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Sunny Ridge, winning the 2017 Stymie at Aqueduct, is one of RT’s picks in today’s Westchester at Belmont.
Sunny Ridge, winning the 2017 Stymie at Aqueduct, is one of RT’s picks in today’s Westchester at Belmont.|NYRA
Thoroughbreds

Thoroughbreds Saturday: RT sets his sights on the Cross Country Pick 5 and, of course, the Kentucky Derby

First race in the Pick 5 goes to post at 4:20 pm EDT

RT

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First things first . . .
The Kentucky Derby
Churchill Downs Race 12
$3M G1 going 1.25M
The Skinny:
Had it up to here with dosage indexes, pace scenarios, final fractions theory and maybe the minutiae of what Bob Baffert is going to wear? We at Bettors Insider have as well.

So, I’ll ask you to watch the Derby unfold in your mind and see a different take:

First see the start. The post position makes a big difference. If you’re stuck on the outside, the jockey has two choices – 1) haul ass to get to the front or 2) tuck in.

When the horses make their way around the 1st turn, if your horse is stuck wide, he’s going to get a longer trip and could easily run out of gas. Only one horse in this field has gone longer than 1 & 1/8th mile and that is the Japanese shipper, Master Fencer. So, you see why it’s important at this point to save ground yet remain in striking distance.

Along the backstretch, the pace will quicken as the jockeys ease up on the reigns to get their horse into contention en route to the far turn.

As he gets around the far turn, only the jockey knows whether there’s enough left in the tank to be first.

Churchill Downs has one of the longest stretch runs in the country and just when it looks like your on-the-lead-horse is going to win, danger looms, because . . .

. . . a wily jockey like Calvin Borel will blast his horse directly on the rail and blow past you.

Given all the mitigating factors outlined above, as well as the news yesterday, my money is on this team – Mike Smith & Todd Pletcher with 10-Cutting Humor.

PS – Mike Francesa, you overrated narcissist, kiss my ass. You said on Thursday that there is no way on Earth that a jockey change would happen. This sums it up, sei un cretino. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd6zYQPCgsc

Cross Country Pick 5
Leg A: Belmont - (Race 9, 4:20 pm)
$66K Allowance – NY Bred – 3yo+ - 7f Turf
The Skinny:
11 – Mango M
(7/2) moving down one notch in allowance company, Mango put in a solid effort and was beaten by Stone Breaker, who subsequently has gone on to win his next two races. Love the Shug/Jose Lezcano tandem.
9 – Joe’s Smokin Gun (20/1) lunged badly at the break last out and couldn’t catch up. Prior to that, this gelding out of Tiznow triumphed in three-in-a-row fashion. Has been working well on Belmont Turf of late. Love the price and the jockey/trainer win % (23).
1 – Oh My Papa (6/1) popped his cherry after veering in then came back in three weeks to a $75K Aoc where he set the pace and couldn’t sustain.
6 – Mystical Song (9/2) False Favorite. Ten races and eight different barns. Like the Redskins of Thoroughbred Racing. Trainer Rodrigo Ubillo would be better served to have said no to owner Christine Tesoriero.
Bonus Belmont Race 9 Bets
11 - $50/w $100/p
$5 Exacta Box 9-1-11

Leg B: Woodbine - (G3) Jacques Cartier (Race 8, 4:40 pm)
$125K G3 – 4yo+ - 6f – All Weather Track
The Skinny:
6 – Pink Lloyd (5/2) class of this group, Lloyd has 21 starts at WO and has won 16 of those for $949K. Jockey De Silva killin’ it lately – 50% wins/L10. Trainer Tiller on the same course going 27% the last 30.
12 – Ikerrin Road (8/1) going for thee in-a-row, this Irish gelding comes off a G2 score where he outran his par. Ikerrin has done everything asked of him and like a champion, gets up in big races.
11 – Extravagant Kid (6/1) scored a win last time with Tyler Gafflione aboard and gets the switch to Luis Contreras, who has ridden him once in the Ellis Park $100K stakes. 7:3-0-1 turf earner of this group snagging $75K which has translated well to WO synthetic 11:7-1-1 for $318K

Leg C: Belmont - (G3) Fort Marcy (Race 10, 4:56 pm)
$150K G3 – 1 & 1/8th miles – 4yo+ - Turf
2 – Robert Bruce (4/5) this guy is head and shoulders above the rest having amassed $1.1M on just 11 races. I bet this guy at the Breeders Cup to make a run at Enable and he didn’t seem to fire that day. Jose Lezcano/Chad Brown paired here and if you can get near 1-1 money, bet it.

Leg D: Belmont - (G3) Westchester (Race 11, 5:40 pm)
$200K G3 – 3/4yo - 1M – Dirt
The Skinny:
Can Prince Lucky be beat?
Yes
6 – Sunny Ridge (7/2) the lone Millionaire of this group, Sunny was last seen in the Stymie stakes where Manny Franco had him too close to the lead and ended up going 1:10 at the 6f mark. That did him in and he tired for fourth place money. Had a freshening on April 28th and look for Jose Lezcano to lay off the pace and kick it in down the stretch.
3 – Carlino (12/1) this past fall, Carlino ran in the Jockey Gold Cup stakes where he closed like a locomotive and ran out of real estate. Has been on the bench until starting his training regimen in early March.

Leg E: Oaklawn - Oaklawn Invitational (Race 11, 6:38 pm)
$300K G2 – 3yo – 1 & 1/8th Miles
The Skinny:
10 – Laughing Fox
(3/1) going with Mr. Jeff of our mailing list top choice and for good reason – he angled out in the Arkansas Derby while trying to get a shot, and probably lost his footing in that quagmire of Omaha Beach, Improbable and Country House.
4 – Math Wizard (4/1) took a big leap in numbers in his last race and based on his latest workouts, this is a harbinger of good things. Love the trainer, Saffie Joseph, who is crushing OP at 27% and with Edgar Zatas, move that needle up to 33%.
3 – Harvey Wallbanger (6/1) if memory serves, this is vodka, cream, Galiano and OJ. Yum. Harvey has turned in two recent bullet works and if he can return to his Holy Bull Stakes form, he’s a live bet.

The Cross Country Pick 5 Bet:
11-9-1/6-2-11/2/ 6-3/10-4