Belmont Park Horse Racing Picks for Thursday 7/9/20
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 nine races at Belmont Park. Using our numberFire projections as a guide, here are some of the best bets.
As always, check the program 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).
Channel Island, Race 5
FanDuel Racing Odds: 6/1
The start of the Grand Slam and Late Pick 5 is a $35K Claiming race with nine runners going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. The favorite C C Rider (3/1) breaks from the outside post, and numberFire has him second with War Film (5/1) on top.
C C Rider has raced at 8 different tracks in 12 starts while often facing better. He posted four straight high-90’s speed figures last year and then had his worst finish in his only start at Belmont, finishing seventh. His 2020 debut in May was third with an 82 figure, and he’ll improve, though not enough to be our top pick as he has no wins on turf and is just 2-for-12 in his career.
Quiet Out East (4/1) won a mile turf race here June 14 against a larger field. He’s strong off the pace closing win shows some of the power of EPO, which his trainer Brad Cox shockingly saw his speed figure hit a career-high of 88 in winning his 2nd start in 14 tries.
Channel Island (4th), Riendo (6th), and Tricky Magician (7th) all ran in a different optional claimer on June 14 and were way back of the winner. Only Channel Island (6/1) has a chance in here second off the layoff, as he won a higher claiming race here last fall with a 104 speed figure. Leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. rides for EPO trainer Mike Maker. Watch him find a little extra down the lane from off the pace.
Another (7/2) changes barns and runs for the first time since February for new trainer Kantarmaci. He hasn’t won since 2018 and suffered a number of troubled trips in his more recent starts.
Pop a Choc, Race 6
FanDuel Racing Odds: 12/1
Race 6 is a Maiden Special Weight for fillies and races running 7 furlongs. 10 runners are lined up for this wide-open race, trying to determine who will move forward best. Harlem Heights (7/2) on the outside has Jose Ortiz riding and numberFire likes his chances to hit the board in his 2020 debut.
Back Channel (5/2) is the obvious choice as favorite in his second start for trainer Linda Rice. She finished a well-beaten second here last month and has the highest speed figure (80) of this young group.
Orsay (3/1) will take money with the leading jockey/trainer combo of Irad Ortiz, Jr. and top trainer Chad Brown, an EPO turf specialist who has won a strong 25% of his starts and meet-best 63% in-the-money. Brown tried Orsay on the grass with no success and now switches to dirt for her 2020 debut with some good works in place trying to figure it out.
Poc a Choc (12/1) is in good hands with Johnny V riding and trainer Mark Casse getting solid, consistent works from his filly off a pair of races in March and April. She flashed speed in her debut, pressing the pace and getting to the lead in the stretch before finishing fourth on the turf. Pop a Choc also switches to dirt and is worth a shot at this price.
Sky Queen is the top pick at numberFire but was scratched.
No Word, Race 7
FanDuel Racing Odds: 2/1
No Word (2/1) is the deserving favorite and simply a Single in here when adding to your horizontal wagers and Late Pick 3 and Pick 5. An Allowance race going 1 1/8 miles on the Inner Turf, and you look towards the EPO trainers going the extra distance.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has No Word ready to win off a pair of third-place finishes and 90’s speed figures, including his race last month against better runners going even longer. Leading jockey Jose Ortiz rides again, and FanDuel Racing's implied odds suggest a 33% chance to win with Sham Rocket (20%) and numberFire top pick Our Country (18%) next.
Adding underneath On Base (5/1) and Our Country (9/2).