​Belmont Park Horse Racing Picks for Thursday 7/2/20

With most of the sports world on pause, it's a great time to dive into horse racing, and FanDuel Racing gives you the chance to do just that.

Starting at 1:15 p.m. EST, we have 9 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.)

River Nile , Race 3

FD Odds: 8/1

Seven state-breds go 1 1/16 miles in this Maiden Special Weight. Four of them raced against each other on June 7, and the biggest longshot, Jade’s Dream, finished second off a long layoff, five lengths in front of the favorite, Microsecond (5/2) and EPO trainer Todd Pletcher. Now Jade’s Dream (7/2) is a short price and the top pick at numberFire.

Pacific Jazz (8/1) never fired from the back in that race while River Nile (8/1) tired and finished sixth after stalking the leaders. River Nile had some great workouts and came back with a good one after that race. He can at least hit the board at this price and offers some value in his second start against an unproven bunch of Maidens.

Nicodemus, Race 7

FD Odds: 6/1

Race 7 is an Allowance race for older horses and is going 1-mile, with a number of stakes winners in the nine-horse field. The top choice at Daily Horse Picks (DHP) and numberFire is the favorite, Complexity (5/2), who is breaking from the outside for EPO trainer Chad Brown. He’s makes his 2020 debut and gets credit for having won the Champagne (G1) in 2018.

Sniper Shot (7/2) and Spinoff (7/2) both run for the aforementioned Pletcher. Neither has won a stakes race, but both ran well in their recent races and are the second and third picks of DHP.

Nicodemus (6/1) had his worst start a month ago off a layoff but has graded stakes experience and results. He finished second in the Toboggan (G2) in January and won the Westchester (G3) with a stalking trip 14 months ago, posting a career-best 112 speed figure. This is his second race off a layoff, and trainer Linda Rice has placed him well for this one.

Fifty Five and Fetching, Race 8

FD Odds: 4/5 and 15/1

Race 8 is the $100K Mount Vernon, a minor stakes race for state-bred fillies and mares that is going 1-mile on the turf. The prohibitive favorite, Fifty Five (4/5), will be tough in here with EPO trainer Chad Brown. DHP has her on top in front of stablemate War Canoe (3/1), Brown's other runner in the race.

Fifty Five has won 11 of 22 starts, and FanDuel Racing gives her a 56% chance to win based on her implied odds. Seven of her wins have come in the last two years with back-to-back minor stakes wins later last year, posting a best 109 speed figure in the process. She's a minor risk off the long layoff but is the best of this bunch.

Don't rule out Fetching (15/1), who won an Allowance race here two weeks ago. Trainer Mark Casse brings him right back. It is interesting that DHP has Fetching better than Fifty Five in speed and pace despite speed figures in the 80s.

Munchkin Monkey (6/1) is the second pick of numberFire for trainer Christophe Clement. He won an Allowance race at this track a year ago but hasn't won in any of his last seven outings. Clement's other runner, Classic Lady, is by Jimmy Creed. She’ll try to win off a long layoff in her 2020 debut but does have triple-digit speed figures that provide her a chance to fire off the bench.