We're shaking things up today. Rather than focusing on one or two tracks, we're going to spread wide − and we're doing it with turf races. We're looking for good bets in turf routes, and we've scanned all the cards across the country to find a few. We will note that we are handicapping − and betting − for firm turf everywhere. Let's go . . .
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Belmont Park Race 3 (2:34 p.m. ET)
A classy Maiden Special Weight for horses 3 and up. It's at 1 1/4 miles on the turf, which is a distance we don't see too often in maiden races. There are some extremely well-bred animals in this one, and we like one of them, 5-Felix the Fox, who's by Tapit out of a Ghostzapper mare and who's trained by Shug McCaughey. This horse has been a sucker horse so far, with five seconds and one third in eight career starts, but his come-from-behind running style, plus his breeding, scream to use that he's a turf horse. Shug is good with firsters − he has a 22% win rate with horses making their first start on the sod − and he is our pick in this one. We will bet Felix the Fox to win.
Belmont Park Race 3
$25 W on 5-Felix the Fox
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Belmont Park Race 7 (4:45 p.m. ET)
An allowance/optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles for horses 3 and up. A horse sure to get plenty of attention at the windows, for name recognition only, is 3-Noble Indy, the 2018 Louisiana Derby winner, who many railbirds will remember from last year's Triple Crown trail (he ran in the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont). We don't like him here, but we like the fact that his presence will inflate the price on a horse we do like, 6-Lucullan. This Kieran McLaughlin entrant is a legitimate stakes horse on the grass − but he's making his first start in over a year. The question is whether he will be ready today. We think the answer is yes. He has been working steadily in the mornings, and McLaughlin does well in this spot, with a 32% win rate with horses coming off layoffs longer than 180 days. Lucullan has by far the best late kick in the field. We think he will get a chance to show that today, and that makes him the winner. We will bet him to win at 2-1.
Belmont Park Race 7
$35 W on 6-Lucullan
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Delaware Park Race 3 (2:15 p.m.)
A $25,000 claimer for fillies and mares 3 and up. It's at 7 1/2 furlongs on the grass. The pick here is 4-My Little Stormy, who drops into this from a much stronger race at Laurel. She should get a nice midpack stalking trip, behind the leaders, and from there, seize control of the race late. We will bet her to win at 5-2.
Delaware Park Race 3
$30 W on 4-My Little Stormy
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Indiana Grand Race 4 (3:39 p.m.)
A second-level allowance for horses 3 and older. It's one mile on turf. The past performances of this race practically scream, “Pick a closer!” because there are quite a few early-speed types here, and they seem likely to go too fast early and tire late, which will set it up for a come-from-behinder. The one we like is 8-Victor Lounge, an Irish-bred Mike Maker trainee who ships in from Churchill Downs, where he's been running against much, much tougher. We think the race sets up about perfectly for him, so we will bet him to win at 5-2.
Indiana Grand Race 4
$40 W on 8-Victor Lounge
That's all for today. Good luck at the windows.
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