The great Catholic Boy, winning the 2018 Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont Park.
The great Catholic Boy, winning the 2018 Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont Park.Joe Labozzetta | NYRA

God's Tipster's Saturday Belmont Park picks: 5 races, including the Pennine Ridge, with 3 live longshots

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God's Tipster is the Betting God's US Racing expert.
God's Tipster is the Betting God's US Racing expert.Betting Gods

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Friday’s Race Recap from Belmont Park:

(All odds US)

Belmont Park:

Race 1: 2nd@ 1.70/1

Race 6: 1st@ 0.90/1 🔥🔥🔥BEST BET

Race 9: 6th@ 20.00/1

In Race 1, Permed shot to the lead on debut putting away every rival but one. That one was fellow debutee Status Seeker who came and caught her in the shadow of the wire to win by a neck. In Race 6, Mondego stalked on the inside in third early. This was a tactic I was hoping they wouldn’t employ as I preferred him on the lead but he took the lead turning for home and gamely held off a late run by an 8/1 shot Clever Thought giving us our first win of the month as our BEST BET!!! Joel Rosario’s rating job ended up being a brilliant move! In Race 9 Juan Valdez was taken back to last (I had hoped he’d be put on the lead) and never mounted a serious rally.

A BEST BET win and a place finish from three picks on the day.

For Saturday we’ve got more races from Belmont Park. We’re expecting fast and firm conditions once again. Let’s get to work!

Belmont Park:

Race 2: Settling Storm - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 4/1)

Maiden fillies and mares race a mile and three eighths on turf. On paper Highland Grace looks like a deserving morning line favorite but after watching her most recent start I’m hesitant to take a short price on her as she was racing her longest distance yet and seemed to be flattening out towards the end of that race. Today she adds another quarter mile so I’m looking to beat her. Settling Storm has made one career start but it was a decent race as she debuted at a difficult mile and an eighth distance down at Gulfstream and finished a strong second behind a 1/5 favorite. Trainer Christophe Clement has won with 18% of his maidens racing between 10 and 12 furlongs on turf in the last five years here at Belmont with an average payoff of $12.60. I think she’ll get first jump on Highland Grace today.

Race 6: Michele M. - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)

Allowance runners sprint 6 furlongs on the turf here. This is a tricky race and I like an outsider named Michele M. This three-year-old filly with two polytrack starts under her belt began her career displaying an explosive turn of foot at Presque Isle Downs to break her maiden on debut. From there she was shipped up to Woodbine for a shot at Stakes company but that didn’t work out and she’s been laid off ever since. She’s been given a barn change as well to Christophe Clement, who has won with 23% of his turf sprinters over the last five years and with 27% of runners coming off similar layoffs. This miss is sired by West Coast who himself never raced on turf but has won with two of his first nine turf sprinters as a sire (22%). They paid a pretty penny for this filly ($525k) so there are likely some expectations here and it’s interesting that Clement goes with his main rider in Joel Rosario to ride. She’s been working consistently and looks awfully live for a 15/1 shot.

Race 7: Arrow of Time - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)

And we’re likely to get every bit of that 15/1 and then some in this tough little maiden heat where three-year-olds strut their stuff at a mile and a sixteenth on the lawn. Plenty of great angles to choose from in this group and this one has the feel of a BLOW UP race for a lot of pick 5’s and pick 6’s. Arrow of Time is sired by Not This Time who never raced on turf himself but wins with roughly 16% of his turf routers and with 20% of his first time starters. He’s out of a Scat Daddy dam so he should have no problem handling today’s surface. He owns the field’s top Tomlinson figure for the distance of 416 and his next closest rival has a 369. Tomlinson numbers are very inexact and don’t always mean a horse is going to win but what I like best is what I see on the worktab. After comparing his works to the works of most of the debut runners that come from this barn there’s no doubt this one has more ability than most we see from this barn. A 47.3 workout breezing in April followed by a five furlong work and a few stronger four furlong works. This is a barn that’s quietly having a good meet winning at 19%. Intriguing at a HUGE price.

Race 9: Far Bridge - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 9/5)

The Grade 2 Pennine Ridge might be the oddest named stakes race on the New York circuit as it’s named for a horse who wasn’t anything special. I’m not even sure he was good enough to win at the Grade 2 level but I digress. Today’s Grade 2 field is a pretty tough group and I’m not trying to beat Far Bridge. His debut effort was outstanding. Second time out he was MUCH the best and we had him last time out on Kentucky Derby day where he had a tough trip and missed by a dirty nose. He gets some added distance and I just think he’s the best horse in the race. I’m hoping this is the first of many Graded stakes wins for him.

Race 10: Waflr - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 20/1)

Maiden claimers bred in New York close out our day and our selection will need a scratch in order to draw in to the body of the race but I want to give him another shot here. We actually picked him first time out where he was tracking along nicely til he checked hard on the far turn and wasn’t asked for any run thereafter. There’s all sorts of turf breeding here - sire Temple City has sired multiple Grade 1 turf winners including Miss Temple City, Bolo and Annals of Time. This one’s dam, Honoria, was a two time turf winner and has thrown two turf winners from three starters (Waflr being the third) including a stakes winner and multiple graded stakes placed Maximova. Trainer David Donk can crack with a bomb every now and again on turf and this gelding actually took sneaky money in his debut.

Best of luck to all our members playing Saturday’s races from Belmont Park!!

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