Yibir, on the outside, in the Jockey Club last September, will be favored today in the Man o’ War.
Yibir, on the outside, in the Jockey Club last September, will be favored today in the Man o’ War.NYRA | Dom Napolitano

Garrity's Saturday Stakes handicaps Belmont late Pick 4: the Man o' War (with Yibir), Peter Pan & Beaugay

Garrity's first post is at 4:46 pm EDT.

Beautiful Belmont Park takes center stage on the national racing calendar today, with five graded stakes on a terrific card, with the headliner the Grade 1 Man o’ War for older turf horses.

And we are going to do something a little different today: We’re going to take a stab at the late Pick 4 at Big Sandy, which features three stakes. We think it’s a good lineup for a multi-race exotic wager, especially as an illustration to newer fans of how a handicapper negotiates a series of races (those who just want the tickets can scroll to the bottom). We expect fast dirt and firm turf in all of these races, so let’s go.

Belmont Park, Race 8, 4:46 pm ET
Grade 1 Man o’ War Stakes, 1 ⅜ miles, Turf, 4 & Up

A multi-race wager like the Pick 4 requires a bettor to make a series of decisions, and this sequence forces a big one right off the bat: what do we do with Man o’ War favorite 3-Yibir? On the one hand, last year’s Breeders Cup Turf champion is clearly the likeliest winner here, but he is going to be a minuscule price, something like 3/5 in the win pool, and likely even shorter in multi-race gimmick bets. The easy thing to do would be to single him, but in the hopes of a better payout, we are going to include 2-Gufo, who comes off a good win a stakes at Gulfstream Park; and 5-Highland Chief, who is trying to recapture the form he showed running competitively in turf stakes in Europe two years ago.

Belmont Park, Race 9, 5:19 pm ET
Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes, 1 1/8 miles, Dirt, 3-Year-Olds

The Peter Pan drew a field of eight 3-year-olds. We like the two on the inside: 1-Set Sail ships from California for trainer Richard Mandella, where he broke his maiden very impressively on March 27; and 2-Electability, who hails from the Chad Brown barn, looks to move forward after winning allowance and maiden affairs in his last two starts. These two are our primary contenders, and we are using 3-Complete Agenda, 4-We the People, and 6-Western River, each of whom seems a cut below the top pair, as backups.

Belmont Park, Race 10, 5:50 pm ET

Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 4 & Up

Seven go in the Beaugay. We think this is an easier race to handicap in a multi-race sequence like the Pick 4 than it would be making a more conventional bet, as two Chad Brown runners, 1-Rougir and 2-Lemista, simply seem better than the rest. If we were betting to win, we’d have a difficult decision to make; in the Pick 4, we are just including both on all tickets.

Belmont Park, Race 11, 6:21 pm ET

Allowance, 7 furlongs, Turf, New York-bred Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

An even dozen go in the nightcap at Belmont. It is a wide open race, far more open than any of the stakes earlier in the sequence, and our wagering strategy in the Pick 4 is largely to stay alive to this race, to spread wide with multiple selections, and to hope for chaos. Our top contenders are 4-Rigby, 6-Finest Work, 9-Palace Gossip, and 11-Autumn Glory, but we will include 1-Captainsdaughter, 3-Master of the Tunes, 7-Dufresne, 8-Sue Ellen Mishkin, and 10-Theodora Grace as backups.

This assessment of these four races results in the following array:


A Contenders

B Contenders

Race 8


Race 9



Race 10


Race 11



We are going to leverage these opinions into three tickets.

Ticket 1:: 2,3,5 with 1,2 with 1,2 with 4,6,9,11.

Ticket 2: 2,3,5 with 3,4,6 with 1,2 with 4,6,9,11

Ticket 3: 2,3,5 with 1,2 with 1,2 with 1,3,7,8,10

We will play Ticket 1 with a $2 base wager, which will cost $96. Tickets 2 and 3 will be played at the $1 level, and will cost $72 and $48. That is a total investment of $216. Those wishing to play at a lower level can halve the base wager, playing the tickets for a buck and fifty cents, respectively, which will drop the cost to a total of $108.

That’s all for today. Until the next time, enjoy the races, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.

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