Log In

Saturday, June 5: Jeff Siegel's Belmont Stakes Full-Card Picks

by Jeff Siegel

June 5, 2021

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.

The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

Grade Descriptions: Grade A=Highest degree of confidence; Grade B=Solid Play. Grade C=Least preferred or pass; Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play.

RACE 1: Post: 11:35 ET Grade: X
Use: 3-Hagler; 4-Wit

Forecast: Wit, a $575,000 Keeneland yearling purchase and a half-brother to Longacres Mile-G3 winner Barkley, debuts for T. Pletcher following a promising series of drills both at Palm Meadows and most recently over the Belmont Park training track. This does not look like a particularly strong field so he’s sure to get plenty of play and in fact is listed as the 8/5 morning line favorite. He’s the logical top pick but if he’s truly the goods the action will show, and he’ll probably be too short to play. Hagler has the benefit of a prior run such as it was, a second place finish in a three-runner affair last month. Though he was beaten five lengths the son of Tapiture earned a good speed figure in a fast event, one that makes him strictly the one to beat. Both should be included in rolling exotic play in a race that might be best left alone.

RACE 2: Post: 12:09 ET Grade: B-
Use: 4-Migrate; 6-Pipeline; 8-Ranger Fox

Forecast: Here’s another maiden affair, this one for older state-bred runners competing over seven furlongs on grass. In a wide open heat, let’s take a stab at a price. Migrate is a first-timer by Candy Ride from the multiple stakes-producing mare Mama Tia and brought $575,000 at Keeneland as a yearling. The W. Mott-trained colt tuned up for his debut with a bullet gate work (5f, 1:00.2hg, fastest of 5) at Saratoga and before that did some good work over the deep Payson Park training track in South Florida. He’s 8-1 on the morning line and could easily be better than that. Ranger Fox is the likely choice and one to beat. The son of Nyquist missed by a neck over the local lawn last month in a legitimate race that produced a solid speed figure, and if builds on that effort today it will take something pretty good to outrun him. Pipeline was wide and green in his debut when fifth to the highly promising First Captain, and though he was beaten more than eight lengths the son of Speightstown earned a strong speed figure, one that makes him a major threat. We suspect the C. Brown-trained colt will step forward, especially with the switch to grass.

RACE 3: Post: 12:47 ET Grade: X
Use: 3-Jackie’s Warrior; 4-Dream Shake

Forecast: Jackie’s Warrior returned to top form with a gutsy win in the Pat Day Mile S.-G2 at Churchill Downs five weeks ago, has trained well since, and deserves the edge on top due in no small part to his victory over this track last fall in the Champagne S.-G1 that produced a career top speed figure. Clearly most effective around one turn, the son of Maclean’s Music should be the controlling speed once again but at 7/5 on the morning line and likely to go lower he won’t be offering much wagering value. Dream Shake, beaten a head by ‘Warrior at Churchill Downs, gets a two pound break in the weights compared to his chief rival and is guaranteed a comfortable stalking trip outside. He’ll have every chance once again will need nothing less than his “A” game.

RACE 4: Post: 1:22 ET Grade: B
Use: 3-Campaign; 8-Tizamagician; 9-Lone Rock

Forecast: Let’s zero in on a long shot in this year’s renewal of the Brooklyn S.-G2 for older stayers at a mile and one-half. Campaign, fourth but beaten less than a length in this race two years ago, hasn’t gotten involved in three 2021 marathon outings but might perk up considerably today with the addition of blinkers. The veteran son of Curlin has given himself way too much to do of late but if he be within shouting distance when the field hits the far turn he may have a shot to grind out a win. With the switch to L. Saez and at 12-1 on the morning line, the J. Sadler-trained 6-year-old may be worth a bit of a gamble. Lone Rock, vastly improved since stretching out to the longer distances, has won five of his last six starts and has the type of tactical speed that makes him tough no matter what the pace scenario turns out to be. He’s strong in the speed figure department and though moving up in class semes quite capable of competing at this level. At 9/2 on the morning line, he’s a “must use.” Tizamagician didn’t have a lot behind him when easily winning the Tokyo City S.-G3 at Santa Anita in mid-April but relishes these types of races and will be especially tough if he’s allowed to establish the pace without pressure. First or second in 10 of 16 career starts, the son of Tiznow seems certain to fire another big shot.

RACE 5: Post: 2:01 ET Grade: X
Use: 4-Dayoutoftheoffice; 6-Search Results

Forecast: Search Results had her undefeated record snapped in her fourth career start when missing in a photo to Malathaat in the Kentucky Oaks-G1 in late April in a gallant effort that produced a career top speed figure. She shortens to a one-turn mile while drawing nicely outside, and projects to inherit an ideal pace-stalking trip. The daughter of Flatter is listed at even money on the morning line and on resume deserves to be, but she’d better bring his best effort in a race that came up especially strong. Dayoutoftheoffice, the winner of the Frizette S.-G1 over this track and distance during her terrific juvenile campaign, was worn down late in the seven-furlong Eight Belles S.-G2 earlier on the Oaks program in Kentucky but makes a major jockey switch to Johnny V. and will be on or near the lead throughout. These are the two we’ll be using in our rolling exotics.

RACE 6: Post: 2:41 PT Grade: B+
Use: 6-Bound for Nowhere; 10-Stubbins; 12-Sombeyay

Forecast: This year’s renewal of the Jaipur S.-G2 for turf sprinters came up fairly contentious, but with a paucity of early speed signed on, the pace flow is difficult to predict. Bound for Nowhere certainly doesn’t need the lead to win but in a field such as this the high-class veteran may find himself enjoying an unpressured front-running trip. A perfect 1-for-1 over sprinting over the Belmont Park turf course, the son of The Factor is fast on numbers, retains J. Rosario, and is fresh from a superior winning performance in the Shakertown S.-G2 at Keeneland. He’ll get the main push in rolling exotic play, but we’ll include Stubbins and Sombeyay on a back-up ticket. The former has been away since September but has trained well enough to fire a big shot off the bench and can turn it on late if given the patient ride her prefers. The latter, a strong second in graded stakes turf sprint company in his last two outings, will have clear sailing outside and is much more dangerous than his 12-1 morning line would lead you to believe.

RACE 7: Post: 3:18 ET Grade: B
Use: 3-Letruska; 5-Shedaresthedevil; 7-Bonny South

Forecast: Shedaresthedevil may be the controlling speed, or she might find herself stalking or pressing the Apple Blossom upset winner Letruska, who also does her best running on the front end. ‘Devil is drawn outside her pace rival and can dictate the race flow, but If they hook up early, the race could set up nicely for Bonny South, the best of the closers. Any one of these three can win depending upon how the race shapes out so we’ll include all three in our rolling exotics but otherwise stay out of it.

RACE 8: Post: 3:58 ET Grade: B+
Use: 4-Regal Glory; 6-Pocket Square; 8-Althiqa

Forecast: This year’s edition of the Just A Game S.-G1 is a terrific event with a strong international flavor. Group-2 winner Althiqa arrives from Dubai following a pair of outstanding performances during the winter carnival, including a thoroughly convincing score in the Cape Verdi S-G3 over a mile in January and then a better-than-looked third place effort behind stable mate-Summer Romance in the Balanchine S.-G2 the following month. In the latter race the daughter of Dark Angel was victimized by a lack of pace and did well to finish as close as she did over a nine furlong trip that stunted her exceptional turf of foot. Clearly capable of firing a big shot fresh and with a devasting late kick that should be well served by this course and distance, the Godolphin homebred has Timeform ratings that are good enough to beat this field and at 8-1 on the morning line offers enticing value both in the win pool and in rolling exotic play. Pocket Square was a visually stunning winner of an overnight race at Keeneland in her U.S. debut and could easily be this good. She was a Group-3 winner at Deauville as a 2-year-old and rates a major chance at 5-1 on the morning line. Regal Glory has returned to elite form, winning her last pair with good stalking trips and strong speed figures, most recently the listed Plenty of Grace S. in her seasonal bow at the Big A in mid-April. One of four C. Brown entrants in the race, she was a two-time graded stakes winner at Saratoga as a 3-year-old.

RACE 9: Post: 4:42 ET Grade: X
Single: 6-Knicks Go

Forecast: Knicks Go may have found the Saudi Cup’s world class competition a bit too strong – especially when asked to go head-and-head with Charlatan and with Mishriff in the catbird seat – but the gifted son of Paynter has been given more than three months off to recover from that physically taxing assignment, shortens to a mile, faces a favorable pace picture, and lands the cozy outside box in this year’s Met Mile, making him the obvious top pick at 6/5 on the morning line. The B. Cox-trained horse has worked like he’s ready to fire his best shot, and the winner of the last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile-G1 and this winter’s Pegasus World Cup should get his confidence back against a field he’s clearly good enough to handle. It all adds up to a short price rolling exotic single.

RACE 10: Post: 5:38 ET Grade: B
Use: 4-Domestic Spending; 9-Gufo; 10-Colonial Liam

Forecast: Domestic Spending and Colonial Liam finished in a dead-heat for first in the Turf Classic-G1 over a mile and one-eighth at Churchill Downs last month and they figure to fight it out again in this year’s 10 furlong Manhattan S.-G1. They’re almost impossible to separate, but we’ll give ‘Spending a very slight edge on top this time only because of a more favorable inside draw that might lead to a better (ground-saving) trip. We’re splitting hairs, though. Gufo should be included as well. The stretch-running son of Declaration of War may be a bit pace dependent but he’s getting six pounds from the two main players and his numbers continue to rise with each outing.

RACE 11: Post: 6:49 ET Grade: B
Use: 3-Rombauer; 4-Hot Rod Charlie; 7-Rock Your World

Forecast: Rock Your World was supposed to be on the lead – or at least very close to it – when second choice in the Kentucky Derby-G1, but whatever chance he may have had went out the window two strides leaving of the gate when he was squeezed back, bobbled, and found himself near the rear of the 19-runner field in the opening furlong. We’re tossing the race out. This time, with just seven other runners to contend with, the son of Candy Ride will hopefully leave cleanly and establish the running, just as he did when trouncing the Kentucky Derby first place finisher Medina Spirit in the Santa Anita Derby-G1 two races back. A sizzling five furlong workout last week in :58 2/5 seconds (before galloping out seven furlongs in 1:25 and change) tells that J. Rosario won’t be waiting around for anybody when the latch is sprung. Rombauer was a thoroughly convincing winner of the Preakness three weeks ago while leaving his previous form far behind. If he can repat that type of performance and extend his range to the Belmont’s marathon 12 furlong distance, the son of Twirling Candy may very well be the one to fear most. He won’t be 11-1 this time, nor should he. Hot Rod Charlie doesn’t really have a turn of foot, but he acts like he will stay forever with his one-paced, grinding style sure to serve him well in this mile and one-half journey. He’s run eight times, and in every outing his speed figure has risen. With another forward move today, the son of Oxbow will be a major factor ever step of the way. As for the race’s 2-1 morning line favorite Essential Quality, you can use him if you’d like. Other than our (very slight) concern that this distance may be farther than he wants, the son of Tapit has an admirable resume and certainly should be forwardly placed and within striking range throughout.

RACE 12: Post: 7:34 ET Grade: B+
Single: 2-Runaway Rumour

Forecast: The trouble line in the past performance chart last month for debut winner Runaway Rumour does not do her justice. The extended (accurate) version of her trip note should read: “broke poorly and quickly fell back to trail, advanced on her own courage midway to move within range to the head of the lane while saving ground, found plenty of room when angling outside entering the upper stretch and then gobbled up the leaders with an electric turn of foot to win going away while being eased up in the closing stages.” Today, the daughter of Flintshire gets an extra furlong to work with, so despite the raise to the first level allowance condition she appears quite capable of winning right back from what should be a favorable inside post position. At 5-1 on the morning line, she’s a win play and rolling exotic single.

RACE 13: Post: 8:05 PT Grade: B+
Use: 1-Price Talk/1a-Value Engineering; 3-Microsecond

Forecast: The Klaravich Stable entry of Price Talk and Value Engineering could be used as a single in rolling exotic play simply because you get two for the price of one and either one could win. In fact, we half way expect they’ll finish one-two. Price Talk has speed figure that have risen with each of his five career starts and today at this nine furlong trip the son of Kitten’s Joy should again produce a career top. He’s reunited with “win rider” J. Lezcano, and though beaten as the choice in his last two starts at this level we’re expecting the 4-year-old gelding to be well-paced in the second flight and then have dead from the quarter pole home. Value Engineering is an excellent piece of insurance just in case Price Talk doesn’t step forward. The C. Brown-trained son of Lemon Drop Kid has been away since August, but his steady, healthy work tab should have him plenty fit enough for a barn that hits with 27% with layoff runners. He’s fast on numbers and has the proper second flight style that should guarantee a clean journey. Microsecond may wind up being the controlling speed, especially from the rail, and if not respected on the front end could take this field a very long way. The T. Pletcher-trained gelding was nailed right on the money vs. similar last time out but shortens up a furlong today and has shown the versatility to win from mid-pack and on the front end.