Looking at TVG’s generous wagering opportunity for Belmont on Friday and Saturday, I’m choosing two more races on that card to play from. The offer is this: Wager up to $10 to win on any race on Friday and Saturday at Belmont. Only the first such wager counts. If your horse runs 2nd or 3rd, you get your money back.
Here’s how I see the Met Mile, a Grade 1 event for 3YO+.
Top 3 are weak favorite Sharp Azteca, likely wiseguy horse Tommy Macho, and Tom’s Ready. Projected overlays: Virtual Machine (worst at 30-1), and Tom’s Ready.
Tommy Macho won several races first off layoff. Best turn time of the field, and this despite a slight downtick in speed figure (104 to 98, in the Grade 1 Carter at Aqueduct, 4/8).
Tom’s Ready proves to be the live overlay here. Only deep closer of the field, won last year here in the Woody Stephens, and has a few shipping wins.
Virtual Machine I have as 9-1 in my betting line, better than than morning-line of 30-1. Comes out of a 99 BRIS in the Westchester here a month ago, running 2nd all the way. That score is the 2nd of 2 consecutive small new tops.
Next is the Manhattan Stakes, 10 furlongs on Belmont’s turf, at the Grade 1 level, for 4YOs+. Top 3: big longshot Applicator, decently-favored World Approval and Sadler’s Joy. Applicator is the one overlay here. No, he hasn’t won in a year, but here’s why I like him now: best turn time gain (plus lowered speed figure) of the field. Also he’s the lone sprinter of the field. He gained in 2nd call speed between those two races. I have to think he’s built up some stamina for this one.
Sadler’s Joy has all 4 of his wins come in his last 6, including the PanAmerican at Gulfstream on 4/1 (no fooling). Bounced from 103 to 95 last time out in the Man O’ War. Owns the best turf score of the field, a 109, in a Grade 3 event at GP on 1/28. He’s essentially the pure speed of the field and set to bounce back.