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Dawn the Destroyer, winning the Interborough in February at Aqueduct.
Dawn the Destroyer, winning the Interborough in February at Aqueduct.|NYRA / Joe Labozzetta
Thoroughbreds

Thoroughbreds Saturday: McMudder picks the stakes at Belmont plus races at Delaware Park, Monmouth, Parx and Pimlico

His first post is 1:15 pm EDT for the first race at Delaware Park.

Mick McMudder

Mick McMudder

Happy Season. Why is it happy season? Because the sun is out, turf racing is happening and all of the northern tracks have opened for the season spreading action to the far corners of North America. Delaware and Monmouth opened last week and Presque Isle opens this week. Finger Lakes is running and Suffolk has one of their race weekends next week. This will mark the last year of racing at Suffolk Downs before the East Boston site is turned into a housing project. Unfortunately, this is what happens when the real estate values grow beyond the operating business value of a racetrack (Hollywood Park is the site of the new LA football stadium while Gulfstream just changed land utilization away from horses to other income streams so it’s not all about the housing). If Americans don’t attend the races, the races will go away, as will all of the jobs, infrastructure, and open land preservation that goes along with the raising and management of horses. Let’s make sure the first Saturday in May is not the only day that people think about racing.

Picks for May 11, 2019:

Cool with a chance for rain but it shouldn’t effect racing….Mick hopes.

Belmont Race 1 Vagrancy Handicap
Love starting a card with a graded stakes race. Signals the arrival of a big race day on the in between Saturday of the Triple Crown season. Now that we know there will not be a chance for a Triple Crown this year, maybe some attention will go to all of the other great racing. And that starts here. Mick’s biggest question in this race is why have handicap races if all of the competitors carry essentially the same weight? 4 pounds is all that separates this entire field. Based purely on class, 4-Separationofpowers is the standout. She won the Test two back but that was last year and she has been off for 7+ months. That is not usually an issue for Chad Brown trainees but this is her first time against olders and this is a salty spot. At the other end of the spectrum, 3-Dawn the Destroyer spent the winter dominating some local races and placing in back to back G3 races. This is a better start to the year than her 2018 when she spent most of the year on the shelf. 1-Pacific Gale deserves a mention based on her cracker in her last start where she improved her lifetime best speed figure significantly. A repeat of that effort puts her in the Winner’s Circle.
$10 W/P/S 1-Pacific Gale
$2 Exacta Box 1,3,4
$1 Trifecta Box 1,3,4

Belmont Race 4 Peter Pan Stakes
The annual race for NY-based Triple Crown nominated boys that didn’t make it to Churchill last week, usually due to lack of earnings/points. Yep, that’s 80% of the field with one Kentucky interloper. So this race is a class check on 1-Intrepid Heart. The regally bred son of Tapit cost $750K and is undefeated but is stepping up to Stakes company for the first time. He has shown great professionalism is his two starts and he will be tough if you believe the hype. 5-Final Jeopardy is an example of the depth of the Jason Servis barn this year. A victory here for the connections behind Maximum Security (sans Luis Saez) could help clear the Belmont Stakes agenda for this barn. The Kentucky invader, 3-Global Campaign, may be the best bred horse in this race but he likes to be on the front and pace controlling, a situation that may not happen here.
$10 W/P/S 5-Final Jeopardy (bonus points if it is via DQ)
$2 Exacta box 1,3,5
$1 Trifecta box 1,3,5

Pimlico Race 4
If she can get back to her race two back, 8-My Chesa Charm, is a standout here. She needs to break well and control the pace but that is doable in this race. 2-Prank Call, 3-Party Rock, and 5-Truly Hot are all interchangeable with the advantage going to 5-Truly Hot due to jockey Trevor McCarthy. The gamble gambol here is hoping that someone challenges the 8 early and it sets up for a closer.
$10 W/P/S 5-Truly Hot
$2 Exacta box 5,8
$1 Trifecta box 2,3,5,8
$0.10 Superfecta Box 2,3,5,8

Delaware Race 1
4-Graceygab
showed a pulse last time and still got beat by double digits. The best of a bad bunch here and a stark contrast to the first race at Belmont today. Everyone else in the field lost by even more last out so it looks like her day. Coming out of a 25% barn doesn’t hurt.
$10 W/P/S 4-Graceygab

Mick’s Quick Picks

Parx Race 2
5-My Danzig Partner
showed speed and faded last out. If she is tighter for this one, she can take them all the way.

Monmouth Race 10 Serena’s Song Stakes
6-Forever Liesl
needs to repeat her last out effort to win here. She is getting a big class relief by getting out of the city and going down to the shore. Isn’t that what Summer is for?

Belmont Race 7 Beaugay Stakes
3-Competitionofideas
won a G1 last out. She is on turf and trained by Chad Brown. Her breeding is awesome. ‘Nuf said

Belmont Race 9 Runhappy Stakes
6-Bon Raison
gets a stalking trip from outside and cuts back to his better distance. Runs by if given the chance.

Belmont Race 10 Man O’War Stakes
2-Zula Alpha
likes some cut and that could happen with rain coming in. He beat a similar field last time at this distance but they were crawling. Needs to go faster today no matter the turf.