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Weekly Bankroll Builder: How I'm Betting the Big Belmont Friday Pick 5

by Brian Nadeau

June 6, 2018

With all eyes this weekend on Belmont Park and Justify’s Triple Crown bid, let’s see if we can build the bankroll for Saturday by playing the Friday Pk5, a week removed from our backup $6 play hitting for $781. Whereas in the past I’ve put together one caveman ticket on a small-scale budget, going forward I’m 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 36 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: 4up 100k/N4L going 1 1/16 miles on the Widener turf

It appears that Chad Brown has this field over a barrel with #6 TICONDEROGA (5-2) and #8 ALMANAAR (9-5) and they’re both A’s, though the former has the recency edge having started twice this year, while the latter, a GI winner when last seen in February 2017, is prepping and likely wants a bit longer too.

Pk5 A horses (listed in order of preference): 6,8

No one here is really in the league of the top-2, but I’ll get a little extra coverage with #5 AQUAPHOBIA (9-2), who was just 3rd in a good race and has some tactical speed to sit close to what looks like a modest pace at best.

Pk5 B horses (listed in order of preference): 5

Race 2: 3upfm NYB MSW going 6 furlongs on the inner turf

It looks like Joe Sharp is bringing in a runner in #6 MAMA MARY (5-1), who has worked huge in the AM and meets a weak field for her unveiling, and figures to be bet at least in half, if not more, from this incorrect ML. The wide draw and September layoff won’t help #11 CARRERA CAT (9-2), but she did show talent at 2, when she was running as fast as all the proven runners have done at 3. The same can be said for #7 LULU’S POM POM (7-2), who burned a lot of money last year, but ran well too, though she’s got her own November layoff to deal with.

Pk5 A horses: 6,11,7

It would be cool to see good guy John Hertler get a win and #4 BARREL OF DESTINY (10-1) was a decent 2nd in her lone turf sprint start and will close. I’m not sold on either #9 CAITRIONA (12-1) or #2 UNPARALLED (8-1), but both have shown some talent and wouldn’t be impossible in a race there for the taking, especially if the (expected) hot firster doesn’t fire.

Pk5 B horses: 4,9,2

Race 3: 4upfm GIII Bed o’ Roses going 7 furlongs

Three of these are cross-entered in Saturday’s GI Ogden Phipps, but by all accounts #2 AMERICAN GAL (9-5) is running here, and that spells trouble for the rest, because she just beat her two main rivals easily in Churchill’s GI Humana and simply looks too good. She’s the lone A should she start and is good enough that there will be no backups. However, should she scratch, then things really open up and #6 LEWIS BAY (4-1) would be preferred over potential scratch #1 IVY BELL (7-2), based more on her post than anything, even though the latter beat her last time in the Humana. Belmont lover HIGWAY STAR (8-1), who is 8-5-2-1 locally, is also entered Saturday but fits better here and becomes a player if ‘Gal defects.

Pk5 A horses: 2

Pk5 B horses: NONE

Race 4: 3up 62.5k/N2X going 6 furlongs on the Widener turf

There’s a ton of speed entered, so I want someone with a rating gear, and #9 EXPECTED RULER (10-1) will suffice, as he’s been doing the route thing of late and will be run off his feet early, which isn’t a bad thing, and while he needs to run a lifetime best, the risk/reward will be there. There’s a good chance #5 DOWSE’S BEACH (6-1) is not the same horse he once was, but he needed his comeback at an unfamiliar mile distance, drops, and is another who can settle , at least a bit, early. If someone on the lead is going to last, it’s going to be #3 SANDY’Z SLEW (2-1), who freaked when winning last time, but I’m not counting on it right back at short odds, so I’ll use him as a defensive A.

Pk5 A horses: 9,5,3

The wildcard is #7 ABIDING STAR (15-1), who figures a heck of a lot lower than this ML, but should still offer value, has some big turf figures to fall back on and is a router cutting back, which means he too can trip out nicely off all the speed.

Pk5 B horses: 7

Race 5: 2yo Tremont going 5 ½ furlongs

It’s a bit surprising that a 2yo stakes dash doesn’t have a ton of speed, but that’s the case here, which is why I like #6 SIR TRUEBADOUR (2-1), who wired impressively on debut at CD and drew a perfect outside attack post here. Seeing a 2yo close ground on debut is always encouraging, and that’s what #4 OUTSHINE (7-2) did here for Pletcher, and though he did it in the slop, he should love the added ground. Wesley Ward has seemingly won every 2yo they’ve run this year and he elects to start the filly #7 MAE NEVER NO (9-5), who closed herself on debut here and figures. Pletcher ships #2 SOMBEYAY (6-1) up from GP after a sharp rallying debut win, and he too is a big threat.

Pk5 A horses: 6,4,7,2

Pk5 B horses: NONE

The main A ticket is 2x3x1x3x4 for $36, and that’s our starting point. But by adding in our B horses in with the A’s in the other legs, we can get more coverage and allow for some margin for error too. As you’ll see below, the backups tickets are a more cost conducive way of getting added coverage, without breaking the bank; if we played both the A’s and the B’s together, the ticket (3x6x1x4x4) would cost $144, which essentially makes the stronger opinions the same as the weaker ones. I’m also an advocate of playing you’re A ticket for $1 (or more), so you capitalize if you handicap it out of the park.

My Tickets

Main Ticket: 6,8 with 6,11,7 with 2 with 9,5,3 with 6,4,7,2 = $36
R1 B Backup: 5 with 6,11,7 with 2 with 9,5,3 with 6,4,7,2 = $18
R2 B Backup: 6,8 with 4,9,2 with 2 with 9,5,3 with 6,4,7,2 = $36
R4 B Backup: 6,8 with 6,11,7 with 2 with 7 with 6,4,7,2 = $12