by Brian Nadeau
May 26, 2017
With two thirds of the Triple Crown behind us, and a brief lull until the Belmont Stakes, let’s try to pad the bankroll by playing Belmont’s Pk5 Friday afternoon.
Race 1: 2yo MSW at 5 furlongs on the turf
A tough race that will warrant some tote inspection to see who is live and taking money, but on the face of it it looks like a spread race, with firsters #6 FAST BOAT, #4 MORRISON, #7 ARAWAK, #5 HEMP HEMP HURRAY and #2 SIDD FINCH all long on pedigree, connections and, quite possibly, talent. I’ll use them all and hope to get through, as the proven runners just don’t inspire at all.
Pk5 horses (in order of preference): 6-4-7-5-2
Race 2: 3upfm optional-claimer at 1 1/16 miles on the turf
The long layoff is a bit of a concern for #3 WEKEELA, and obviously she is prepping for something much bigger down the road, but she’s every bit of 2/5 off a trio of GI runs in the US last year and simply lays over what looks like a very modest field on paper, so she’s an easy single. If you’re looking to get cheeky and play against her, then #2 DESIREE CHERRY also drops in class and should get first run, but her recent form hasn’t been much and she’s just not in the same league as the chalk.
Pk5 horses: 3
Race 3: 3upfm NYB MSW at 7 furlongs on the turf
I’ll come back to #7 SPRING FOLLY, who I played in her debut and may well have won if she had gotten out of traffic earlier in the stretch, though sadly the 12-1 is going to be replaced by about 9-5 today. However, she’s no single, as #1a BARBIE ON A BUDGET has a big pedigree and looks primed for her turf debut after showing some talent in a pair of dirt starts. You have to think #5 SWEET AUGUST LADY can run some too, a she’s by City Zip and they paid 250k for her as a yearling, plus Chad Brown can do no wrong these days and she’s got plenty of works for this.
Pk5 horses: 7-1a-5
Race 4: 3upfm MCL (20k) at 7 furlongs
It just seems too easy to take #2 THIRTYDAYSINJUNE and move on, but the gut says she’s a bit of a false favorite and may be dressed up off some “big” figures of late. It’s also a bit worrisome that Randi Persaud is an icy 0-for-18 at the meet, so while the drop is big and the field is wretched, let’s use one more with her. And that brings us to #4 COMMUNION MONEY, who has one competitive race showing, but it also happens to be the only one that was on a fast track since being transferred to Gary Contessa, and against this group, that may be good enough.
Pk5 horses: 4-2
Race 5: 3up claimer (40k) at 6 furlongs
I’m taking a bit of a contrarian view here and playing against the favorites, as there’s a lot of sped entered and they make up most of it, so I’m hoping this one falls apart in the lane and the stalker/closers rule the day. Maybe it’s overthinking things, but seeing Javier Castellano get aboard #6 TOO FAST TO PASS for 3-for-44 Oscar Barrera seems noteworthy, and the latter does show a couple wins off the claim and this veteran can sit the right kind of trip too. As can #5 SIR BOND and #4 LOS BORRACHOS, who enter in good form and have shown they can pass horses in the lane, which is what I’m looking for.
Pk5 horses: 6-5-4
The ticket: 6-4-7-5-2 with 3 with 7-1a-5 with 4-2 with 6-5-4 ($45)