God's Tipster's Saturday Belmont at Aqueduct and Keeneland Picks: 7 races, no favorites, and the Raven Run
Friday’s Race Recap from Belmont at Aqueduct:
(All odds US)
Replays for yesterday’s races from Belmont at Aqueduct can be found here:
Belmont at Aqueduct:
Race 1: 1st@ 10.50/1 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Race 5: 9th@ 47.00/1
Race 8: 1st@ 9.40/1 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
In Race 1, Mr. Connecticut was given a perfectly timed, ground-saving ride by Trevor McCarthy to begin the day with a WIN. In Race 5, Always Hustlin’ didn’t have much in his debut checking in ninth in what looked like an experience-builder for him. In Race 8, Javier Castellano gave Daunt and our members our second outstanding ride on the day stalking and winning at 9/1 odds.
Since Oct. 1, our members have been raking in the dough: We’ve given out WINNERS at odds of: 36/1, 10/1 and 9/1, second place finishers at odds of 55/1 and 31/1 and a third place runner who was 44/1 !!!
Let’s take a look at a few races from Belmont at Aqueduct and Keeneland for Saturday’s races. We’re expecting sunny ☀️ skies with fast and firm conditions at both tracks.
Belmont at Aqueduct:
Race 1: Treasured Gem - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 8/1)
Even members with the shortest memories may get a feeling of déjà vu as we like a Christophe Clement runner in the first race at Aqueduct in a maiden race ridden by Trevor McCarthy. That was our blueprint for success in Race 1 on Friday’s card and I mentioned for our 10/1 winning Mr. Connecticut, trainer Clement started the meet slow but has caught fire of late winning at a red-hot 32% even before Friday’s win. Now to the horse - Treasured Gem - her form is a bit muddied up from her most recent start in dirt but her race prior to that was just fine as she finished a close fourth behind subsequent Grade 2 Miss Grillo winner Pleasant Passage. She’s worked three times since that start and the 61 speed figure she earned that day fits right with our favorites in here who have run before. Value play!
Race 6: Fast Boat to Skye - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 10/1)
Maidens sprint 7 furlongs and we’ve got a morning line 2/1 on a debut runner from the Todd Pletcher barn with a single five furlong workout and 3/1 on a runner who’s already lost as the favorite twice. Fast Boat to Skye has an intriguing looking profile to me for a first time starter. He’s already got four five furlong workouts on his tab and hasn’t had a gate work since 9/16 which makes me his trainer has some confidence here. Trainer Dave Donk wins with 5% rider, Jorge Vargas 14% of the time with an average payoff of $12.58 and together the two are in the money nearly 50% of the time. Definite a candidate to outrun long odds.
Race 7: Wicked Fast - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
The Grade 2 Hill Prince Stakes pits three year olds against one another at 1 1/8 miles on turf and it was hard to pick against Be Better at 6/1 coming from the barn of Todd Pletcher, who does such an excellent job of winning these types of turf stakes races with first time turf runners - in wire to wire fashion. If he wins I’ll have some regrets but I just couldn’t pick against 15/1 odds on Wicked Fast here. He actually owns the field’s top speed figure at the distance so you know he belongs and he was recently moved to the Mike Maker barn which, like Pletcher, excels with these turf stakes types. A few weeks ago he won the Grade 3 Knickerbocker with King Cause at 15/1 right here at Aqueduct at this very distance. His most recent start - the Grade 3 Jockey Club Derby, already has a next out winner as Daunt just won on Friday’s race card. Bombs away!
Race 8: Flashy Alex - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 12/1)
Maiden claimers bred in New York sprint 7 furlongs and for the second race in a row we’re not overthinking things by going with the owner of the field’s top speed figure on a fast main track. Flashy Alex owns a 44 speed figure which is 9 full points higher on the speed figure scale than his next closest competitor here. Better still is that the speed figure I’m referencing was earned in his most recent start which was a full furlong longer than today’s distance. That also makes him this field’s lone entrant to have raced this far on dirt. Three times actually. Dropping in for sale for the first time and Eric Cancel is actually a rider upgrade from jockey A. Castillo.
Race 6: Hoist the Gold - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 12/1)
Today’s Perryville at 7 furlongs on the main track drew a solid field of three year olds. Gunite is our 6/5 favorite and our selection only finished 1/2 length behind that one at today’s 7 furlong distance just a few short months ago on July 3rd. Since then, Hoist the Gold has put up two career best figures and fired a bullet workout last week so he’s clearly thriving. Artorious is our 5/2 second choice and might be best here but his only career sprint start happened here at Keeneland and was the worst race of his career from a speed figure standpoint. Speed near the rail have excelled all Keeneland meet and Hoist the Gold is our choice to spring the upset.
Race 8: The Prince’s Spur - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 20/1)
Allowance runners go a mile and an eighth here and 9 of the 12 runners in this one are three year olds. I like one of those three year olds to upset this full field but it’s not the 2/1 favorite it’s his starting gate neighbor, The Prince’s Spur, who caught my eye here. This runner made his first three starts for trainer Todd Pletcher and won in his third try, a maiden claiming race he was claimed for a hefty $75k price tag while winning off by more than six lengths. That day he crushed a field that contained 6 of 7 runners who improved their next-out speed figure by an average of 8.5 points including two next-out winners. He was shipped to Kentucky by his new connections and ran a race against a few he’ll meet again today where he finished faster than 9 of the 10 runners he met that day despite a sixth place finish. Today he dons blinkers for a barn that’s having its strongest year yet and gets rail positioning which has been lethal in these Keeneland dirt starts. One final thing I’ll mention here is that the importance of the change in rider from Julien Leparoux (10% wins) to John Velazquez (27% wins) cannot be overstated. Velazquez actually rode this horse when Pletcher had him and the fact that Phil Bauer is keeping this runner in allowances has me sold at 20/1 or better. The more I write the more I like him.
Race 9: Colorful Mischief - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 12/1)
I was only going to pick 6 races today but we hit with the extra bomb on Friday’s card so I’ll push my luck a little. The Grade 2 Lexus Raven Run is today’s feature race at Keeneland and is the more prestigious, female counterpart to the 7 furlong Perryville featured earlier on the card. I’ve liked Colorful Mischief since her first career start over a soupy Churchill Downs track on Kentucky Oaks day earlier this year. A $300k daughter of Into Mischief won second time out before finding the stretch to 1 1/16 miles too long. The Pletcher barn cut her back to 7 furlongs and were rewarded with a smart win up in Saratoga where she looked defeated before lengthening her stride and grinding out the win. Last time out she finished a strong third behind last year’s Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies exacta of Echo Zulu and Tarabi. Either of those two would be HEAVILY favored here and the favorites in this one include an undefeated New York bred (Fingal’s Cave) who’s never raced outside of New York and Smash Ticket, a runner who’s been beating up on lesser competition for a trainer who has never raced a horse at Keeneland before. The Todd Pletcher barn has been red hot winning at 39%. Play against them here at Keeneland at your own risk!
Best of luck to everyone playing Saturday’s races from around the US!