Belmont Park Horse Racing Picks for Thursday 6/18/20
With most of the sports world on pause, it's a great time to dive into horse racing, and TVG gives you the chance to do just that.
Starting at 1:15 p.m. EST, we have 10 races at Belmont Park. Using our numberFire projections as a guide, here are some of the best bets.
As always, keep an eye out for scratches and changes, and check the weather and track conditions.
I will reference Equibase's Speed Figure in selected races, which tells you how fast a horse has been running in each of its races -- adjusted for track, distances, and conditions.
Winston’s Chance, Race 7
FD Odds: 5/1
There are just six runners in Race 7 going 1 1/16 miles, and the favorite Its All Relevant (9/5) won for fun on the front end his last race in March with a career-best 109 speed figure. Although he beat a weaker field, he’ll be tough to catch again at a distance with a similar run with EPO trainer Rodriguez having him back on a regular work tab. He's the top pick at Daily Horse Picks.
I Love Jaxson (5/2) has been off since February but has won five of his last six moving up the class ladder for trainer Linda Rice. He’ll be the one coming from off the pace.
The top pick for numberFire is Prioritize (6/1). Next is Proven Reserves (7/2) with EPO trainer Chad Brown sending him a distance off his Claimer win in February. No surprise if he moves forward working well.
But we’ll take a chance with Winston’s Chance (5/1), making his 2020 debut with 9 wins and 16 win/place results in 29 starts. He faced better last year in stakes races, and his new trainer David Donk sends him a route with a $62k tag attached.
Barrel of Destiny, Race 8
FD Odds: 6/1
Race 8 is for state-bred fillies and mares, and 12 runners have lined up to go 1 mile on the turf. With Jose Ortiz aboard, Summer at the Spa (6/1) could be tough, having won her only race from off the pace at longshot odds and now with a new trainer stretching her out with first time Lasix. Improvement off the layoff has her challenging.
Astoria Kitten (5/2) has run a pair of stakes races and will be tough if she improves second off a layoff. She broke her Maiden last fall over this course with a solid 85 speed figure. Pace will be the key, as there's a fair amount of speed is in the race.
Barrel of Destiny (6/1) is fourth on the odds board at TVG but the top pick at numberFire. She must be considered with EPO trainer Mike Maker off a pair of wins in Claiming ranks at Tampa Bay. She's a pace presser, and jockey Luis Saez takes the call.
More Mischief, Race 9
FD Odds: 5/2
Ratajkowski (1/1) is the even money favorite in the $125k Critical Eye Stakes for state-bred fillies and mares. Ratajkowski is the top pick at Daily Horse Picks, and her new trainer, Graham Motion, asks Jose Ortiz to ride again for her 2020 debut, looking for her fifth win in eight starts. Three of those wins came at Belmont, and her best speed figure (101) was with Ortiz aboard going this 1-mile distance.
If you try to beat her with one of the five other runners, look towards More Mischief (5/2). She has four wins in nine starts, including the last two with triple-digit speed figures. Manny Franco rides again, patiently waiting to kick into gear down the stretch for EPO trainer Chad Brown.