2022 Belmont Stakes Weekend Odds, Bets Bets: Our Top Picks & Exotic Wagers for Friday’s 4 Featured Stakes Races, Including New York Stakes (June 10)
J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images. Pictured: Horses leave the gate in the 2021 Belmont Stakes.
We have reached the final weekend of horse racing's Triple Crown campaign, with all eyes focused on a New York track on Long Island that's appropriately nicknamed "Big Sandy."
The much-anticipated, two-day extravaganza at Belmont Park kicks off Friday with an 11-race lineup, highlighted by the $750,000 New York Stakes. The event will feature seven fillies and mares — 4 years old and up — running 1 1/4 miles on the venue's Inner Turf course.
We close out the showcase weekend Saturday with a huge 13-race program headlined by the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes. And as they say, good things come to those who wait, so let's keep our attention on the Friday slate that could set bettors up nicely going into the next day of races at Belmont Park.
Action Network handicapper Mike Conti has broken down Friday's slate of competitive events, delivering his top picks and exotic wagers.
That said, let's take a look at where he's landed with his favorite bets.
Our Top Picks for Friday's Card
Race 8 — Belmont Gold Cup Stakes
Distance: Two Miles
Post Time: 4:42 p.m. ET
No. 5 Strong Tide (6-1)was saving all the ground last time out in the Grade 3 Louisville Stakes at Churchill Downs before he was squeezed, forcing him to check hard down on the rail. Had that not happened, he might have run a winning race.
He should be able to get a much better trip in here at a nice price.
Graded stakes winner ABAAN returns in tomorrow's G2 Belmont Gold Cup Stakes!
Race 8, 4:42PM ET
— TVG (@TVG) June 10, 2022
Live Contenders for Exotic Wagering
No. 6 Cibolian (10-1), who is coming out of the same race as Strong Tide, had a similar troubled trip. Cibolian was caught between a number of horses and was never able to fully get going. He’s in some of the best form of his career, but with a clean trip and jockey upgrade to Flavien Prat, he stands a chance at a huge price.
No. 2 Abaan (5-2) is one of two horses to ever win going this distance. This is a much softer field than he’s faced in his last two outings as well. Abaan also has the fastest Beyer Speed figures in the race. Putting all of these factors together, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win, but his morning-line odds are too short to justify putting him on top.
Conti's Bets: Win — No. 5 Strong Tide (6-1)
Daily Double: 5 | 6 & 3
Pick 4 (Races 8 through 11): 2, 5, 6 | 3 | 2, 3 | 1, 5, 12
Race 9 — True North Stakes
Distance: 6 1/2 Furlongs
Post Time: 5:17 p.m. ET
No. 3 Jackie's Warrior (2-5)is far and away the classiest horse in this field. He comes in with 10 wins from 14 career starts, with nine of those victories coming against graded-stakes company. Jackie's Warrior is also the fastest horse in the field. Being he's such a heavy favorite, the only way to find value is to single him in multi-race wagers.
Conti's Bets: Pass (see Daily Double & Pick 4 wagers)
Race 10 — New York Stakes
Distance: 1 1/4 Miles
Surface: Inner Turf
Post Time: 5:50 p.m. ET
No. 2 Rougir (6-5)is making the second start of her 4-year old campaign. She won last time out over this same Belmont turf course as well. Rougir showed a great turn of foot coming for home and was wrapped up to win by three lengths in the end. While there isn’t much pace signed on, Rougir should sit a stalking trip and relish the additional distance she gets in this race.
Live Contender for Exotic Wagering
No. 3 Virginia Joy (3-1) won in a romp last time out when she defeated three other rivals by more than 14 lengths. While that margin of victory was impressive, she didn’t face much and it was over a yielding turf course.
Even though neither of those will hold true in this spot, she has the ability to be forwardly placed, and as previously mentioned, there isn’t much pace in here. That said, this is going to be to her advantage. She also has the highest Beyer figure last time out and the top overall Beyer number of any contender.
Conti's Bet: Win — No. 2 Rougir (6-5)
— NYRA (🌳) (@TheNYRA) June 10, 2022
Race 11 — Intercontinental Stakes
Distance: 6 Furlongs
Post Time: 6:22 p.m. ET
No. 5 Jouster (12-1)is coming in off a good sixth-place finish in her most recent race. While that might seem odd, she was pinched back to last, but was able to fly home late.
Jouster will be making her third start off the layoff and of her 4-year-old campaign. When you take into account this is her second try sprinting on the grass, along with her Beyer figures from the last two outings, she has a solid chance to light up the tote board with a better trip.
Live Contenders for Exotic Wagering
No. 1 Star Devine (10-1) comes out of the same race as Jouster and ran a more respectable second. While she finished ahead of Jouster, she had no excuses that day and just wasn’t good enough.
This will be second start for Star Devine off an 8-month layoff, so it wouldn’t be surprising if she took another step forward. Her running style should also have her in the mix from the get-go, but the rail post position could cause her problems if she doesn’t get away cleanly.
No. 12 Nevisian Sunrise (8-1) is facing graded-stakes company for the first time. Although it’s a step up in class, she is trained by one of the best in the business in Chad Brown.
Nevisian Sunrise will be making her second start after a 10-month layoff and was able to win first off the bench last time out. That was also the first time she had shown the ability to go gate to wire. Her versatility will be key in this spot, especially given her post positon. It’s too attractive of a price given her versatility and connections to leave her off the ticket.
Conti's Bets: Win — No. 5 Jouster
Exacta Box: 1 | 5 | 12
The @BelmontStakes post positions and ML odds are set! 🗽 💮
Who do you like to take down the "Test of the Champion" and third leg of the Triple Crown? pic.twitter.com/Fhl3aZQdv5
— TwinSpires Racing 🏇 (@TwinSpires) June 7, 2022
2022 Belmont Stakes Odds
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