A long route race on the Belmont Park Inner Turf course means that racing position and racing luck will be crucial factors of success.
It is unlikely that a horse can go wire to wire on that distance and there is very little early speed in the race anyway… It should be a strategic waiting game until the last furlong.
This is well-matched group, class-wise, and the race is pretty open in my opinion.
With no horse dominating any racing segment, there is a good chance for relative longshots to shine if they have a luckier trip than the favourites.
It is a high risk / high reward situation but should offer good value.
In the 8th race of Belmont Park on July 12 2018, the field notes are as follow:
Number 1, BENGALA lost last month at a slightly lower class level while a heavy favorite. It was not a very good loss as she had an easy race on the rail all along and did not seem to have a ton of energy in the stretch. She switches jockey, but the last rider was not a chump either… I am not sure that this change can revolutionize her performance then. BENGALA has not been very successful overseas, nor in the USA, and I don’t think that at 7-2 morning line odds it would make sense to bet on a reversal of fortunes today.
Number 2 DOUBLE CAST has a very long resume for a horse entering a Non-Winner of 10k outside of claiming or maiden. It took her 12 races to break her Maiden, but the connections trusted her as she never went into claiming class… Since the win last year, DOUBLE CAST has placed in Allowance company and is trying a third time, once again going slightly up in class. The connections are very confident in her apparently, but I am not. I don’t think that DOUBLE CAST has a good chance today.
Number 3, SILVER SHAKER has never run unplaced at Belmont Park, and at the distance, so there is little doubt that she will be comfortable today. In her last race, she made the most of the poor post position, settling behind in the first turn and swinging wide on the last turn. SILVER SHAKER had good closing speed but was overtaken in the last strides. It was nor a good nor a bad loss, trip-wise. She has one of the best records of the group so definitely a contender but, due to her likely short odds, I am leaning towards others for my bet.
Number 4, WOUNDWITHHEREYES is entered only for the dirt track (if the turf race is scratched) so there is no point in handicapping her. With no rain forecast for New York tomorrow, the race should be run on the turf.
Number 5 GALILEO’S MELODY surprised in her win last out on shorter distance and on another track. This is the third track she tries so her trainer visibly likes to travel… The start in an allowance race is the next logical step but this is a pretty rich attempt and stretching distance is a bit of a concern. She also does not get the best turf jockey at Belmont Park so that could hurt her chances. The odds are likely to be pretty interesting however, so including GALILEO’S MELODY at the bottom of exotic bets could make sense.
Number 6, LAND MINE, same as number 4. She is entered only for the main track so no need to consider her here. She will most likely not run.
Number 7, PURELY LUCKY is well placed at the class level, having won in allowance company but against state-bred foes. She had an easy race on the inside in that one but still, a win is a win. PURELY LUCKY switches to a better jockey but he will have to navigate the course well to not be parked on the outside too long on the tight turns of the Belmont Park Inner Turf. The morning line odds of 8-1 are pretty interesting considering the class factor.
Number 8, SMART TOGETHER is coming to us straight from the UK and works for a trainer who has won once at the same conditions with such an import. Training regimen was similar, class was similar, but the horse was better the last time… Smart together did not compete in very impressive races abroad and today SMART TOGETHER gets a poor turf jockey too boot so I don’t think that her prospects are that great. Of course, a European import can always surprise but today I will wait and simply watch her run.
Number 9, PURRAGEOUS DYNA has won more races than anyone else and is still eligible for today’s class because these races were for state-bred. Those wins were in sprints and two of them on dirt however so one can wonder if she will like the distance. PURRAGEOUS DYNA also gets a relatively bad turf jockey on board who failed her last time so there is a fair chance she disappoints once again today.
Number 10, EMMY PERFORMANCE was pretty lucky to find racing room having to come from behind against a large group in her maiden win. She loses the jockey who rode her to victory and today gets one a little less talented, which should not help. This is her first start against winner and going so long so there are some question marks on EMMY PERFORMANCE’s chances here. She is likely to go out at short odds and might have less racing luck this time, so I will pass
I don’t think that there is a clear favorite in the race so I will take a chance on higher odds horses who seem good enough on paper.
PURELY LUCKY seems to fit at the class level and is ridden by a jockey who knows when to strike. I think that she has as good a chance as any to win this one and the odds will likely be interesting.
GALILEO’S MELODY is stepping up logically in class and nothing says that she can’t compete against this group. There are some question marks but so are there on the favorites… She is probably going to start at fairly long odds so having her on the exotic bet tickets is a good idea.
JULY 12 BELMONT PARK RACE 8 BETTING PICKS:
WIN BET at 5-1 or more on Number 7 PURELY LUCKY
Exacta box 7-5