Friday Horse Racing Best Bets & Exotics Picks: Back to Belmont (June 12)


Al Bello/Getty Images. Pictured: Belmont Park

  • Jeremy Pond breaks down some of his favorite horse racing bets for Friday, including three races at Belmont Park.
  • He's also got Daily Double and Pick 3's from Evangeline Park and Santa Anita, in addition to Belmont.
  • Get his best bets and exotics below.

The weekend slate of horse racing kicks off today, with several marquee tracks in action around the country.

We are staying put in New York and focusing on Belmont Park’s 10-race schedule, which is highlighted by the $125,000 Commentator Stakes.

Here are the premier plays at “Big Sandy,” along with some featured multi-race wagers at Santa Anita Park and on the evening schedule at Evangeline Downs.

Lets take a look at what’s on deck:


Race 4

Time: 2:55 p.m. ET

This is quite the difficult race to handicap on paper, but I am going with No. 8 Rhythm Section (5-2) as my top choice.

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. climbs in the saddle for trainer Todd Pletcher, who is hoping his charge can bounce back from a dismal last-place finish in his most recent race down at Gulfstream Park. I think that terrible showing was a fluke and Rhythm Section is primed to rebound with a victory.

Play Rhythm Section across the board in your Win-Place-Show wagering and on top of your exotics with the No. 4 Arithmetic (2-1), who is the morning-line favorite. Toss in the coupled entry of No. 1 King of Ranch and No. 1A Pretendant (4-1), No. 3 Frosted Rose (12-1) and No. 5 Torres Del Paine (6-1) on the back end of your exacta and trifecta wagers.

The bets:

  • $5 Win/Place/Show: No 8 Rhythm Section (5-2) — $15 Ticket
  • $2 exacta wager: 4/8 over 1/4/5/8 — $24 Ticket
  • $1.50 trifecta wager: 4/8 over 1/4/5/8 over 1/3/4/5/8— $27 Ticket

[Bet Belmont Race 4 now at TVG and get your first win-bet 100% risk-free up to $300.]

Race 8

Time: 5:04 p.m. ET

My top selection is No. 2 Chewing Gum (5-2) in this $68,000 Allowance Optional Claiming event, scheduled for six furlongs on the turf course.

Trainer Bill Mott is hoping the minor stretch out in distance this time around helps his standout improve off a disappointing third-place effort in his last start at Churchill Downs in Kentucky. Jockey Joel Rosario should have him sitting close to a hotly contested pace and have him rolling when they hit the top of the stretch.

I will play Chewing Gum across the board and boxing him in an exacta with No. 1 Sayyaaf (3-1), No. 3 Explorationist (8-1) and No. 11 Identity Politics at 7-2 odds. Tack on No. 9 Dirty with the others in your trifecta play.

The bets:

  • $4 Win/Place/Show: No. 2 Chewing Gum (5-2) — $12 Ticket
  • $2 exacta box wager: 1/2/3/11 — $24 Ticket
  • $1 trifecta wager: 1/2 over 1/2/3/11 over 1/2/3/9/11 — $18 Ticket

[Bet Belmont Race 8 now at TVG and get your first win-bet 100% risk-free up to $300.]

Race 9: Commentator Stakes

Time: 5:36 p.m. ET

The day’s featured race — a one-mile event for older horses — is highly competitive and several horses are live on the board.

I am backing No. 7 Mr. Buff (6-5) as my top pick. Jockey Junior Alvarado climbs aboard for trainer John Kimmel and I just think he’s the class of the field.

The 6-year-old gelded son of Friend Or Foe has won his last three races — all stakes events in New York — and recently passed the $1 million mark in career earnings. Mr. Buff will be making the 37th start of his decorated career, which includes 14 victories. He has finished in the money (win, place or show) a whopping 24 times for a 67% clip.

Mr. Buff is my play of the day and I will be going across the board with him, as well as using him on top of my exotic wagers with No. 1 Bankit at 7-2 odds. Use No. 4 Build to Suit (9-2), No. 5 Blewitt (15-1), No. 8 Pat On the Back (5-1) and No. 9 My Boy Tate (12-1) underneath on your exacta and trifecta plays.

The bets:

  • $8 Win/Place/Show: No. 7 Mr. Buff (6-5) — $24 Ticket
  • $3 exacta wager: 1/7 over 1/4/7/8 — $18 Ticket
  • $2 trifecta wager: 1/7 over 1/4/7 over 1/4/5/7/8/9 — $32 Ticket

[Bet Belmont Race 9 now at TVG and get your first win-bet 100% risk-free up to $300.]

Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Belmont Park

  • Pick 3 (Races 3-4-5): 1,4,5,7 / 1,3,4,5,8 / 2,5,13 ($0.50 Pick 3 = $30 Ticket)
  • Daily Double (Races 8 and 9): 1,2,3,4,5,9,11 / 7 ($3 Daily Double = $21 Ticket)
  • Daily Double (Races 9 and 10): 1,7 / 2,3,5,7,8,10,11 ($2 Daily Double = $28 Ticket)


Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Santa Anita Park

  • Pick 3 (Races 3-4-5): 2,3,4,6,8 / 1,2 / 3,5,7,8,9,10 ($0.50 Pick 3 = $30 Ticket)
  • Daily Double (Races 7 and 8): 3,4,5 / 2,6,7,9,13 ($2 Daily Double = $30 Ticket)

Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Evangeline Downs

  • Daily Double (Races 1 and 2): 2,3 / 3,4,5,9,10 ($2.50 Daily Double = $25 Ticket)
  • Pick 3 (Races 7-8-9): 1,2,5,6 / 3,4,5,7,9 / 2,3,7 ($0.50 Pick 3 = $30 Ticket)

[Bet Belmont now at TVG and get your first win-bet 100% risk-free up to $300.]

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