06/10/2016 6:43PM

Cristblog: Belmont Stakes Day Preview


Saturday, 11:45 am -- It's fast, firm and partly cloudy at Belmont Park and expected to stay that way until about 5 p.m. Then the possibility of rain jumps from 15 to 50 percent for the next three hours, with the Belmont Stakes scheduled to go at 6:37 pm.

There are seven scratches on the card as of now: Take Cover from the 6th (Jaipur); I Will Score from the 7th (Woody Stephens); El Kabeir, Donworth and Sloane Avenue from the 9th (Met Mile); and Wake Forest and Take the Stand from the 10th (Manhattan.) The chart at the bottom of the page has been updated.

Exaggerator is the very early 6-5 favorite in the Belmont betting.

The opener on the card, the Easy Goer for 3-year-olds, just went to Economic Model ($10.00) over 14-1 Take Me Home, with 4-5 favorite Cupid last of five. The main track looks very quick -- the winner's time was 1:40.18 for a mile and a sixteenth with the mile in 1:34.00.

Have a great day of racing, and don't forget to enjoy yourself.

Friday, 6:45 pm -- Happy Belmont Eve. Above is the lineup for tomorrow's 13-race Belmont Stakes card, with post times, a grid for the start of the most prominent multirace bets, and a list of the guaranteed multirace pools. Note that I don't usually include pick-3's on these charts since they are available on every possible race, but I have included the one on races 3 through 5 tomorrow because that pool has been guaranteed at $250,000. I suppose the thinking is that if you get knocked out of the early Pick-5 in the 1st, and die again in the early pick-4 in the 2nd, you can see if the third time's the charm with a guaranteed-pool pick-3.

This is a great card of racing. There are nine graded stakes, six of them Grade 1's, and the four other races are an ungraded stakes and three allowance races. It wasn't that long ago in New York that you couldn't put on a Belmont or Travers card without resorting to races for maidens, statebreds and claimers.

No carryover in the pick-6: One winner Friday at $156,228. It wasn't me. Tomorrow looks even tougher, and it could easily carry over to Sunday, especially if Flintshire loses the Manhattan and/or Exaggerator loses the Belmont. The first four legs -- the Jaipur, Woody Stephens, Just a Game and Met Mile -- are great wide-open betting races but doubles, pick-3's and pick-4's may prove plenty challenging.

Also, David Grening reports that the two-day True North-Met Mile double did not meet the $150k guarantee, attracting just $113,129. NYRA has to make up the difference so there's effectively no takeout and a small subsidy. Of course you had to a)know that the wager existed and b)use 9-1 Joking in the True North, but if you did you're getting paid extra.

Here are my horse-by-horse thoughts on all 10 Saturday stakes races, including each horse's morning-line odds, last-out Beyer Speed Figure, career-best BSF on today's type of surface (dirt or grass), and highest winning level. I'll update the chart with any scratches tomorrow, and then you're on your own because I'm going to go enjoy myself at the races.


Steve Viuker 11 months ago
Creator was named by WinStar CEO Elliott Walden, a very religious man. 
We are a Christian farm, and the Troutts are Christians."

not a Christian thing for Winstar to take a horse from pletcher as a rabbit; 
then offer it back after the race.
looks like thou will do anything to win the Belmont

Christine Race 12 months ago
 Hoping you had a wonderful day...and were able to enjoy one of THE BEST non BC cards in recent memory - It was TRULY spectacular - capped by an AWESOME showing in the BELMONT. Who can believe horses can race 11/2 miles and it comes down to a nose photo...SPLENDID even with admiration at opposite coast as my viewing spot. Racing is alive and well - and for once....NBC handicappers did not a one reach out to the overwhelming favorite....instead putting out open minded journalism FOR THE MOST PART- and leading general public USA to a "racing is truly a great sport theme" - showcasing  MUCH good about the industry today - which was VERY refreshing to see.  Thanks to the Chief Capper Emeritus for the cheat sheet  - came in handy...hope you caught the RAINBOW on the way home and not the rain :)
Dale Tillotson 12 months ago
Enjoy your day at the races Steve .
Mike 12 months ago
My pick of the day is Flintshire. No just kidding, my real pick of the day is Irish Rookie in the Just a Game. No shame in losing to Found, Ervedya, and Esoterique. Love this play and hope I get somewhere near the 10-1 ML.
Mike 12 months ago
What a card, look forward to hearing your comments as we go. Enjoy.
Walt Gekko 12 months ago
Personally, I think it's time NYRA move the Belmont Stakes from Saturday to Sunday as aside from the fact it would allow many who can't go on Saturday for religious reasons to see a TC race live for the first time ever on Sunday, there are many who can't go Saturday because of organized activities that can't be moved that usually take place on Saturdays.   It likely would not affect attendance and if anything allow those who can't decide until late to be more able to go even with an attendance cap.  It also eliminates the issue of running the day after the Belmont since Monday is a normal dark day.

Moving the Belmont to Sunday also allows for the festival to grow since Saturday could then be made into a big day for females.  As part of a major overhaul of the three year old filly stakes schedule, I'd move the CCA Oaks back to Belmont and return it to 1 1/2 Miles, with the fillies running for the same $1.5 Million purse the boys do in the Belmont (with the Acorn moved to March to be the first Grade 1 of the year in New York, the Mother Goose moved to Wood Memorial Day and the Gazelle moved from Wood day to where the CCA Oaks is currently run at Saratoga). That can make for a true filly "Test of the Champion" preceding "The Test of the Champion" the next day and a day NYRA can likely draw a big crowd for as well.
James Shoop 12 months ago
I just saw Lani's Dubai Race. I am a believer.
Kurt 12 months ago
Maybe NYRA wouldn't have to supplement the extra $37,000 for the Double if the payouts were available right after the race every year. Not on NYRA's website, not on DRF.com.- once again. C'mon people, how do you grow the sport if you can't communicate information! Wake up, it's 2016! People aren't playing the double for two reasons- no talk about prior to Friday and no information about payouts after. If NYRA was a restaurant they would be out of business- don't give a menu to the patrons and when they do order the food don't bring it. Brilliant.
[Agree with your underlying point, but just for the record the willpays were in fact posted on drf.com before 7 pm. -SC]
ML_NJ 12 months ago
Before there were statebreds, the Belmont was the only stake race on the card.  Belmont Day these days reminds me of my one visit to Pimlico long ago.  They think they have to make all their money on one day.  What's the over/under on parking in the Green lot?  Last year they got $30.
AnthonyAjl124 12 months ago

steve,are you going to be blogging on the Belmont card ?