Race 8 at Belmont – Post Time 4:40 PM Eastern

Superfecto, Mystic Night, Doubly Blessed and Family Biz are the win contenders.

Superfecto drops in class off a third of seven finish in the Grade 3 Ghostzapper Stakes in late March, a two turn race. This 1 1/16 mile trip at Belmont is around one turn, so the horse’s most representative effort came in a one turn mile race on January 6 which followed a two month layoff nearly identical to the one he’s returning from today. He won that race by almost six lengths with a tremendous 112 Equibase Figure, which only one other horse (Mystic Night) has earned. John Velazquez rides the colt and his last two works at Belmont since shipping from Florida signal he’s going to fire a big shot fresh so opening at 6/1 he gets top billing.

Mystic Night opens at half the odds (3/1) as Superfecto but he must be used as a win contender on any double or other multiple-race tickets we play as well as on an exacta tickets. He won back-to-back in January and March, the first of the two a one-turn mile with Franco up, who also rode him back when he won at nine furlongs in March. The 112 figure from that last race is tied with the 112 Superfecto earned in his January win and much higher/faster than any of the others and as he earned the win in January off a two month layoff this two month layoff is of no concern.

Doubly Blessed ran in an identical race to this one on April 30, in which he stalked the early pacesetter in second, took over with an eighth of a mile to go, and was beaten a half-length at the end. He was SIX lengths clear of the next horse and two before that in a one-turn mile at Aqueduct he won by four, which was his third win in a row. Having proven to be highly competitive and only a half-length shy of winning under these conditions just four weeks ago, Doubly Blessed is another to be considered a contender at the least to be part of the exacta in this race.

Family Biz is the most accomplished horse in the field with 31 races including six wins. The BEST of those came in his most recent race on April 10, a one-turn mile at Aqueduct in which he rallied fast from fourth and drew off handily at the end. Cancel has been up for his last two wins and rides back so from a good outside post if there’s pace to run at, Family Biz could win his second in a row.

Handicapper Picks

Win: Superfecto to win at odds of 3 to 1 or more.

In the chance any of the other three are near 5 to 1 at post time, I would make a second win bet without hesitation.

When making multiple win bets, use a “Dutching” tool to do the work of allocating your wagering dollars for the best edge. A Dutching tool lets you set the amount you want to bet or the amount you want to win, then based on the odds your bets are proportioned accordingly. Amwager has a great dutching tool available, among many other great features.

Exacta: Box Superfecto, Doubly Blessed, Mystic Night and Family Biz

Doubles:

Race 8: Superfecto, Doubly Blessed, Mystic Night and Family Biz

Race 9: Step Dancer, Shaftesbury, Hard Love, Public Sector, Safe Conduct

Race 8: Superfecto

Race 9: Step Dancer, Shaftesbury, Hard Love, Public Sector, Safe Conduct

Race 8: Superfecto, Doubly Blessed, Mystic Night and Family Biz

Race 9: Shaftesbury, Public Sector, Safe Conduct

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Pennine Ridge Stakes – Race 9 at Belmont – Post Time 5:12 PM Eastern

Shaftesbury, Safe Conduct and Public Sector are the win contenders.

We’re still in the first half of the year and particularly on turf that means three year olds can make the transition from maiden to stakes successfully. That’s exactly what I think Shaftesbury can do in the Pennine Ridge. After debuting in a turf sprint in December, Shaftesbury finished second in three straight routes before winning easily last month. The pattern of improvement from an 84 Equibase Speed Figure to 93 then to 99 suggests he’s ready for this level and it’s a very good sign that North American leading jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. rides back after being in the saddle for all five career races to date. To put that last race 99 figure into perspective, it is on par with the figure Hard Love earned winning the Woodhaven Stakes one week before Shaftesbury earned his win. Better still, Shaftesbury is bred to be a real rock star on the grass. A STATS Race Lens dam statistics query easily reveals his dam has produced a total of four turf route winners from six foals. The other three besides Shaftesbury have won 13 races between them and one of them was multiple graded stakes winner Lochte, who banked over three-quarters of a million dollars. With a great inside post to save ground and a big late kick, Shaftesbury appears capable of going from maiden winner to stakes winner in this year’s Pennine Ridge Stakes.

Safe Conduct earned the same 99 figure winning his most recent race as Shaftesbury and Hard Love, that win coming in an allowance race on the Belmont turf course earlier this month. After beginning his career on dirt in a sprint, Safe Conduct took to grass like a duck takes to water last summer winning a turf route at Saratoga in his second career start. Given time off to mature, Safe Conduct returned seven months later to finish second in March before the effort on May 2, which if repeated, gives him every right to run well enough to win.

Public Sector closed from fifth to second in the race won by Safe Conduct earlier this month, earning a career-best 95 figure likely to be improved upon as he makes his second start following six months off. Public Sector won in his career debut in a turf route at Saratoga last summer, no easy task, then finished second in the Pilgrim Stakes in October before a poor 12th place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Stakes. Maturing nicely over the winter, Public Sector returned off the long layoff and could leapfrog over Safe Conduct as he is making his second start off the layoff which was what Safe Conduct was doing when he was victorious on May 2.

For the exacta we will use Hard Love and Step Dancer as well. There’s no denying Hard Love deserves respect off his win in the Woodhaven Stakes last month with a 99 figure but the fact that he has been off for five months makes it difficult to consider him as a contender in the Pennine Ridge. Similarly, Step Dancer makes his third start off a layoff and improved from an eighth place effort in the Cutler Bay Stakes in March to miss by a nose and a neck on the wire in a highly rated allowance race last month which also earned him a 99 figure.

Handicapper Picks

Win bets: Shaftesbury and Safe Conduct at 3 to 1 or higher.

This is another race where a DUTCHING tool does us a lot of good and helps us to make a profit. A Dutching tool, like the one which is free to use at Amwager.com, saves us doing the math to determine the right wagering amounts.

Exactas (two tickets, the strategy being trying to hit both):

Shaftesbury, Public Sector and Safe Conduct over Shaftesbury, Public Sector, Safe Conduct, Step Dancer and Hard Love.

Shaftesbury, Public Sector, Safe Conduct, Step Dancer and Hard Love over Shaftesbury, Public Sector and Safe Conduct.

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Musical Romance Stakes – Race 11 at Gulfstream Park – Post Time 5:35 PM Eastern

Heiressall, Our Fantasy and Ms Meshak are the win contenders. A Bit of Both and Royal Meghan are contenders for exotic wagers, mostly because neither has won at this six and one-half furlong trip.

Heiressall gets a good outside post for this race and returns to Gulfstream Park where she won the identical Sheer Drama Stakes last September with Vasquez in the saddle as today. She also won a statebred stakes at Tampa in December and either of those efforts repeated in this field appear good enough to win, particularly as she’s put in two very sharp half-mile workouts in 47 flat coming into the race.

Our Fantasy and Ms Meshak have just little less probability to win but open at higher odds as compared to Heiressall so must be considered strongly as contenders for any bets we make involving this race. Our Fantasy has won three in a row moving from claiming to allowance and all were powerful efforts in which she drew off late. Cutting back from a mile to six and one-half furlongs gives her some extra energy late and she’s got a great stalking style. Most importantly, her last race 99 Equibase figure is the BEST last race figure in the field. Ms Meshak won dirt sprints on both sides of a May, 2020 to March, 2021 layoff and her last effort is irrelevant as it was on grass. She also won the identical Added Elegance Stakes earlier in her career and has every right to return to top form back on the GP dirt where she’s earned seven of her eight career wins.

Handicapper Picks

Win bets: Heiressall and Our Fantasy to win 5 to 2 or higher.

Consider a win bet for a smaller amount on Ms Meshak at 7 to 2 or more.

Exactas:

Heiressall, Our Fantasy and Ms Meshak over Heiressall, Our Fantasy and Ms Meshak, A Bit of Both and Royal Meghan.