Races go off from 4:35 to 5:05 pm EDT
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We are going to do something a little different today. Rather than focusing on one track, we will take a look at races from five different tracks. And just for the hell of it, we are going to pick them all in a short time window, from 4:35 to 5:05 pm Eastern time. If you have half an hour, and a hankering to have a flutter, then pull up a chair. We're handicapping for fast dirt and firm turf, and we will list the races in the order they will go off. Let's go.
Belmont Park, Race 4, 4.35 pm ET
Maiden Special Weight, 1 1/4 miles, turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
A weak field of six drew into this Maiden Special going long on the grass. We like the horse on the outside, 6-Lady Rosalie. This 3-year-old filly has been running in shorter, but she's been competitive, and both her running style and breeding suggest that she should thrive at this longer 10-furlong distance. We will bet her to win at 2-1. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 4, $25 to win on 6-Lady Rosalie.
Arlington Park, Race 5, 4.44 pm ET
Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, synthetic, 2-year-olds
A big field of eleven goes in this one, a maiden race for juveniles. 6-Lykan is the pick. This colt is winless in three career starts, but he just missed in a maiden race two starts back, and his last race was in a stakes, where he did a speed-and-fade in the Arlington Washington Futurity on Sept. 7. Now he's back in against non-winners, and he looks primed for a big effort. He's also proved he can run well on the synthetic racing surface at Arlington, which is a big plus. We will bet him to win at 3-1. The bet: Arlington Park, Race 5, $20 to win on 6-Lykan.
Gulfstream Park, Race 8, 4.51 pm ET
Allowance, 1 1/16 miles, turf, Florida-bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
There's a field of ten in this one, a first-level allowance for state-bred females. We're going with a trainer angle, and a horse stepping up class: it's 4-Venezuelan Forever. She went wire-to-wire winning her last, a $10,000 claimer on Aug. 15. She was claimed out of that race, and new trainer Jorge Delgado moves her up to allowance company. This is a pretty big jump, but we think she has caught a field she can handle. And Delgado is lights out (39% win rate) with horses making their first start off a claim. We will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Gulfstream Park, Race 8, $25 to win on 4-Venezuelan Forever.
Los Alamitos, Race 3, 4.58 pm ET
$16,000 Claiming, 1 mile, dirt, 3 & Up
Seven go in this one. The pick here is 1-Sunset Seven: He has the best last-race speed figure, he has the most early speed, and he drew the rail, which is a good post at Los Al, which has tight turns. We think he goes right to the front and never looks back. We will bet him to win at 2-1. The bet: Los Alamitos, Race 3, $30 to win on 1-Sunset Seven.
Churchill Downs, Race 1, 5.00 pm ET
Optional Claiming/Starter Allowance, 6 furlongs, dirt, 3 & Up
Churchill kicks off an evening card with this race, which drew a field of seven. We tried to find a way to beat the favorite, 7-Ruler of the Nile, but we just couldn't do it: he's got the best figs, he's got tactical early speed, and he's got the outside post, which is the catbird seat in these one-turn races. He is strictly the horse to beat; we will bet him to win at 8/5. The bet: Churchill Downs, Race 1, $35 to win on 7-Ruler of the Nile.
Belmont Park, Race 5, 5.06 pm ET
Maiden Special Weight, 6 furlongs, turf, 2-year-old Fillies
We end where we began, at beautiful Belmont Park on Long Island. A full field of 12 maidens drew into this turf sprint. Chad Brown debuts two good-looking colts, both sired by More Than Ready, and we like the one on the inside, 3-One Mississippi, who because of a pair of coupled entries, carries number 3 but starts from the rail. Brown is good with firsters, winning at a 20% clip, and he's even better (24% win rate) with horses making their first start on turf. He's been working well in the morning, showing some speed, and he will need to use it from his inside post position. We will bet him to win at 6-1. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 6, $30 to win on 3-One Mississippi.
That's all for today. We'll be back on Saturday for Pennsylvania Derby day from Parx Racing, and a look at the other national stakes action. It's a big day, and we are looking forward to it. Until then, as always, good luck at the windows.