God's Tipster's Friday Belmont Pick: In the 9th, the True North, will Baby Yoda challenge Jackie's Warrior?
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Thursday’s Race Recap from Belmont Park:
(All odds US)
Race replays for yesterday’s races from Belmont can be found here:
Race 2: 2nd@ 3.90/1
Race 4: 3rd@ 13.10/1
Race 6: 1st@ 0.45/1 - BEST BET 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
We led off our Thursday at Belmont with Aunt Naughty being sent to the lead as expected and pressed from the beginning. She battled on gamely til the very end but gave way grudgingly and finished a neck behind Spiked. In Race 4, Devil Boy broke last in the field and I groaned as soon as I saw that since I was expecting early speed from him but I’ve seen Jose Ortiz do this before with (former) speed types. He recognized that there would be plenty of pace on so he held back. Devil Boy closed late with a wide, sweeping run at 13/1 odds for third just not quite as good as the top two today. In Race 6, Devious Dame broke near the back but Joel Rosario never seemed to have an anxious moment as she breezed up entering the stretch and drew off to a convincing score as our day’s BEST BET!
Our Belmont Stakes week trip down memory lane continues. By the time 2004 rolled around it had been 26 years since the last Triple Crown winner with 9 horses winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in that time period but failing to win the elusive third jewel in America’s Triple Crown. Smarty Jones would be the next to face the test in 2004. After running through the best in the three year old division in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, the undefeated Smarty Jones would enter the Belmont Stakes the overwhelming 1/5 favorite facing a depleted field of runners considered not nearly as strong as the ones he had faced in the Kentucky Derby or Preakness. Could Smarty Jones finally be the one to make history and become racing’s first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978? Let’s see. Please note there are clearer versions of the video of this race available online. I selected this particular version because it captures announcer Tom Durkin’s outstanding race call along with the crowd noise of 120,000 people cheering Smarty Jones home and best captured what it was like to be there in person. Without further ado, here is the 2004 Belmont Stakes:
For Friday we’re headed back to Belmont Park for their Belmont Stakes Eve card. We’re expecting fast and firm conditions beneath sunny skies with mild temperatures. Let’s goooooo!!!
Friday at Belmont Park:
Race 9: Baby Yoda - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 8/1)
The Grade 2 True North is a 6 1/2 furlong sprint and it features Jackie’s Warrior who was installed as the 2/5 morning line favorite. A winner of 10 of 14 starts, Jackie certainly has earned that favoritism but he’s not unbeatable and in fact one of those career losses happened right here at Belmont Park almost a year ago to the day in the Woody Stephens. Baby Yoda is a horse I thought was getting too much hype off his lofty 114 speed figure earned in Saratoga last September. I’ve been correct in my assumption as he lost his next four starts and in my mind he reminded me of Hidden Scroll who used to race for this same barn but could never get back to the lofty reputation earned off one race. Baby Yoda though has started the year with two very strong starts and has defeated a few next out winners. When I analyzed this race, I wanted the horse with the most consistent and strongest third quarter pace figure and that was Baby Yoda. My thought process is that I wanted someone who’d be close enough to take advantage if Jackie’s Warrior comes up empty but not someone who’d be a stone closer. Baby Yoda fit that bill for me and I think the switch to Luis Saez fits him well.
Best of luck to everyone playing Friday’s races from Belmont Park!