Robert Bruce leads the way in the Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont last May. Look who’s back this year.
Robert Bruce leads the way in the Fort Marcy Stakes at Belmont last May. Look who’s back this year.|NYRA / Rob Mauhar

Thoroughbreds Saturday: McMudder picks races at Belmont, Parx, Delaware Park, Monmouth, Laurel, Churchill Downs’ Pick 6 & the Kentucky Derby

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Mick McMudder

Mick McMudder

Spring is in full bloom. How does Mick know? Racing returns to Delaware Park and Monmouth Park today along with a really important race in Louisville. Mick will be adding Monmouth and Delaware to his regular coverage beginning today. The added tracks will make it possible to follow the fortunes of more horses and trainers through out the MidAtlantic as racing grows in importance from now through Saratoga. Now that race in Kentucky . . . Mick has his opinions below and they all involve trainers based in the MidAtlantic. Mick guesses something very right is going on locally.

Picks for May 4, 2019:

When Mick pointed out that rain could change the racing surface over the last two days, the thought was there could be a little mud, not that racing would get cancelled as happened at Belmont on Friday. Hopefully, Saturday will bring nothing more than a little mud.

Belmont Race 3
The high flying exploits of the Rob Atras barn appear to have come to a crashing halt at the end of the Aqueduct meet. This used to happen every year when the inner dirt was used by his fall from grace but his has been more rapid than anyone else this year. 6-Mo Soul is his opportunity to get off of the Belmont schneid but that one will need to beat 2-Dannie’s Deceiver who is coming off a 2+ year break. Back class doesn’t win races so this one may need a start. 3-Scarf It Down comes back at the same level that saw him check in 3rd in a positive effort.
$10 W/P/S 6-Mo Soul
$2 Exacta Box 2,3,6
$1 Trifecta Box 2,3,6

Belmont Race 10 Fort Marcy Stakes
2-Robert Bruce is better than these, much better, and he has shown ability over a soft course at Belmont. That may be the surface these encounter today. 6-Dr Edgar loves the soft going. But this is a huge step up in class and distance. 8-Arrocha was a G1 winner in his native Brazil but this is not Brazil and he has been posting pedestrian workouts. 5-Channel Cat has the highest soft turf speed figure but he has been on the shelf since fall. Todd Pletcher puts the ultimate journeyman jockey up, Adam Beschizza, who finds himself riding at his 4th venue in a month. Gotta give the guy’s agent kudos for getting out of Kentucky on a weekend he would have struggled to get any mounts and instead put him on a live horse in a G3 in NY.
$10 W/P/S 2-Robert Bruce
$2 Exacta 2/5,6,8
$1 Trifecta 2/5,6,8/5,6,8
$0.10 Superfecta 2/5,6,8/5,6,8/5,6,8

Laurel Race 7
4-Swirrlie Shirlie
is better than these by a large margin. And she is moving to a really good barn off of claims and has shown a steady improvement of late. 6-Lady Jane should not lack for stamina having most recently been ’chasing. That appears to not have worked out very well and here she gets back to an oval. 8-Pugilist gets jockey Sheldon Russell riding for his wife. If he wins, who buys dinner?
$10 W/P/S 4-Swirrlie Shirlie
$2 Exacta 4/6,8
$1 Trifecta box 4,6,8

Parx Race 1
1-I Am On My Way
starts off a day that could be huge for jockey Mychel Sanchez. He is live on every horse today and has a chance for a monster day and could see 6 trips to the Winner’s Circle. This is the best one to bet since if he gets on a roll, the prices will only get shorter. 4-Trapps Star and 5-Miss Star Lo both showed a pulse last out, a pleasant change for both. (For the rest of the card, play Sanchez.)
$10 W/P/S 1-I Am On My Way
$2 Exacta box 1,4
$1 Trifecta box 1,4,5

Delaware Race 3
Owner Joe Besecker is a man with a habit. That habit is buying thoroughbreds. Lots and lots of thoroughbreds. This game needs more Joe Beseckers. He buys yearlings and 2-year-olds at sales, often leading the local Fasig Tipton sales buyers. He claims with aplomb using a multitude of trainers across the region. And he wins races, too. The entry of 1-Lippi Lorenzo and 1A-Hide the Candy come from different barns but both trainers win at a high percentage. 5-For the Road is the only logical competition here.
$10 W/P/S 1-Entry
$2 Exacta box 1,5

Monmouth Race 2
has an awesome name. Isn’t that enough? Not really but this one is good enough to have a cute name and win the race. 5-Positino’s Champion changes barns and tries to reclaim her old form. 3-Don’s Escapade is super consistent and takes a drop.
$10 W/P/S 7-Beatubyachubinose
$2 Exacta box 1,3,5
$1 Trifecta box 1,3,5

Churchill Downs $0.20 Pick 6
Race 7: 6,9
because Chad Brown always wins these races.
Race 8: 2,8 because one did it last year in the slop and the other in his last race in the slop.
Race 9: 1,2,10 because this is the most open race of the day.
Race 10: 10 because he wanted to be in the Derby.
Race 11: 2,12 because they are best at distance and surface.
Race 12: 6,7,8,17 because Justify isn’t running this year.

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