Friday, October 1, 2010

Paulie's Picks, Belmont, 10/2/10

Blame, above, beating Quality Road in the Whitney Handicap, and simultaneously burning a large chunk of Paul Corio's bankroll.

The rain is finally supposed to end tonight, giving way to a sunny fall sky for the grade one Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park tomorrow. Hooray! I'm going to need to adjust some of my choices on-site based on track conditions - I'm assuming things are still going to be quite boggy and soggy, especially early in the day. By the time the big race comes around at 5:48, though, I'm assuming the track will be dry, fast, and ready to rock.

Blame is the overwhelming favorite in the big race, and deservedly so; he's coming off a string of wins in graded stakes all festooned with gaudy three-digit speed figures - quite clearly the one to beat on paper. But horse races aren't run on paper. Regular readers of Paulie's Picks may remember that the last time I loaded up on a seemingly unbeatable favorite in a G1 race was Quality Road in the Whitney at Saratoga on August 7th. He was beaten by a head by none other than Blame! If I fall for the same old thing by the horse that spoiled the party for me last time, the layers of irony would be too much to bear.

You'd be a fool leave Blame out of the mix, but if you're looking for somewhere else to go, there are two other horses worth checking out:

The logical pick for the upset is the second choice in the morning line; Rail Trip. He's got some early lick, some nice speed figures, and some graded stakes victories out in California. The only problem is that he's never run on dirt; only on the synthetic surface they use on the west coast. Sometimes a horse's form translates well from one surface to the other and sometimes it doesn't. 5/2 is a little stingy given this big asterisk - I would want more generous odds before I took too big a stab. I'll definitely be using him in my exactas and trifectas, though.

Haynesfield, on the other hand, is opening at a very generous 8-1. He broke through the gate prior to the start of the Whitney at Saratoga in August, and had a crummy race after things were reset. If he can return to his form prior to this mishap he's a real contender, and you're getting a nice price for the risk. I'll have a few bucks on that one.

Here are Paulie's Picks for tomorrow's entire card:

1st race:
7 - Bank Heist
1 - Frenchonionsoup
6 - Launch N Relaunch

2nd Race:
1 - Lookin At Her
3 - The Roundhouse
9 - Southern Exchange

3rd race:
6 - Callide Valley
3 - Keep Me Informed
1a - Jackson Bend

4th race:
4 - Above the Call
11 - Irish Lady
10 - Hear Her Roar

5th race:
8 - Derby Kitten
9 - Mister Pippit
12 - Gold Trader

6th race, The Vosburgh, G1:
1 - Driven by Success
2 - Girolamo
6 - Snapshot

7th race, The Flower Bowl Invitational, G1:
7 - Shared Account
6 - Forever Together
8 - Keertana

8th race, The Beldame, G1:
4 - Unrivaled Belle
1 - Life At Ten
6 - Persistently

9th race, The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, G1:
4 - Treat Gently
10 - Winchester
9 - Paddy O'Prado

10th race, The Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational, G1:
2 - Blame
6 - Haynesfield
1 - Fly Down

11th race:
4 - Runaway Jim
8 - Just a Dab
3 - Fourseventeen

Tune in tomorrow night for results and video.