Friday, June 4, 2010

Paulie's Picks, Belmont, 6/5/10

While it's nice to see the gate full for the Belmont Stakes, I have to say that after a closer look at the past performances the field is kind of uninspiring, sort of the best of the rest. I'm going to weakly put my support behind the favorite and second choice in the morning line, which are Ice Box and First Dude, respectively, but I'm also going to fish around for a longshot. There are thunderstorms in the forecast tomorrow, which presents some wet track possibilities; most notably Make Music For Me who rallied in the slop to round out the superfecta at this year's Kentucky Derby.

Incidentally, this year's Belmont Stakes, with no Derby winner in the field and now with the prospect of bad weather, is predicted to have an all-time low turnout and further drive the beleaguered New York Racing Association into insolvency. Yesterday, NY governor David Paterson and the NY State legislature approved a $25 million loan package to keep NYRA afloat until slot machines are installed at Aqueduct. Those slots, whose installation has been delayed for years because of the stunningly corrupt search for an an operator, are the only thing resembling a plan to save New York racing (sigh).

So that's my big Belmont Stakes analysis - not too thrilling, I know. Below are my picks for the entire card, which are subject to major revisions if the track is wet, particularly if the six grass races get moved to the main track.

1st race:
4 - Seis de Mayo
7 - I Got Swagger
6 - Camptown Blues

2nd race:
2 - Tapaline
4 - Eliza Grace
8 - Kaitlyn Ann

3rd race:
4 - Avenging Spirit
6 - Wonder Beyond
1a - Devon Rock

4th race:
7 - Ricoriatoa
8 - Tahitian Warrior
3 - Trappe Shot

5th race:
2 - Manhattan Fox
4 - Yankee Empire
3 - Strong Commitment

6th race, The Woody Stephens, G2:
5 - D'Funnybone
3 - Discreetly Mine
1 - Eightyfiveinafifty

7th race, The Just a Game, G1:
5 - Proviso
1a - Speak Easy Gal
3 - Phola

8th race, The True North, G3:
2 - Custom for Carlos
3 - Bribon
8 - Checklist

9th race, The Acorn, G1:
6 - Amen Hallelujah
10 - Tidal Pool
7 - Quiet Temper

10th race, The Manhattan Handicap, G1:
1 - Gio Ponti
5 - Take the Points
6 - Court Vision

11th race, The Belmont Stakes, G1:
6 - Ice Box
11 - First Dude
9 - Stately Victor

12th race:
3 - Remittance
1 - Lt. John
5 - Bold Vindication

13th race:
8 - Quick Money
2 - Mustang Island
9 - L.C. Bulgari

Tune in tomorrow night for results and video.