Week 2, Day 7: First post is 3:59 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.
RT bet $7 win, $13 place on 4-VJ's Bet in the 8th race at Churchill Downs and $7/$13 on 1-Miss T Too in the 10th at Churchill. He should not have bet VJ, that horse finished out of the money. But Miss T Too finished two, paying $5.40 and returned $35.10. Garrity put $20 to win on 2-Point of Honor, in the Ogden Phipps at Belmont and for the fourth time this week his pick came in second. In the 11th at Churchill he went with longshot 1-Perfect Tapatino and he finished out of the money. Heading into the final day of Week 2's contest RT is now +$25.50. Garrity is -$140 and is going to need a big longshot (or 2) on Sunday.
My picks: Race 3, Lone Star Park, The Yellow Rose Stakes, $7 to win, $13 to place on #1 Eaton’s Memory, post time 5:05 pm EDT, Race 6, Lone Star Park, The Groovy Stakes, $7 to win, $13 to place on #8 Moro Said Ready post time 6:39 pm EDT
Why: Firstly, in the 3rd, #1 Eaton’s Memory (10/1) is going to grab the lead and may not let go. Going for five wins in a row, she shipped in from Fonner where today, her advantage will be going one turn at this distance instead of the bullring two. She is as game as they come and has an arcing style that contours the turn rather than fighting the grain.
This is going to come down to whether Shes Our Fastest catches Eaton’s Memory in the stretch. It’s a high probability she will, yet I am still going with the #1 Eaton’s Memory.
Second, in the 6th, #8 Moro Said Ready (12/1), running and winning as a two year old is valuable and this guy did it twice last year. He has our best overall class and best two cumulatively. He has not raced in a year, yet has been working well in the last two months. This horse has a nose for the finish line since the switch to jockey Valdez-Jiminez who is on him today. I’ll take a contest shot with Moro Said Ready for three in a row.
For RT's full SmartCap analysis and an in-depth look at today's Stakes races at Lone Star Park, please check out his post here.
My picks: Belmont Park, Race 6, $20 to win on #4 - Spirit Animal, 3:59 pm EDT, Belmont Park, Race 9, The $100,000 Mike Lee Stakes, $20 to win on #5 - Bourbon Bay, 5:36 pm EDT
Why: Both of our contest plays today come from Belmont Park, where the weather will be perfect, the turf firm, and the main track fast. Let’s go.
First we look at Belmont Park, Race 6, 3:59 pm ET — $50,000 Claiming, 1 mile, Turf, 3 & Up
Among the ten entrants in this turf claimer is something we do not see all that often: a Chad Brown runner in for a tag. 4-Spirit Animal, who was last seen winning a Belmont Park allowance in November, makes his seasonal debut in a race where he is for sale for $50,000. We expect him to be claimed, but we also expect him to win here. Look for him to sit midpace early, and be moving late. We will bet our first contest double sawbuck on Spirit Animal to win at 2-1.
Next we look at Belmont Park, Race 9, 5:36 pm ET, The $100,000 Mike Lee Stakes, 7 furlongs, Dirt, New York-bred 3-Year-Olds
The Mike Lee drew a field of eight, and it is partly due to the makeup of the field, and partly due to the 7 furlongs -- it’s a tough distance for a horse to carry speed -- but we are expecting a pace meltdown, very fast early fractions, and a winner coming from behind. That makes the pick 5-Bourbon Bay. The Mark Hennig trainee has competitive speed figures, and has done his best running in the past by closing into a hot pace. Look for him to do just that this afternoon. For our second contest play, we will bet him to win at 8-1.