Garrity picks mud-runners for 4 races in the slop at rainy Belmont Park
The rains have come to the East today, with the remnants of Hurricane Zeta casting a wide swath across the South and the MId-Atlantic. We’re going to embrace, rather than fight them: We have four wet-track plays this afternoon, all at Belmont Park on Long Island, where they are off the turf and all races will be run over a sloppy main track. Pull on your slicker, grab an umbrella, and let’s go.
Belmont Park, Race 3, 2:17 pm ET
$30,000 Maiden Claiming, 6 ½ furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
Eight go in this maiden claiming dirt sprint. We like 5-Madera, who has a wet-track handicapping exacta: the most early speed and the best off-track pedigree. She set the pace and faded in her last, a similar spot at Belmont on October 2; we think today the slop is going to carry her to a wire-to-wire victory. We will bet her to win at 5/2. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 3, $40 to win on 5-Madera.
Belmont Park, Race 5, 3:20 pm ET
$25,000 Claiming, 6 furlongs, Dirt, New York-Bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up
After scratches, seven state-bred females will go to the gate for this claiming race. Two of them, 1-Forgotten Hero and 6-Bustin to Please, have a good amount of early speed, and have shown an affinity for off tracks in the past, but we are giving the edge to the one on the outside: Bustin to Please may not possess quite as much early speed as Forgotten Hero, but she has the tactical advantage of drawing outside of her rival, and that should put her in an ideal spot: she can either take the early lead or sit just off it. Either way, we think she’s going to splash her way to the winner’s circle. We will bet her to win at 5/2. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 5, $35 to win on 6-Bustin to Please.
Belmont Park, Race 7, 4:25 pm ET
Maiden Special Weight, 7 furlongs, Dirt, FIllies & Mares 3 & Up
This maiden heat drew a field of six, and the first thing that we noticed about the group is a lack of early zip: Not one of them has had the lead at the first call in any race in which they have competed. One of them will set the pace, and we think that it will be 6-Undine, a Brad Cox trainee who pressed the early leaders in her last, a 6 furlong maiden race at Belmont Park on October 2, before fading to finish third. She’s never run on an off track, but she has a pedigree that suggests that she will like it, and we think that her outside post and speed give her an insuperable advantage over her rivals. We will bet her to win at 5/2. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 7, $40 to win on 6-Undine.
Belmont Park, Race 8, 4:55 pm ET
Allowance/Optional Claiming, 6 furlongs, Turf, 3 & Up
This allowance race was originally carded for the turf, which means that most of the field scratched when it was moved to the main track. One who remains is main-track-only runner 12-Wendell Fong, who is the pick. He has run on off tracks twice, and won twice; we think that with his early speed, he will go right to the front, and the rest of the field will be spinning their wheels, in the mud, trying to catch him. Wendell Fong is 7/2 on the morning line, but will be shorter at post time; we will bet him to win anyway, as we think he’s a standout. The bet: Belmont Park, Race 8, $40 to win on 12-Wendell Fong.
That’s all for today. Until tomorrow, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.