by Brian Nadeau
September 28, 2017
Since it’s been a while since I’ve taken a crack at a Pk5 in this space, I figured I’d try and one-up things by looking at Belmont’s Pk6 Thursday, which has a two-day carryover of 115k. Normally this would be an exercise in futility, especially since I try to keep things on a very affordable budget, but the Thursday card actually looks like it falls under those guidelines, so let’s give it a try.
I’m not completely confident in the first leg (R4), so I’m going to (obviously) use the favored 1-entry, as TAPELLA is clearly the horse to beat, while MY TIME has the look of one of the Bill Mott late-season Belmont firsters that is going to run. But I’ll also use #4 DEVINE UNION, who I have no trust in but should improve off a modest Saratoga return for Chad Brown and won’t have to be a freak to beat this field. My price is #3 CONSPIRING, who has shown nothing in two main track runs, but caught slop both times and has a big Phipps pedigree and will now run on the dirt with blinkers for the first time too.
I don’t think you need to go more than two-deep in R5, and if you’re on a really tight budget, you can single #7 SUNNYSAMMI, who simply seems like a better horse than she’s meeting here, and the seismic drop in class won’t hurt. But I’m also using #5 LAMONTAGNE because she’ll be ahead of the chalk early, and she goes off the Jeremiah Englehart claim, and that’s about as good an endorsement as a horse can get in my book. Plus, he nabbed her out of a win at Saratoga and rises her in class and runs her on a Belmont turf course she’s won twice over.
I'm not too sure if #3 OBJECTIVE COMPLETE is all that aggressive of a single, but I’m going that route in R6, as she obviously needed her last off the January layoff, but was a solid 4th while finishing behind a next-out winner too. Plus, the rest of the proven runners just don’t inspire, and the dangerous firster down inside for Jeremiah is by Kitten’s Joy, so I would think 6Fs is a bit too short.
R7 is a bit tricky, so I want some coverage, which is why I’ll use everyone who is logical; (in order) #4 AIRE BUENO, who should love the class drop, #6 MCILROY, who has been facing some toughies, the 1-entry, as both #1a LEWIS VALE and #1x INDEBTED are in the mix and have some solid form, and also #8 SILVER DAGGER, who gets back to the dirt off the Robertino Diodoro claim (with his assistant subbing while he’s on suspension).
The other reason I can spread a bit in R7 is because I have singles in the final two races; #5 GOING FOR BROKE in R8 and #9 SEAM IN R9. The former just looks way too good on the class drop for Chad Brown, while the latter takes the biggest plunge in racing from the MSW ranks to face maiden-claimers for Todd Pletcher. I trust Going for Broke more, but for budget purposes, they are both singles and are both legitimately odds-on and 6/5 or so.
So, there you have it, the ticket: 1-4-3 with 7-5 with 3 with 4-6-1-8 with 5 with 9 is a modest $48, but with 115k in the kitty, the less-is-more approach is a good one, and there’s nothing wrong with trying to turn $48 into $1,200 or so. And, let’s be honest, there’s a very good chance this will not hit, which is why the $48 is acceptable and just small enough to take a flier on a card that could be chalky. It’s when you take the plunge for $192 or more that you can get into trouble, as you’re really not getting all that more bang for your buck, since the respective risk/reward doesn’t add up.
Race 4: 1, 3, 4
Race 5: 5, 7
Race 6: 3
Race 7: 1, 4, 6, 8
Race 8: 5
Race 9: 9
Ticket Cost: $48.00