Horse Racing Picks for Wednesday, June 3: Best Bets, Exotics and Longshots for Belmont Park’s Return
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Marquee horse racing has finally returned to New York, with Belmont Park kicking off its campaign and highlighting the day’s action around the country.
There are several deep fields on the 10-race card, which features the $100,000 Grade III Beaugay Stakes.
The jockey colony that is usually on the scene for the New York summer season is intact, led by Irad Ortiz Jr., Javier Castellano, John Velazquez and Jose Ortiz.
Lets take a look at today’s featured plays at Belmont Park, along with some highlighted multi-race wagers I have tossed in at Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs:
New to Horse Racing?
For those of you that might be new to horse racing, the wagering pools are pari-mutuel, which means that, unlike in sports betting, you aren’t trying to beat the house but rather the public at large. The key to long-term success in betting the ponies is being disciplined in identifying value in the pools.
Speed Ratings and Beyer Speed Figures
Speed ratings are relative performance indicators that allow us to compare performances across tracks where not all factors are even. Some tracks might be naturally faster like Gulfstream or Santa Anita, where the surfaces are harder, compared to a track like Belmont or Aqueduct, where the surfaces are generally a bit deeper.
They also account for the condition of the track as most horses will travel slower over softer ground. This means that simply comparing times is ineffective as they need some kind of leveling factor.
That’s what is built into speed ratings and they give a nice, although imperfect indicator of relative performance and ability.
A relative strength index for the field of a specific race. This gives you an idea of the level of the competition the horse was facing, as it can vary wildly from track to track even with the same win conditions.
How often do favorites win in horse racing?
Generally speaking, the favorite in horse racing wins at about a 35% rate but that number varies depending on the number of horses in the field. Armed with that knowledge you might want to just pick the favorites, frequently known as the chalk, but a closer look at the implied odds shows that you’d need average odds of 2-1 or better to break even on “win” bets.
So, in order to profit horseplayers must pick and choose the horses that they feel have a better chance to win than their implied odds, which is known as positive expected value (+EV). Expected value is not unique to horse racing and something that all bettors should get familiar with if they want to succeed.
Time: 3:59 p.m. ET
You really couldn’t ask for a more wide-open event in this $66,000 Allowance event for fillies and mares, going 1 1/16th miles on the turf course.
I am looking for a bit of a price here and making No. 12 English Soul (5-1) my top pick. Trainer Jack Sisterson has named jockey Jose Ortiz to ride English Soul, who is actually winless on the surface. However, she has been a model of consistency and has the speed to has her in the middle of the top contenders.
Her third-place effort in the Grade 3 Cardinal back in November at Churchill Downs was something she can build on and I expect a big performance in this spot.
Play English Soul across the board and on top of your exotic wagers with No. 1 Passive Investing (3-1), who gets Castellano in the saddle. Throw No. 3 Madita (7-2), No. 5 Xanthique (8-1) and No. 7 Bareeqa (5-1) on the back end of your exacta and trifecta wagers.
- $4 Win/Place/Show: No. 12 English Soul (5-1) — $12 Ticket
- $2 exacta wager: 1/12 over 1/3/5/12 — $18 Ticket
- $1 trifecta wager: 1/12 over 1/3/5/12 over 1/3/5/7/12 — $18 Ticket
Time: 4:32 p.m. ET
Another large field heads to the gate in this six-furlong race on the dirt for maiden claimers.
I am taking a shot with No. 10 Inside Info (4-1), who gets Castellano aboard for trainer Brad Cox. Inside Info put together a decent effort in a stakes event up at Finger Lakes in his last outing and could be sitting on an improved effort against this mediocre bunch.
This is the first race for Inside Info in the Cox barn, so I am cautiously optimistic about his chances. Play him in your Win-Place-Show wagering and on top of your exotics with No. 11 Forest Spirit at 5-1 odds.
I am tacking on No. 4 Bronze Lion (10-1), No. 6 Mr. Fidget (10-1) and No. 9 Lorenzen (6-1) underneath in my exacta and trifecta wagering.
- $5 Win/Place/Show: No. 10 Inside Info (4-1) — $15 Ticket
- $3 exacta wager: 10/11 over 4/6/9/10/11 — $24 Ticket
- $2 trifecta wager: 10/11 over 6/10/11 over 4/6/9/10/11 — $24 Ticket
Time: 5:04 p.m. ET
My top selection in this race is No. 11 Hidden Scroll (5-2), who is the morning-line favorite in this $68,000 Allowance Optional Claiming scheduled to run on the turf course.
I can’t tell you how many times this colt has burned me at the window, but he is trying the grass for the first time in his career and I actually like the move. Trainer Bill Mott is as good as it gets when it comes to getting horses ready for big turf efforts, so I am going to give him another chance in this affair.
Hidden Scroll has the pedigree underneath to shine in his grass debut and gets the Hall of Fame jockey Velazquez in the irons. I am playing him across the board in Win-Place-Show wagering and top of my exotics with No. 10 Value Proposition at 7-2 odds. Use No. 5 Arthur Kitt (8-1), No. 7 Dream Friend (6-1) and No. 12 Cross Border (4-1) underneath in your exacta and trifecta wagers.
- $7 Win/Place/Show: No. 11 Hidden Scroll (5-2) — $21 Ticket
- $3 exacta wager: 10/11 over 5/7/10/11 — $18 Ticket
- $2 trifecta wager: 10/11 over 5/10/11 over 5/7/10/11/12— $24 Ticket
Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Belmont Park
- Daily Double (Races 2 and 3): 1,2,7,8 / 1,2,3,5 ($1.50 Daily Double = $24 Ticket)
- Daily Double (Races 5 and 6): 1,9,10,12 / 1,3,5,12 ($2 Daily Double = $32 Ticket)
- Pick 3 (Races 6-7-8): 1,3,5,12 / 6,9,10,11 / 5,7,10,11,12 ($0.50 Pick 3 = $40
- Pick 4 (Races 7-8-9-10): 6,9,10,11 / 5,7,10,11,12 / 1,3 / 1,3,7 ($0.50 Pick 4 = $60 Ticket)
Picks for Gulfstream, Tampa Bay Downs
Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Gulfstream Park
- Pick 3 (Races 3-4-5): 6 / 1,2,4,6,7,11 / 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,9 ($0.50 Pick 3 = $24 Ticket)
- Daily Double (Races 7 and 8): 1,3,9,11 / 1,4,6 ($2 Daily Double = $24 Ticket)
Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Tampa Bay Downs
- Daily Double (Races 1 and 2): 1,3,6 / 2,3,6,8 ($2.50 Daily Double = $30 Ticket)
- Pick 3 (Races 6-7-8): 1,3,7,9 / 3,5,8 / 1,2,3,7,8 ($0.50 Pick 3 = $30 Ticket)