Sunday Horse Racing Best Bets: Picks for Belmont, Santa Anita, Woodbine
Horsephotos/Getty Images. Pictured: 2019 Belmont Stakes
You could not ask for a better Sunday lineup of horse racing action across North America, with numerous tracks featuring big cards and deep fields taking center stage.
We are hoping to keep the momentum rolling in New York and decided to focus on today’s action at Belmont Park, which features a 10-race card, including the First Defence Stakes.
Here are the featured plays at the “Big Sandy,” along with some highlighted multi-race wagers I have thrown in for Woodbine and Santa Anita Park.
Time: 3:27 p.m. ET
This was quite a difficult race to handicap, despite featuring one of the smaller fields on the card. I see this race as a two-horse battle and give the slight edge to No. 9 Dancers For Token (5-2), who gets jockey Junior Alvarado in the irons.
The 4-year-old by Big Brown is winless in eight tries coming into this $53,000 Maiden Special Weight event, but has been knocking on the door at his first win.
Dancers For Token, who is the oldest horse in the race, has been no worse than fourth in his last four outings and has delivered the best speed figures of the entrants in his past outings. Alvarado should have his charge sitting in a perfect spot out wide coming down the lane, leading to the first win of his career.
Play Dancers For Token across the board in my Win-Place-Show wagering and on top of your exacta and trifecta wagers with No. 2 Microsecond (3-1), who goes out for trainer Todd Pletcher.
- $4 Win/Place/Show: No. 9 Dancers For Token (5-2) — $12 Ticket
- $2 exacta wager: 2/9 over 2,7,8,9,10 — $24 Ticket
- $2 trifecta wager: 2/9 over 2/8/9 over 2,7,8,9,10 — $24 Ticket
Time: 4:32 p.m. ET
My top selection in this tricky $56,000 Allowance race, scheduled for 1 1/6th miles on the turf, is No. 8 Graded On a Curve at 5-2 odds.
Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. is scheduled to ride this 4-year-old by Noble Mission, who has finished in the money (first, second or third place) in five of his six lifetime starts. Graded On a Curve has the top speed figures of the bunch and trainer Chad Brown could not have placed him in a better spot.
I am playing Graded On A Curve across the board and boxing him in an exacta with No. 2 Jack the Cat (7-2), No. 4 Dante’s Fire (8-1) and No. 7 Southern Brigade at 6-1 odds.
I am using Graded On a Curve and Southern Brigade on top of my trifecta, with the others (along with No. 3 Giant Shoes at 8-1 odds) on the back of the play.
- $7 Win/Place/Show: No. 8 Graded On a Curve (5-2) — $21 Ticket
- $2 exacta box wager: 2/4/7/8 — $24 Ticket
- $1 trifecta wager: 7/8 over 2/4/7/8 over 2/3/4/7/8 — $18 Ticket
Race 9 (FIRST DEFENCE STAKES)
Time: 5:36 p.m. ET
There are several contenders in this wide-open $80,000 stakes race, scheduled for seven furlongs on the turf course.
I am making No. 1 Flavius (7-2), who goes out from trainer Chad Brown, my top selection in the race. Flavius is coming off a fourth-place effort in the Grade II Fort Lauderdale Stakes back in December at Gulfstream Park and I like his chances off the layoff. Jockey Jose Ortiz climbs aboard the 5-year-old son of War Front and I think turning back to this distance after going longer in prior races is a smart move by Brown in this spot.
I am playing Flavius across the board in my Win-Place-Show wager and on top of my exotics with No. 4 Delaware (8-1), who is Brown’s second entry in the race. Play No. 2 Sombeyay (4-1), No. 5 Win Win Win (8-1) and No. 14 Therapist (5-1) underneath in your exacta and trifecta wagers.
- $5 Win/Place/Show: No. 1 Flavius (7-2) — $15 Ticket
- $3 exacta wager: 1/4 over 1/2/4/14 — $18 Ticket
- $1.50 trifecta wager: 1/4 over 1/2/4/14 over 1/2/4/5/14— $27 Ticket
Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Belmont Park
- Daily Double (Races 2 and 3): 1,2,4,6,7 / 4,6,8 ($2 Daily Double = $30 Ticket)
- Daily Double (Races 9 and 10): 1,2,4,14 / 1,7,8,12,13 ($2 Daily Double = $40 Ticket)
- Pick 3 (Races 8-9-10): 1,2,3,4 / 1,2,4,14 / 1,8,12,13 ($0.50 Pick 4 = $32 Ticket)
Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Woodbine
- Daily Double (Races 7 and 8): 3,7 / 1,2,4,6,8 ($2.50 Daily Double = $25 Ticket)
- Pick 3 (Races 9-10-11): 2,5,6,7 / 3,6,11 / 6,7,8,14,15 ($0.50 Pick 3 = $30 Ticket)
Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Santa Anita Park
- Pick 3 (Races 6-7-8): 1,2,4,5,6 / 3,4,6,8,9,10 / 1,5 ($0.50 Pick 3 = $30 Ticket)
- Daily Double (Races 8 and 9): 5 / 1,5,6,7,8,9,10 ($3 Daily Double = $21 Ticket)