Laurel Park, Belmont Stakes handicapping contest entries, Enlightened Trail recap

Today a look at the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Beautiful Belmont, and a full look at my top 3 for Leg 7 in The Racing Biz’s Maryland Handicapping Series.
For the Enlightened Derby Trail tomorrow I’ll analyze the Gottstein Futurity for my new home track of Emerald Downs, right on time for closing day. I’m actually moving to Tacoma WA at some point in October.  Beyond this race, Belmont will have their opportunity to shine on both Trails, with the Champagne and Frizette Stakes on 10/4.
Here are my top 3 for the contest races at Laurel:
Race 3: 9-2-11
Race 4: 2-7-6
Race 5: 1-10-2
Race 6: 3-5-2
Race 7: 4-2-5
Race 8: 10-1-7
Race 9: 6-5-3
Race 10: 5-8-13
Race 11: 11-8-10
I selected a value horse per morning line in races 5, 7,8, 10, and 11. 7,8, and 10 I have rated very close.   The one race that’s closest to a lock is race 4.
I used jockey/trainer standings alone to judge the finale, and I used my full arsenal of variables for the others.
Race 9 at Belmont: 3-1a-5
Race 10 (see below…)
Only my top horse counts for the contest, for a mythical $2 Win-Place wager. Top money earned wins a bag of swag, top 5 win an extra entry for the grand prize of the series.
In a recap of the prior EDT race at Presque Isle, 2 of the 3 horses with prior Trails were a factor.  Less Than Perfect gets 100 points for first place and now has 125. Bourbon Cowboy adds 50 to his total, which is now 75.  Draw Night joins the trail with 25, and Breakin The Fever 10 for his 4th place finish.
TALE OF EKATI: Pleasant Tales makes her racing debut in Race 5 at Churchill, an MSW race, 37k, 7 furlongs for fillies. Already she is listed at 15-1 morning line.   Does she have a chance?  Not at all. She doesn’t measure up at all in any of the variables I use, especially considering the poor record of trainer Dallas Stewart.  I see the race run as 3-11-10  Another first-timer, False Positive, will be at Belmont in an MSW race, 60k, 1 mile.
Later today I’ll take to Twitter to present picks for Emerald and Remington.
Now for the Jockey Club Gold Cup:
Just 5 of the 12 horses seem to have any real chance. This race is 10 furlongs, 3YO+, Grade 1, $1 million:
1 MICROMANAGE won the Grade 3 Skip Away and the ungraded Birdstone. Cuts back 2 furlongs tho moves up in class, along with a rider switch to Luis Saez, Track bias in his favor: In dirt routes here, stalking horses are winning at a 39% rate. Rail horses are winning 22%.  Ping-pong movement in Brisnet speed figures: A 111 in the Brooklyn, a 96 in the Suburban, a 105 in the Birdstone, then a 98 in the Garland Cup at Parx last time out.  I’m predicting a bounceback here. ML: 20/1. My odds: 5/2. Contender at a price, and overlay.
8 TONALIST is the Belmont Stakes winner as well as the Peter Pan. Christophe Clement removes blinkers for this race. Best track performance of the field, a 108 in the Belmont. Best jockey/trainer aboard: Joel Rosario 30% wins, Clement 25%. I’ve rated this stalker as fastest of the field.  Also 3 great works here since the Travers, 2 of them were bullets, and those were on soft ground at that. My suspicion is that he’s more of a true mudder but we’re fast and firm today.  ML odds: 4/1. My odds: 8/5. Favorite, contender. Might end up being an overlay, a cheap one at that.
9 STEPHANOATSEE stretches from 9 to 10 furlongs. Hasn’t won since 2012. Best average winning distance from pedigree here (AP Indy/Oatsee, by Unbridled). Progressed in pace to score a 101 last time out in the Woodward, just ahead of his 2013 best.  ML odds: 20/1. My odds: 6/1. Outside contender, and overlay.
10 VE DAY won the Travers and the Curlin, part of a 4 race streak where he emerged from top maiden company. Keeps Javier Castellano for this race. He and Jimmy Jerkens have 2 wins and placings in the last 60 days, for an ROI of 9.13 in a small sample.  Sharp increase in speed from 92 to 102 Brisnet. 3 works at Belmont since, 1 very fast. Seems acclimated to dirt after running turf in first four. ML odds: 5/1. My odds: 6/1. Contender.
11 MORENO won the Whitney 2 races back. Junior Alvarado has 1 win and 3 placing riding for Eric Guillot in last 60 days, for 3.50 ROI.  ML odds: 7/2, listed as the lukewarm favorite.  My odds: 20/1.  Dark horse.
Top 4:
8 Tonalist
1 Micromanage
10 VE Day
9 Stephanoatsee
Overlays: 8,1
Predicting strong value upfront for this one.

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