Belmont Horse Racing Picks for Friday 6/4/21
As always, check for scratches and changes, and monitor 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.)
Victim of Love, Race 8
FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/2
Race 8 is the $300K Grade III Bed o' Roses for older fillies and mares racing 7 furlongs. numberFire's algorithm projects Victim of Love (7/2) to take down the favorite Chub Wagon (9/5).
Chub Wagon is shooting for her seventh straight win with a jockey change after leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. was injured Thursday. She’s 4-for-4 this year, and Horse Racing Radar notes her average win margin is by more than 5 lengths with her last stakes win three weeks ago by 2 lengths. She makes her first start at Belmont Park.
Chub Wagon now faces her toughest challengers, and Victim of Love will likely be stalking the frontrunning favorite with a chance to pounce. She’s finished in the money in all four graded stakes starts with a pair of wins at this track, including her last start a month ago.
Horse Racing Radar adds that 11-of-13 winners at this distance on dirt at Belmont have been among the front runners, and Estilo Talentoso (9/2) should get a stalking trip and is also projected to hit the board.
Virginia Joy, Race 9
FanDuel Racing Odds: 10/1
Race 9 is the $750K New York Stakes for older fillies going 1 1/4 miles on the inner turf. Twelve runners are entered but rain could change the starters and surface. Guaranteed Tip Sheet says this is a highly competitive race with strong runners, and numberFire projects Mean Mary (7/2) to emerge with the win in front of the favorite, Harvey’s Lil Goil (3/1). Civil Union (12/1) rate as a long shot challenger.
Harvey’s Lil Goil is a versatile runner who has hit the board in six straight starts for trainer Bill Mott with three wins in grades stakes races. She’ll likely be pressing the pace and looking to settle before another strong finish.
Mean Mary won this race last year wire-to-wire as the favorite, and she has six wins in 10 starts, including last month in her 2021 debut.
Civil Union won at Belmont last fall but finished fifth behind third-place finisher Harvey’s Lil Goil to close the year. Off a long layoff, she finished fifth again behind winner Harvey’s Lil Goil in last month's Grade III Beaugay Stakes.
Virginia Joy is one of two longshots in the race for EPO trainer Chad Brown. She won a Group 3 race last year in Germany, and she came to Brown’s barn this year and won an Allowance race in her U.S. debut. She’ll need to move forward again to win, but she can do so with the EPO boost from Brown’s barn.
Tide of the Sea and Fantasioso, Race 10
FanDuel Racing Odds: 7/2 and 8/1
Race 10 is the $400K Grade II Belmont Gold Cup for older horses running a two-mile marathon on the turf. European shipper Baron Samedi (8/5) shoots for his seventh straight win in what will be his U.S. debut. He won in April and has steadily been rising in class.
But numberFire's data likes Ziyad (5/1) to get the win over Tide of the Sea (7/2). Ziyad finished sixth off a long layoff earlier this month in the Grade I Man o’ War at Belmont. He hit the board in a pair of graded stakes races last fall and should be coming from off the pace. Include Ziyad in exacta and trifecta wagering.
Argentine-bred Fantasioso (8/1) has failed to hit the board in his first two U.S. stakes starts since April but ran better than it appeared and still posted solid speed figures.
Tide of the Sea finished first and second in a pair of graded stakes earlier this year at Gulfstream for EPO trainer Mike Maker, and Flavien Prat rides. Maker also enters Conviction Trade (10/1) as a viable longshot threat.