Saturday’s Belmont Stakes Day card offers an ocean of multi-race wagering options. I’ll focus on the all-stakes pick 5 from races 8-12, anchored by the final jewel in the Triple Crown – which also includes the pick 4 on the final quartet of those same races. Horseplayers at Xpressbet and 1/ST BET can take advantage of $20,000 in additional hit-and-split incentives on key multi-race wagers Friday and Saturday at Belmont.
Belmont | Race 8 | Woody Stephens
#4 General Jim gets a great pace set-up for his determined style of finishing the deal. There’s a major speed duel looming here with a 7-furlong trip that will expose several. #3 Arabian Lion should fall into a positive trip while turning back in distance and likely letting some of the speed work itself out in front of him.
Belmont | Race 9 | Jaipur
When 14 turf sprinters meet, it’s reasonable to think anything can happen. But #12 Caravel (pictured above) has won 4 straight on the front end, besting 43 rivals in the process. This is just another test for her, but the ledger makes no bones about her ability to pass it. The X-factor and potential price is sharp European export sprinter #5 Dr Zempf. Love the post draw here and he exits a super-live race in the Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland, where he simply ran out of gas when blitzed in the lane by rising stars Chez Pierre and Up to the Mark, as well as international superstar Modern Games. None of those types in here. Dr Zempf was a top-class sprinter overseas and finally gets to go short in the US.
Belmont | Race 10 | Metropolitan Handicap
Odds-on favorite #1 Cody’s Wish has won 6 in a row and merits much respect. The rail can be a tricky draw for his late-running style and he’ll have to give 4-7 pounds in the handicap provisions. Maybe, just maybe, this is the day to beat him. Four-year-olds have won the Met Mile 11 straight years and that perked my interest when unearthing that stat. While several 4-year-olds are entered, it is #6 Zandon and #9 White Abarrio that interest me most. Both were Grade 1 winners on the Triple Crown trail last year and have shown some propensity for 1-turn success.
Belmont | Race 11 | Manhattan
#8 Up to the Mark was so visually impressive in winning the Kentucky Derby Day counterpart race to this in flashy fashion. He should extend an extra furlong and handle business here as a trustworthy favorite. The public probably will use Charlie Appleby’s shippers in here defensively, so there could be value in just singling the right player. That’s Up to the Mark to this eye.
Belmont | Race 12 | Belmont 155
I’m standing against Forte off the layoff of more than two months and will swing with a trio of contenders. Top pick #8 Angel of Empire is the most reliable runner in the bunch and never loses ground in the stretch. His Brad Cox stablemate #7 Hit Show ran better-than-it-looks in the Derby and should offer a good price. And #2 Tapit Trice has had the look of a Belmont player since Tampa in March.
Pick 5 (begins Race 8): 4,3 with 12,5 with 6,9,1 with 8 with 8,7,2 = $18 for $.50 play
Pick 4 (begins Race 9): 12,5 with 6,9,1 with 8 with 8,7,2 = $9 for $.50 play