09/30/2010 10:33AM

Super Saturday Lineups


Here are the lineups for Saturday's nine Grade 1 races, five at Belmont starting with the Vosburgh at 3:23 pm (all post times are Eastern time) and ending with the Jockey Club Gold Cup at 5:48 pm, followed by four at Hollywood starting with the Norfolk at 6:18 pm and ending with the Goodwood at 8:20 pm. The two columns following each horse's name are his her or her highest winning level and top Beyer Speed Figure:

At least there are no overlaps in post times for the Grade 1's, but there also are no bets linking the Belmont and Hollywood races, which would have been fun. For conflicts you have to add in the three rich Grade 2's at three other tracks: the $750k Cotillion (Blind Luck vs. 4) at Philadelphia Park (4:58 pm ET), the $500k Indiana Derby (Lookin at Lucky vs. 8) at Hoosier (6:05 pm) and the Hawthorne Gold Cup at 6:25 pm.

The Belmont quintet comprise the first five legs of the Pick-6, a sequence that concludes with a statebred maiden grass race, and there's a $500,000 guaranteed all-G1 pick-4 on the Flower Bowl, Beldame, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and Jockey Club Gold Cup.

t's raining so hard on Long Island that Belmont has already cancelled racing today amid forecasts of two to five inches of rain. It's supposed to clear up tomorrow and be sunny by Saturday, but the turf courses are likely to be quite different from the parched surfaces both here and at Saratoga.

Television coverage beyond the racing networks consists of a one-hour show from 5 to 6 pm ET on MSG+ for the Belmont races; live coverage of the Hollywood Stakes on ESPN Classic; and scheduled break-in coverage of Zenyatta in the Lady's Secret during college football on ESPN at 7:15 ET.

I'm still at that preliminary stage of my handicapping where I'm suppressing the morning line in the pp's and trying not to be influenced by anyone's opinin, but I couldn't help seeing -- and recoiling in disbelief -- at the lines for races where I thought the favorites yould be odds-on: 

*Blind Luck is listed at 7-5 with Havre de Grace at 9-5 in the Cotillion. Given that Blind Luck has twice beaten that rival at much shorter prices, I would expect her to be less than even money.

*Blame is 8-5 with Rail Trip at 5-2 in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Really? I would have thought Blame would be somewhere in 4-5 to 6-5 range coming off a victory over Quality Road in the Whitney, and with Rail Trip trying dirt for the first time and coming off a 12-week layoff.

*Whie the above two propositions are debateable, I think there's no question that a morning line of 5-2 on Lookin at Lucky in the Indiana Derby is simply preposterous. It seems highly unlikely he'd be higher than the 6-5 at which he won the Haskell, a better race against a better field than the one assembling at Indiana Downs, where his principal rivals appear to be the 3rd and 5th place finishers in the West Virginia Derby.