God's Tipster's Saturday Belmont Park Picks: 6 races including the Man O' War and Peter Pan Stakes
Friday’s Race Recap from Belmont Park:
(All odds US)
Race 2: SCRATCH
Race 5: 9th@ 3.95/1
Race 8: 5th@ 3.25/1
Race 9: 5th@ 10.50/1
After a scratch in Race 2, My Malibu Honey carried our flag in Race 5. She set the early pace, checked between horses while tiring. In Race 8, Andiamo a Firenze broke out and bumped with a foe early, disputed the pace while inside of the winner, vied along the rail on the turn and tired late. In Race 9, St. Benedict’s Prep stalked early and looked to be in good position but couldn’t quicken when it counted as her stablemate went on to win.
We just got the news that Grade 1 Kentucky Derby winner Mage will be back to contest the Grade 1 Preakness next Saturday. In the meantime we are back to Belmont for more perfect weather for Saturday’s races. We’re expecting fast and firm conditions.
Let’s get to work.
Race 5: Warren Point - 2 pts win - BEST BET (US Morning Line Odds: 9/5)
Today’s Grade 1 Man O’ War at a mile and three eighths on the inner turf kicks off a stacked stakes card at Belmont. I’d love go to against the 9/5 morning line favorite, European shipper Warren Point in this spot but he looks awfully tough to me. A winner of 5 of 8 career starts from England to Bahrain and Qatar, Warren Point is racking up his frequent flyer points running against top competition wherever he goes. Trainer Charlie Appleby has won with 7 of 19 starters on the NY circuit since 2021 (37%) mostly in Graded stakes competition. As for Warren Point himself, he’s faced some big fields in his two most recent starts. On February 18, he missed the Grade 1 H.H. Amir Trophy in Qatar by 1/2 length to Hong Kong star Russian Emperor. Other horses who finished behind him include Stone Age – who finished 2nd in last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf and Grade 1 winning Broome, who finished 2nd in the 2021 edition of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf. Heady competition indeed and this field feels more like a Grade 2 or Grade 3 caliber field on the American side. Class prevails.
Race 6: Arcangelo - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 10/1)
The Grade 3 Peter Pan at a mile and an eighth on the main track is traditionally the local prep for the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes a little less than a month away. Our morning line favorite breaks to the outside and that’s Bishops Bay, who’s done everything right in his two starts. In his debut he gamely held off future Grade 3 Lexington winner First Mission and in his second start he stretched out in distance without issue and held off yet another stablemate from the powerful Brad Cox barn. This one turn mile and an eighth distance at Belmont Park can be tough on a front running speed horse so I'm going to look at Arcangelo to beat him. When I began handicapping this race I didn’t think this would be the horse I’d end up on but his last replay and final time sold me. He chased a fast early pace and blew by the leaders in midstretch. True, those leaders were tired but I really liked the way Arcangelo finished up under last week’s Kentucky Derby winning rider Javier Castellano. He’s got the breeding that says the distance stretch should be no problem and has been working up a storm in the mornings.
Race 7: Waflr - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 12/1)
New York bred maiden claiming runners go a mile and a sixteenth on turf here. We’ve got a full field set to square off here but I haven’t been overly impressed with the ones with starts under their belts so I’m giving the nod to Waflr who breaks from the rail in his debut for trainer David Donk who began the meet winning at a 15% clip. On Thursday he won with Ormstown at 13/1 odds in his second career start and I think Waflr might be a sleeper in this spot. Waflr is a half brother to Maximova who won her first three career starts - all on turf - and went on to hit the board in 10 of 18 turf starts while being a stakes winner and placing in multiple Grade 2 turf races. He’s got another sibling who also won her turf debut. This guy faces no world beaters today and Donk has been firing. Upset special.
Race 8: Starquist - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 10/1)
Allowance runners bred in New York sprint 6 panels. Starquist is my selection based on his last - his only turf start to date. That day he chased Citizen K around the racetrack before tiring late but Citizen K would be 1/5 against this field. That last speed figure represented his top lifetime number despite him being stakes placed twice on dirt. Trainer John Kimmel doesn’t start many runners these days but has won with 23% of his turf sprinters over the last five years and I’d give this guy another chance from just off the speed.
Race 10: Get Your Kicks - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 5/2)
Tough little allowance optional claiming race for three-year-old fillies at a mile and a sixteenth on turf. Todd Pletcher has two runners in here that will take a lot of money but he’s been on a bit of a cold streak lately. First at Aqueduct and he began the Belmont meet going 0 for his first 10 losing with a few big favorites. Last week’s Derby fiasco with Forte isn’t helping matters I’m sure so I’m steering clear of that drama and instead siding with impressive maiden winner Get Your Kicks who makes her third career start for super trainer Chad Brown. In her turf debut last out she dusted an overmatched field of turf fillies and drew off with a sharp final quarter of 23.59 seconds. Top rider and top trainer are the cherries on top. I look for her to make the last run.
Race 11: Linarite - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 8/1)
New York bred maiden claimers wrap up our day sprinting 6 furlongs on turf. If trainer David Donk has a good day today so will we. Linarite is my pick for the final race as she returns off more than a 365 day layoff. Donk is however 2 for 2 100% wins with runners returning off layoffs of 365 days or more with an average payoff of $10.80. On top of that he lures top rider Irad Ortiz to navigate. He’s been working fine and should sit the trip from just off the pace from the outside. I don’t think she’ll be 8/1 but if she is she’s getting my money.
Best of luck to all our members playing Saturday’s races from Belmont Park!