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Horse Racing Picks for Belmont Park (Thursday, June 4): Best Bets, Longshots and Exotics

Horse Racing Picks for Belmont Park (Thursday, June 4): Best Bets, Longshots and Exotics article feature image

Al Bello, Getty Images. Pictured: Irad Ortiz

  • Looking for horse racing picks for Thursday's card at Belmont Park? You've come to the right place.
  • Opening Day at Belmont led to some profits, and Jeremy Pond has three more races covered for you this afternoon at Belmont.
  • Check out his picks for Race 5, Race 8 and Race 9 (the Tiller Stakes), as well as his full card including a few daily doubles and Pick 3s.

Opening Day at Belmont Park could not have gone any better for us and the hope is we can deliver similar results on today’s card at the legendary New York track.

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. also kicked off his Belmont campaign on Wednesday in style, storming home to five victories on the 10-race program. There was a nice mix of winners in terms of payouts as well, which generated some decent prices on multi-race wagers throughout the opener.

We are hoping for more success during today’s lineup of action, with 10 races scheduled — including the Tiller Stakes — at Belmont Park.

Lets take a look at today’s featured plays at Belmont Park, along with some highlighted multi-race wagers I have tossed in for Churchill Downs and the evening card at Charles Town.

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.

Class Rating

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.

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Belmont Park Picks 

Race 5

Time: 3:27 p.m. ET

This is the toughest race to handicap on the entire card, as several horses hold a shot in this Allowance Optional Claiming event going seven furlongs on the turf course.

The coupled entry of No. 1 Clara Peeters and No. 1A Stone Tornado (9-5) are the deserved morning-line favorites, but I am going to take a shot with No. 2 Kreesie (5-1) to pull off the minor upset.

Jockey Eric Cancel climbs aboard the daughter of Cosmonaut for trainer David Donk, who had his charge rolling at the close of last year’s campaign. She prefers going slightly longer, but I am banking on the idea she will maintain that 2019 form on the same course she triumphed on back in October.

Kreesie has finished in the money 13 times in 19 starts, which tells you she is usually in the mix coming down the stretch.

I am playing her across the board in my Win-Place-Show wagering and doing boxing her in an exacta with No. 1/1A entry at 9/5 odds, No. 6 Hannah’s Smile (8-1) and No. 8 Devant at 10-1 odds. Use Kreesie and the entry on top of your trifecta wager, with Hannah’s Smile, Devant and No. 7 Lady Lawyer (6-1) underneath on the play.

The bets:

  • $4 Win/Place/Show: No. 2 Kreesie (5-1) — $12 Ticket
  • $2 exacta box wager: 1/2/6/8 — $24 Ticket
  • $1 trifecta wager: 1/2 over 1/2/6/8 over 1/2/6/7/8 — $18 Ticket

[Bet No. 2 Kreesie now at TVG and get your first win-bet 100% risk-free up to $300.]

Race 8

Time: 5:04 p.m. ET

I am making No. 5 Basquiat (5-2) my top selection in this $66,000 Allowance event, scheduled for 1 1/16th miles on the dirt track.

Trainer Chad Brown had to like what he saw from Basquiat, a son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, in his April 25 maiden score on debut at Gulfstream Park. Ortiz Jr. gets in the irons for the race and should have no issue handling this bunch in his second career start.

I am playing Basquiat across the board and on top of my exacta and trifecta wagers with No. 6 Mystic Guide at 3-1 odds. Use No. 1 Will Sing For Wine (8-1), No. 3 Tap It To Win (4-1) and No. 8 Country Grammer (4-1) on the back end of the wagers.

The bets:

  • $5 Win/Place/Show: No. 5 Basquiat (5-2) — $15 Ticket
  • $3 exacta wager: 5/6 over 1,3,5,6,8 — $24 Ticket
  • $2 trifecta wager: 5/6 over 3,5,6 over 1,3,5,6,8 — $24 Ticket

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

Race 9: The Tiller Stakes

Time: 5:36 p.m. ET

This is the featured race of the day, with several top-notch contenders going 1 3/8th miles on the turf course.

I am going with No. 8 Sadler’s Joy (5-2) as my top selection and gets jockey Javier Castellano in the saddle. The former Grade I winner is taking a drop in class after a disappointing third-place effort in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes back in February at Gulfstream Park.

Sadler’s Joy loves this distance and is primed for a rebound performance against this talented contingent of rivals.

Play Sadler’s Joy across the board and with No. 1 Standard Deviation (4-1) on top of your exotic wagers, with No. 5 Dot Matrix (10-1), No. 11 Current (12-1) and No. 13 Channel Maker (9-2) underneath those plays.

The bets:

  • $7 Win/Place/Show: No. 8 Sadler’s Joy (5-2) — $21 Ticket
  • $3 exacta wager: 1/8 over 1/5/8/13 — $18 Ticket
  • $2 trifecta wager: 1/8 over 1/5/8 over 1/5/8/11/13— $24 Ticket

[Bet No. 8 Sadler’s Joy now at TVG and get your first win-bet 100% risk-free up to $300.]

Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Belmont Park

  • Daily Double (Races 3 and 4): 1,2,6,8 / 2,3,4,7 ($1.50 Daily Double = $24 Ticket)
  • Daily Double (Races 9 and 10): 1,5,8,13 / 1,2,9,10 ($2 Daily Double = $32 Ticket)
  • Pick 3 (Races 3-4-5): 1,2,6,8 / 2,3,4,7 / 1,2,6,7,8 ($0.50 Pick 3 = $40 Ticket)
  • Pick 3 (Races 8-9-10): 3,5,6,8 / 1,5,8,13 / 1,2,9,10 ($0.50 Pick 4 = $32 Ticket)

Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Churchill Downs

  • Pick 3 (Races 1-2-3): 1,2,7 / 1,2,3,4,7 / 4,5,6,8,9 ($0.50 Pick 3 = $37.50 Ticket)
  • Daily Double (Races 7 and 8): 1,2,3,5,6,8,9,10 / 6 ($3 Daily Double = $24 Ticket)

Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Charles Town

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

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