Belmont Saturday: Expert Picks for the Suburban Handicap

Chris Adams

One of the marquee events on the Belmont calendar will be run on Saturday, July 3 at Belmont Park. The Grade 2 Suburban Handicap from Belmont is a “Win and You’re In” event for the Breeder’s Cup Classic run in November.

Belmont Park Saturday Racing Card

Saturday’s holiday card from Belmont Park will include 10 races. First post will be at 1:00 pm ET.

Race Breakdown

  • Races by Surface: Dirt (6 races), Inner Turf (2 races), Widener Turf (2 races)
  • Races by Distance: Routes (6 races), Sprints (4 races)
  • Average Field Size: 9.4 Runners
  • Stakes Races: 2 (1 Graded)

Featured Race: The Suburban Handicap (G2)

The Grade 2 Suburban will be the last race of the day at Belmont on Saturday. The race brings together some of the top classic horses in the division.

Undoubtedly the top of the market will be dominated by Happy Saver from the Todd Pletcher barn and Mystic Guide. Mystic Guide is coming off a win in the Dubai World Cup and a win here would solidify the Godolphin big 3 for the Breeder’s Cup Classic. The stable also owns Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality and Stephen Foster winner Maxfield.

The race is scheduled to go off at5;44 pm ET.

Watch and Wager on Belmont Park

NYRA racing is one of the most thoroughly covered circuits in the sport. You can catch all of the action from Belmont on America’s Day at the Races. The coverage can be found via NYRA’s online wagering platform NYRABets, on NYRA’s Youtube channel, and on the Fox Sports family of networks.

Analysis of the Belmont Park Card

One thing for handicappers to consider is that there is a considerable chance of rain throughout the upcoming days in New York.

Although the dirt course tends to handle rain pretty well, the turf course could end up listed as good or yielding. If there is enough rain it could even prompt those races to get moved to the dirt. This will greatly change the complexion of the race as horses do tend to be better on one surface or the other.

Most Wide Open Race

Race #6 is a one mile allowance optional claiming race. The event will be run over the widener turf course. Part of the challenge with this race is the fact that many horses are entered for Main Track Only (MTO) which means they will only run if the race comes off the turf.

#14 Chris and Dave was installed as the morning line favorite, but is one of the MTO’s. Knowing the NYRA bettors the #1 will be bet extremely heavily as he is trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr.

Races like this with a fairly even distribution of turf and dirt horses can pay dividends for bettors who adjust their handicapping based on who actually runs in the race. Many bettors will make their choices early and end up overlooking some obvious pace dynamics that develop based on scratches.

Best Bet of the Day

Race 3 #1 Tiergan goes out for Rudy Rodriguez and will be ridden by Luis Saez. Saez is one of the best in New York out of the gate and will have the horse well placed to live up to the odds.

Live Long Shots

  • Race 2: #4 Perfect Symphony (8-1): Irad Ortiz Jr. rides this 2nd time starter for David Donk. Horses can take huge steps forward when they make their 2nd start and he will do so dropping out of maiden special weight company.
  • Race 6: #8 Ghoul (10-1): This horse comes in 3rd off a layoff and switches to hall of fame jockey John Velazquez aboard. It is promising that this horse ran a close second at the level in the last start.
  • Race 8: #9 Restored Order (8-1): This 3 year old will make his 3rd turf start and showed early speed last out before stopping. If the course has some give from rain, he could be tough to catch on the front end.
  • Race 9: #4 Piedi Bianchi (12-1): The horse just missed in a Grade 3 last race. The trainer has a lot of positive stats when putting horses in this situation. The race goes through the favorite, but this one could spring an upset or at least get into the the number.
  • Race 10: #1 Moretti (10-1): This is strictly an underneath play as this horse is a cut below the headliners. That being said, he’s always close and I wouldn’t be caught without having him underneath on my tickets.

Belmont Park Expert Selections

Horses are listed in order of preference.

  • * Indicates Best Bet of the Day
  • (L) Indicates Live Long Shot
  • (M) Indicates Main Track Only


  1. 5 – 1 – 3 – 1a(M) – 7
  2. 5 – 4(L) – 7 – 8 – 6
  3. 1* – 5 – 6 – 3 – 4
  4. 9 – 1 – 7 – 4
  5. 1 – 7 – 2 – 5
  6. 1a – 7 – 10 – 8(L) – 9
  7. 8 – 3 – 4 – 1 – 2
  8. 7 – 9 (L) – 1a (M) – 8 – 1
  9. 9 – 4(L) – 7 – 8(M) – 3
  10. 4 – 6 – 1(L) – 3

Betting News will continue to provide early and late week analysis and selections from around the country throughout the summer racing season.