by Brian Nadeau
September 12, 2018
Belmont’s Fall Championship Meet is in full swing, so let’s see if we can get things off on the right foot and hit their Pk5. Whereas in the past I’ve put together one caveman ticket on a small-scale budget, I’m now going to try and present a bit more of an in-depth play that will utilize backup horses and tickets, while painting a broader picture of a suggested play.
*** Please take note that this analysis is done upwards of 48 hours in advance, so obviously weather, track conditions and especially late scratches can and will have an effect. Please check back around 12pm Friday for an update. ***
Race 1: 3up 12.5k Claimer at 6 ½ furlongs
The opener looks to be all about #4 RANGER IN PARADISE, who has one of my favorite angles of recent memory, and that’s playing a horse first-off the claim from Bruce Brown, as it’s been about an 19% angle, and in the 25% range sprinting on the main track. Couple all that with the fact this one is likely best anyway, and you have a single to kick off the sequence.
Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 4
The rest seem a mixed bag after the pick, though #1 OLD UPSTART has solid form against tons better, though the May layoff and stiff drop in class are obvious concerns. An outside attack post in a race without a ton of early speed will help #5 TOO FAST TO PASS, who was just a good 3rd for 16k at the Spa, though that did mark his eighth straight loss. It’s rare to see Tony Dutrow claim one, so I’m giving a second look to #2 GLOBAL POSITIONING, even though his recent form for Toscano wouldn’t be good enough here.
Pk5 B horses: 1,5,2
R2: 2yof NYB MSW at 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf
Barring something unforeseen, this looks like a match race between #6 ESPRESSO SHOT and #10 KITTY’S LEGACY, as their debut runs dwarf this field and give the impression the best is yet to come. I’ll side with the former on top, since she figures to have more tactical speed than the latter, and drew better too. ‘Legacy is a half to NYB monster Fourstar Crook, so the sky is the limit, and the fact she didn’t get bet too heavily on debut says this may have been the spot all along, so it would be no surprise to see her freak off that tightener.
Pk5 A horses: 6,10
The rest of the field seems littered with also-rans, so I’m not going to use any backups. If you are spreading deeper, then #3 Two Cent Tootsie, #4 Honorable Rose and #5 Love and Love aren’t impossible, but would have to step up several lengths to sniff the top pair.
Pk5 B horses: NONE
R3: 3upfm 16k N3L at 1-mile
The weakest race of the sequence has a tough to trust 8-pack, which is why I’m going with #8 LADY VICKI, even though she meets winners for the first time, since she enters off a sharp Saratoga win and faces several others who are in the midst of long losing streaks. A stiff drop in class and some tactical speed will help #1 MY GIRL ANNIE, and if you draw a line through that two-turn Spa allowance last time, any of her prior three make her a big threat here. What you get off a February layoff from #3 THREE THIRTY EIGHT is anyone’s guess, but it is Rice, who snags main man Jose Ortiz, which is a giant jock upgrade from Diaz this winter, though at 1-for-20 without a win on the page, she’s dicey and then some.
Pk5 A horses: 8,1,3
The left field stab is #2 QUICK ON THE DRAW, who has been abysmal in her last three and seems way off form, but there’s a chance she clears with the blinkers going on and Abreu is fast-becoming a potent force on the circuit, so just maybe she gets brave and forgets to stop at a big price.
Pk5 B horses: 2
R4: 3upfm MSW at 6 furlongs on the Widener turf
The fourth leg seems like the one where anything could happen, which is why I’ll cover all of them, in some way shape or form. the A-line will have seven; #10 VALENTINES ROMANCE, #6 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, #11 TAPPING COLORS, #8 DADDY’S MELODY, #1 RARITIES, #2 COVER MODEL and #3 SPECIAL THING, as all of them can win and have plenty of upside, so I’m just hoping I catch a price and it spices things up a bit.
Pk5 A horses: 10,6,11,8,1,2,3
PLEASE NOTE: For backup purposes, I’ll draw the line at 10,6,11,8, since using all seven would raise the prices exponentially.
The B-line uses the rest—#9 HALSEY, #4 DOMINANCE, #7 TRUE YANKEE and #5 MOVIEMAKER—since they have either decent form or untapped potential, and none would have to freak to be a player here, at big prices too.
Pk5 B horses: 9,4,7,5
Race 5: 3upfm 62.5k/N2X at 6 furlongs on the inner turf
With only six in the final leg it’s best to be narrow and hope to get alive to who you like best, and for me that’s #5 QUALITY TIME and #7 SUGAR QUEEN, as both are tactical enough to sit an up-close pressing/stalking trip in a race without a ton of speed, and the former is in sharp recent form and the latter goes for Pletcher off an October layoff, which is a big 30% angle.
Pk5 A horses: 5,7
I don’t like #3 SISTER SOPHIA’S deep-closing style, but she did get up going 5 ½ at the Spa last time, so who’s to say she can’t here going 6? I’ve never been a fan of #2 Black Canary, so if she wants to beat me with slow figures at an underlaid price, then by all means do it.
Pk5 B horses: 3
The main ticket is an easy $42 base play, which is our starting point. As you’ll see below, the backup tickets allow for some added coverage without breaking the bank, while allowing you to play you’re A-ticket for more than the minimum, should you so choose. If you combined the A and B tickets, you’d have a big $528 (4x2x4x11x3) play on your hands, so, at $158, this is a much more cost conducive way of doing business, while still allowing for plenty of margin for error.
Main Ticket: 4 with 6,10 with 8,1,3 with 10,6,11,8,1,2,3 with 5,7 = $42
R1 B Backup: 1,5,2 with 6,10 with 8,1,3 with 10,6,11,8 with 5,7 = $72
R3 B Backup: 4 with 6,10 with 2 with 10,6,11,8 with 5,7 = $8
R4 B Backup: 4 with 6,10 with 8,1,3 with 9,4,7,5 with 5,7 = $24
R5 B Backup: 4 with 6,10 with 8,1,3 with 10,6,11,8 with 3 = $12