God's Tipster's Sunday Belmont Pick: In the 8th, a turf route for maidens, Libretto has winning story
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Saturday’s Race Recap from Churchill Downs:
(All odds US)
Race 1: 2nd@ 1.11/1
Race 2: 2nd@ 2.09/1
Race 3: 2nd@ 2.52/1
Race 4: 3rd@ 0.57/1
Race 5: 1st@ 4.98/1 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Race 6: 6th@ 3.31/1
Race 7: 3rd@ 10.57/1
Race 8: 1st@ 5.02/1 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Race 9: 2nd@ 6.20/1
Race 10: 1st@ 0.72/1 - 2 pts win 🔥🔥
Race 11: 6th@ 7.13/1
Race 12: 6th@ 7.80/1
Race 13: 2nd@ 1.38/1
Race 14: 3rd@ 6.29/1
Kentucky Derby Day began with a scratch of the morning line favorite - Forte. The days leading up saw scratches of Skinner, Continuar, Lord Miles and Practical Move for various reasons. Today’s derby card definitely began with a different tone. In Race 1, Extra Anejo broke slowly for a horse who showed so much speed in his maiden win. He weaved his way through horses and closed well for second while gaining on the winner but today’s first race seems to indicate the track may be favoring speed just as it was yesterday. In Race 2, Quality Chic stalked the pace from the outside and looked poised to draw away turning for home but failed to change leads and could not get by the leader Quaternion giving us two runner up finishes to start the day. In Race 3, King Ottoman stalked early and looked perfectly poised to pounce and win but the outside closers continue to be at a disadvantage as Petulante held him off and we had to settle for second once again. In Race 4, Goodnight Olive was pinned inside early and late. She looked like the best mare the entire way around the racetrack but without room to run she couldn’t prove it and had to settle for third. In Race 5, Fluffy Socks sat off the pace but was able to make her finishing move to get up for the 9/2 WIN! In Race 6, Masqueparade checked at the start and made a run on the far turn but ultimately wasn’t able to overcome the bad start. In Race 7, Go Bears Go stalked the early pace and closed for third. In Race 8, General Jim was given a trip off the speed, took aim on Fort Bragg in the stretch and wore down that rival finally proving that a runner can win from an outside path. In Race 9, Far Bridge was given a ground saving ride by Joel Rosario, tipped out in mid-stretch, took the lead and battled down to the wire with Webslinger losing a close photo. In Race 10, Cody’s Wish was taken off the early pace but the Grade 1 Breeders Cup Dirt Mile winner was SO much the best that he took the track bias and shoved it down everyone’s throats drawing off to win in 1:21 flat. He’ll be tough to beat in the Grade 1 Met Mile on Belmont Stakes Day. In Race 11, Wolfie’s Dynaghost didn’t get the easy early lead I had hoped for but still gave a good account of himself against some pretty heady company. Nobody was beating Up to the Mark today. In Race 12, the Kentucky Derby, Dermo Sotogake broke inwardly, brushing the gate while away slowly. Was far back early but picked his way through the pack while making his move on the far turn but flattened out in the final furlong as Mage was crowned the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby champ. In Race 13, Equivoque was yet another victim of the inside bias. Bo Cruz shot to the front and set the pace. Equivoque ranged up threateningly on the far turn while in the five path and as they leveled out the early leader kept drawing away while we settled for yet another second place finish. In the final race of the day, Golden Sombrero was sent to the lead and battled on gamely to the end but faltered in the drive while leaving the rail open for favorite and eventual winner, Everso Mischiveous.
For the day we had three winners from fourteen selections with a maddening five second place finishes and another three third place finishes.
Eleven of our fourteen selections on the day hit the board. I was happy with my handicapping today. Could’ve used a little more luck and would’ve much preferred a more evenly playing dirt surface.
We’ll close out the week with some racing from beautiful Belmont Park. We’re expecting sunny skies with fast and firm conditions. Let’s get started!
Race 8: Libretto - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 8/1)
Maiden fillies and mares run a mile and an eighth on turf and many times this inner turf course at Belmont can favor runners with early speed. Especially when there’s not much pace in the race. Libretto owns the best early speed and she also owns the advantageous rail post position which should give her a tactical advantage at least early on. Hall of Famer John Velazquez took the mount on this runner and that vote of confidence is the extra cherry on top. She removes blinkers today – a move trainer Jorge Abreu wins with at 50% – and drops in class from a Grade 3 event where she was grossly overmatched to a maiden event where she appears to fit perfectly.
Best of luck to all our members playing Sunday’s races from Belmont!