Thursday Horse Racing Picks & Best Exotic Bets: I Love Jaxson Can Handle Step Up in Class
Horsephotos/Getty Images. Pictured: 2019 Belmont Stakes
Things continue to get back to normal in the world of horse racing, with pretty much all North American tracks back in action.
We are highlighting today’s card at Belmont Park, which features several deep and interesting fields on its 10-race lineup to open a very exciting week of racing in New York, capped by the Belmont Stakes on Saturday evening.
Here are the featured plays at “Big Sandy,” along with our numerous multi-race wagers on the afternoon slate at Indiana Grand and the evening schedule at Evangeline Downs.
We enjoyed plenty of success via our vertical plays on Wednesday at Gulfstream Park, Indiana Grand and Evangeline Downs, so we are hoping for more of that success today.
Lets take a look at our featured races:
Time: 3:59 p.m. ET
I am backing No. 2 Spitball (7-2), who goes out for trainer Linda Rice, in this $39,000 Maiden Claiming event that is scheduled for six furlongs on the Inner Turf course.
Jockey Jose Ortiz will be in the saddle for Spitball, who is making the switch from dirt to turf in his second career start. Rice is one of the strongest trainers in the game when making that surface switch with non-winners and I think Spitball will relish the change.
Play Spitball across the board in your Win-Place-Show wagering and use him on top of your exotics with No. 6 Not So Easy (6-1), who is trained by David Donk. Tack on No. 3 Quid (9-2), No. 8 Hostile Witness (10-1), No. 9 Onthewingsoflou (12-1) and No. 10 Shandian (15-1) underneath in your exacta and trifecta wagers.
- $4 Win/Place/Show: No. 2 Spitball (7-2) — $12 Ticket
- $2 exacta wager: 2/6 over 2/3/6/8 — $24 Ticket
- $2 trifecta wager: 2/6 over 2/3/6/8 over 2/3/6/8/9/10 — $32 Ticket
Time: 4:32 p.m. ET
This is a difficult $68,000 Allowance Optional Claiming event, slated for 1 1/16 miles on the dirt track.
Only six horses are slated to enter the starting gate, but I am going with No. 6 I Love Jaxson at 5-2 odds. The 5-year-old colt sired by Flat Out has been in unreal form, winning five of his last six starts. This is another talented horse trained by Rice, who steps him up in class for this affair against slightly better competition.
Jockey Jose Lezcano can put I Love Jaxson anywhere he wants early on and should get the trip he desires.
I am using I Love Jaxson across the board and on top of my exacta and trifecta wagers with No. 1 Its All Relevant (9-5), who is the morning-line favorite. Throw No. 3 Prioritize (6-1), No. 4 Proven Reserves (7-2) and No. 5 Winston’s Chance (5-1) in your exotic plays as well.
- $5 Win/Place/Show: No. 6 I Love Jaxson (5-2) — $15 Ticket
- $2 exacta box wager: 1/4/5/6 — $24 Ticket
- $1.50 trifecta wager: 1/6 over 1/4/5/6 over 1/3/4/5/6— $27 Ticket
Race 9: Critical Eye Stakes
Time: 5:36 p.m. ET
On paper, this really looks like a two-horse race in this $125,000 stakes event slated to go a mile on the dirt.
The favorites — No. 2 Ratajkowski (1-1) and No. 5 More Mischief (9-5) — are the class of the field and I am backing the latter at a slightly better price. There really isn’t much separating these two standouts, but I feel More Mischief has the better opportunity when it comes to a pace and trip scenario over the morning-line favorite.
Jockey Manny Franco climbs aboard More Mischief, who is coming off a win in the Biogio’s Rose Stakes back in February at Aqueduct. Trainer Chad Brown has really turned this filly into a powerhouse who has earned four wins, a second and third in her nine career starts. Another stakes win here could set More Mischief up for a big summer on the circuit.
I am playing More Mischief across the board and on top of my exotics with Ratajkowski. Use No. 1 English Soul (8-1), No. 3 No Hayne No Gayne (5-1) and No. 4 Mr. Orb (10-1) on the back end of your exacta and trifecta wagers.
- $8 Win/Place/Show: No. 5 More Mischief (9-5) — $24 Ticket
- $3 exacta wager: 2/5 over 1/2/3/5 — $18 Ticket
- $1 trifecta wager: 2/5 over 1/2/3/5 over 1/2/3/4/5 — $18 Ticket
Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Belmont Park
- Daily Double (Races 4 and 5): 1,3,8 / 2,3,6,9,10 ($2 Daily Double = $30 Ticket)
- Daily Double (Races 8 and 9): 1,4,5,9,10,12 / 2,5 ($3 Daily Double = $36 Ticket)
- Pick 3 (Races 8-9-10): 1,4,5,9,10,12 / 2,5 / 6,7,9,11,13 ($0.50 Pick 3 = $30 Ticket)
Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Indiana Grand
- Pick 3 (Races 1-2-3): 1,5,6 / 1,4,5 / 1,2,3,4,5,7 ($0.50 Pick 3 = $27 Ticket)
- Daily Double (Races 5 and 6): 1,5,8,10,11 / 8,10,11,12 ($1.50 Daily Double = $30 Ticket)
- Daily Double (Races 8 and 9): 1,3,6 / 2,5,7,9,10,11,13 ($2 Daily Double = $24 Ticket)
Favorite Multi-Race Wagers at Evangeline Downs
- Daily Double (Races 5 and 6): 1,2,4,5,6 / 3,4,5,7 ($1.50 Daily Double = $30 Ticket)
- Pick 3 (Races 5-6-7): 1,2,4,5,6 / 3,4,5,7 / 3,8,10,13 ($0.50 Pick 3 = $40 Ticket)