lovin.

Wager: $5 WP on Justwhisteldixie.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Belmont: Manhattan Hcp G1 $400K

Cowboy Cal...Ran a lifetime best Beyer when returned to grass last time.
Cosmonaut...Impressed in return from a long layoff.
Court Vision...We think he's better than his latest.
Champs Elysees.

Wager: $5 WP on Cowboy Cal.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Belmont: Belmont Stakes G1 $1mil

Dunkirk...First three starts indicated he might live up to that $3.7mil purchase price -- then he flopped in the G1 Ky Derby. But they could have been conservative and maybe tried the G2 Peter Pan and then shopped for the G1 later this summer -- but they pointed here, so we appreciate the confidence.With only four starts he still has room to improve and could benefit from the Derby experience.
Mine That Bird...Like everyone else, we overlooked him in the Derby. Like some, we also passed on him in the G1 Preakness. But we can't ignore him anymore. His jock is going for the "Cal-fecta" -- a personal Triple Crown. If this one can run anywhere near the form he showed in the last two he'll contend here as well.
Charitable Man...Like the top pick he is lightly-raced and has shown signs of real promise.
Chocolate Candy.

Wager: $5 WP on Dunkirk.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Monmouth: Longfellow $70K

Disco's Son...Has looked pretty good in two starts since the comeback.
Benny the Bull...Speed is the game on this track so his style doesn't exactly suit -- but if he opts for this spot [he's cross-entered at Belmont] and he's ready, he might outclass these regardless.
Celtic Innis...Often grabs a share.
Go Go Shoot.
On the Vineyard.

Wager: $5 WP on Disco's Son.
...$2 exacta box top two, sub next if scratch.
...$1 exacta box top four, sub next if scratch.
...$1 tri box top four, sub next if scratch.

Churchill: Mint Julep Hcp G3 $100K

Acoma...Undefeated in two turf tries -- including a G2 on this track.
Pure Clan...Off since the flop in G1 BC F/M Turf but was impressive in other grass starts.
Tizaqueena...Undefeated since the switch to turf.

Wager: $5 WP on Acoma.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Hollywood: Ack Ack Hcp G3 $100K

Noble Court...Only three starts since Aug 2007 -- but they've all been good.Nice try in a sprint stake on this track last fall.
Paul's Hope...Just missed in a G3 here last time. Goes an extra 1.5F today.
Liberian Freighter...Seems to be more of a turfer -- but won a restricted stake on the main last time.
Sierra Sunset.

Wager: $5 WP on Noble Court.
...$2 exacta box top two.
...$1 exacta box top four.
...$1 tri box top four.

Hollywood: Whittingham Mem Hcp G1 $300K

Midships...Looks like the lone speed.
Artiste Royal...Won this race last year. Needs to rebound to that form but the short break might have helped.

Wager: $5 WP on Midships.
...$4 exacta box top two.
...$1 tri box top three.

Coast-to-coast Archives...Picks, plays and results from previous weeks


Note: Pages on this site are labelled with the equidaily.com logo. Some links are for information only and lead to pages at other sites. equidaily.com is responsible only for the pages on this site. equidaily.com assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Always check with official sources to verify info.

E-mail any questions, comments, or suggestions:

email button

Copyright 2009 equidaily.com