First race to go off will be the
Class. Racing this weekend is all about class. If horses don’t have it, they don’t win the big races. So what is class? It’s equal parts ability and professionalism. Both can be enhanced by training but they can’t be created. Horses are amazingly sensitive animals that are very connected to their people. If the people are uptight, the horses get uptight so the professionalism needs to start with the connections. Once the people get it right, it’s up to the horse to train well, be fit and behave themselves so they are at peak for the race. Seldom do the horses that misbehave in the paddock or drop riders in the post parade win races. But the biggest part of class is when a horse is in a close race, he or she simply finds a way to win by digging deeper and finding more when no one else has more. And class wins.
Picks for May 3, 2019:
Maybe some rain to completely change the racing surface. The rains that cancelled the latter half of the card at Laurel passed quickly.
Belmont Race 6
7-Achilles Warrior gets another shot at this level following a solid effort last out but encounters 6-Identity Politics who missed the board for the first time in his career last out. No shame is that since it was in the Grade 1 Carter. 8-American Power has the lifetime best speed figure in this group and gets back to his best distance. The choice here is 7-Achilles Warrior because he possesses the lone speed in this field and, if he has enough class, he will get to the front and stay there.
$10 W/P/S 7-Achilles Warrior
$2 Exacta Box 6,7,8
$1 Trifecta Box 6,7,8
Belmont Race 8 Flat Out Stakes
2-Marconi has only won two races in his career but one of them was last out and he showed lots of turn of foot in the lane. He has a long way to reward his connections for his $2M purchase but he is moving in the right direction. 6-Rocketry lost by 6 lengths in his last race to 2-Marconi but that was his first start since winning the Marathon last year. 8-Monongahela likes finishing second at high levels so he needs to be part of the exotics.
$10 W/P/S 6-Rocketry
$2 Exacta box 2,6,8
$1 Trifecta box 2,6,8
Laurel Race 4
5-Young American has been banging out checks at this level for a while now and today looks to be his day. The cut back in distance combined with his willingness to be put in a race earlier last out will work well if Laurel remains speed favoring. 3-Cinnici takes a drop and gets a new pilot. Trainer Hugh McMahon gets these figured out and back in the winner’s circle more times than not. 10-Junction moves to a much higher percentage barn and cuts back in distance, a combination that should put this one in the mix. 8-Cause He’s Western fills the exotics.
$10 W/P/S 5-Young American
$2 Exacta box 3,5
$1 Trifecta box 3,5,10
$0.10 Superfecta box 3,5,8,10
Laurel Race 7
2-Bunting makes sense here, especially if the track turns up fast but 7-Last Love is bred top and bottom for the off going and ran a cracker on a sealed track last out. 1-Well Hello is returning to her roots in Maryland after being on the West Coast for her early career. She gets Trevor McCarthy to ride but she needs to rediscover her earlier form to win here and that may take more than one race.
$10 W/P/S 2-Bunting (if fast) 7-Last Love (wet/sealed)
$2 Exacta box 2,7
$1 Trifecta box 1,2,7
Churchill Downs $0.20 Pick 6
Race 6: 1,2 because Chad Brown always wins these races.
Race 7: 1 because Mike Smith will have a big weekend despite losing a Derby mount.
Race 8: 1,3,9 because this is the most open race of the day.
Race 9: 2,14 because at 7f either the rail is golden or the closers get up from the outside.
Race 10: 1,6 because they are best at distance and surface.
Race 11: 4,8,12 because this is the most open Kentucky Oaks in years.