Week 1, Day 4. First post time is 12:50 pm EDT
For the contest, each handicapper will designate one of his race picks per weekday and two on Saturday and Sunday. Win, place, show betting only. $20 per bet. Weeks run Monday through Sunday.
Play along and in future months you may have a chance to beat the pros.
For the second day in a row RT bet the place horse to win. This time it was 2-Quebec, who finished second in the 8th at Lone Star Park. Garrity had 5-Arthur Kitt in the 8th at Belmont. But when 11-Hidden Scroll threw jockey John Velasquez, he also threw Arthur Kitt off his game. He finished out of the money. Both 'cappers are -$60.
Thistledown, 1st race, $20 to win on #8 Arch Legacy, Post time 12:50 pm EDT
Why: This is a $5K claimer going 5.5f for Fillies and Mares, 3yo+ NWx
#4 Sealed With A Kiss (9/2) has best overall speed and class, best third race back and $109K in earnings. Her jockey, Augustin Bracho, is 25% this year and the trainer is 100% (albeit 1-1) and is 10% brining horses off a layoff of 2-6 months. She gets a class drop today, had trouble her second and third races back and had a couple of freshenings’ since. The change may do her good.
#8 Arch Legacy (6/1) has Luis Quinones scheduled to ride and it hasn’t been announced who will take his place today. Luis suffered a broken pelvis and hip at Mountaineer on Tuesday night and is scheduled for surgery today. Keep a kind thought for a successful surgery. This daughter of Archarcharch has solid front end talent, close second in overall class and speed and best race two back. In her three starts this year, she has hit the board twice. Her trainer, Elliott Sullivan, is 33% off the claim and she had a solid workout of 1:01.4 for five furlongs. She’ll be one tough customer today.
#10 Three Illusions (4/1) has near best last, best raw cumulative last two races na dis third in overall class and speed. She will vie for the lead and it appears that this distance is not her long suit.
#11 K’s Machen Em (8/1) the interesting one…six races three wins and one place for $5.3K per time out, the best in this field. She has best last, a class drop and has proven effective after a layoff. She too, has the front end speed to make this more interesting.
Belmont Park, 8th Race, $20 to win on #8 - Country Grammer, Post time 5:04 pm EDT
Why: The good news is that we had a winner at a decent price yesterday. The bad news is that it wasn’t for this contest: our selection in this head-to-head event was bothered by a loose horse down the stretch, costing him any chance at catching the winner. He did rally to get second, but when one bets to win, second doesn’t pay.
We’re back today with another race from Belmont Park, the 8th. It’s a non-winners-of-one allowance for 3-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth on the dirt. We’re all in with the horse on the outside, 8 - Country Grammer. He last ran in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park, where he lost all chance at the break: he slipped when the gates opened, then got squeezed by the two horses on either side of him, and before he could take a deep breath, he was last, and his chances of winning, or even hitting the board, were up in smoke.
Country Grammer actually ran better in that race than his running line looks on paper: he could have thrown in the towel after his disastrous start, but he kept to his task, making up ground on the leaders steadily during the race’s late stages. We think he is poised for a strong effort today, and the outside post will help him, especially since races at Belmont Park at this 1 1/16 mile distance are run around one, rather than two, turns. Look for him to stalk the pace from the outside, and move to the front with a powerful move around the far turn.
We will bet Country Grammer to win at 4-1.