06/10/2011 4:02PM

Belmont Stakes Eve: Brooklyn, Poker, Carryover


5:00 pm: With 27-1 and 61-1 winners already in the books, it's looking like a safe bet that there there will be a two-day carryover into Saturday's Belmont Stakes card, where the sequence consists of four Grade and two Grade 2 stakes races. The lineup:


I'll be posting an expanded version of that chart, with A-B-C-X grades and comments on all the entrants, before departing for the track tomorrow morning and abandoning y'all for a day at the races. I'll be back Sunday to make excuses for why I was not the lone winner of the $1 million guaranteed pool. (The pick-4, which begins with the Woody Stephens, is also guaranteed at a million.)

My first impression of the Saturday stakes is that while they're a little thin on numbers, they're trickier than the field sizes would suggest. Turbulent Descent will be singled on a lot of tickets at 3-5 in the first leg, the Acorn, but it gets a lot harder from there. Gio Ponti is the next shortest price in the sequence at 6-5 in the Manhattan, but the returning two-time grass champion was second to 21-1 stablemate Winchester in this same spot last year and has lost 8 of his last 10 starts.

First let's get through the upcoming Poker Stakes and Brooklyn Handicap to close out Friday's card at Belmont, where racing resumed today after yesterday's heat-induced cancellation. It seems unlikely that with only a $36k carryover, anyone went deep enough to use Persky's Heart ($56.50) in the 6th and Unforgettable P J ($124.50) in the 7th, but we'll find out soon enough.


5:30 pm: Courageous Cat, making his first start since October and just his fourth start since running second to Goldikova in the 2009 Breeders' Cup Mile, easily reined in 20-1 Yield Bogey in the stretch to win a five-horse Poker Stakes as the 9-to-10 favorite.

Even with $5.80 and $3.80 winners in the 8th and 9th, there are indeed no live pick-6 tickets heading into the Brooklyn, so there's a two-day carryover into Saturday's card.

Looks like Unforgettable P J was even more than 61-1 in the pick-4: The willpays for a sequence beginning with $124.50, $5.80 and $3.80 winners -- a $686 parlay --are paying between $3,447 (on currently 7-5 Drosselmeyer) and $16,541 (on 5-1 Alma d'Oro).

The Brooklyn is the first half of a double with tomorrow's Belmont Stakes. The bet is available online at NYRA Rewards for the first time this year if you want to try to get down in the next eight minutes.


6:00 pm: Birdrun ($7.30), necked out by stablemate Drosselmeyer in the prep for the Brooklyn, reversed that decision today with a daylight victory in the G2 $150k Brooklyn. Birdrun completed an $8,267 (for $2) pick-4.

The carryover into Saturday is $144,003. Get to work.


7:00 pm: Here are those Brooklyn-Belmont double willpays:

No. 1 – Master of Hounds, $34.60

No. 2 – Stay Thirsty, $237

No. 3 – Ruler On Ice, $434

No. 4 – Santiva, $81

No. 5 – Brilliant Speed, $71.50

No. 6 – Nehro, $48.80

No. 7 – Monzon, $593

No. 8 – Prime Cut, $281

No. 9 – Animal Kingdom, $34.20

No. 10 – Mucho Macho Man, $93.50

No. 11 – Isn’t He Perfect, $671

No. 12 – Shackleford, $75

Doesn't look like Master of Hounds is going to be 10-1. Maybe someone who loves him took a big coldpunch (not me), but at $34.60 he's a very close second choice to Animal Kingdom ($34.20). And Brilliant Speed is shorter than the Preakness winner?